Celtic Manager Neil Lennon joined the tributes to Ryan Catney during the midfielder’s Testimonial Dinner on Friday night.
Lennon – whose Hoops side ousted Catney and Cliftonville from the Champions League in 2013 – sent a congratulatory video, which was relayed to an enthusiastic response from those in attendance at The Devenish Complex.
The occasion, which began with Chairman Gerard Lawlor offering his own emotional thanks to Catney for his 12 years of service with the Reds, saw the 32-year-old honoured for the significant role he played during the most successful era in the history of Ireland’s Oldest Football Club.
In front of a crowd consisting of family, supporters and officials as well as team-mates past and present, Catney – who bows out after making 396 appearances since joining from Lisburn Distillery in 2007 – offered his own personal gratitude to the Club and those responsible for organising the Dinner in his honour.
As well as toasting the many players alongside whom he lifted two Danske Bank Premiership titles, four League Cup crowns and three County Antrim Shield honours, Catney wished Cliftonville every success for the future before departing the stage to rapturous applause – only to make a swift return when he realised he’d forgotten to thank his wife, Stephanie!
Kevin Crossan, to whom Catney extended particular thanks for arranging both the Dinner and his recent Testimonial Match, is likewise grateful to everyone who played their part in both occasions and thanked those who had bought programmes, taken out adverts, attended the Dinner, donated prizes and contributed to the ballot.