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Watch the emotional speech from Henrik Larsson at the Celtic POTY Awards

Henrik Larsson was close to tears as he took to the stage at the OVO Hydro to collect a special award at the Celtic POTY Awards last night.

It is 20 years since the Magnificent Seven played his last match for the club but the years were rolled back as he took the acclaim from 10,000 delighted fans, many of whom never saw any of the 242 goals that he scored for the hoops.

Larsson took the stage with Chris Sutton to accept an award for his Outstanding Contribution to the club for seven years of service that included many highlights that set the club on the way to dominating Scottish football throughout this century.

When 10-in-a-row was stopped in 19998 Lrsson scored the opener against St Johnstone to calm the nerves, he pitched in with 53 goals in season 2000/01 as Martin O’Neill’s side delivered the first treble in 32 years then scored vital goals all the way to Seville in 2003 as a generation of Celtic fans were given the experience of their life.

Afterwards he wound down at Barcelona where he won the Champions League then helped Manchester United to win the EPL alongside Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

As the video clearly shows Larsson will first and foremost consider himself a Celtic player, signed by Wim Jansen from Feyenoord in July 1997 there were no great expectations on the dreadlocked striker from Sweden as Celtic tried to win their first title in a decade.

Alongside Simon Donnelly and Harald Brattbakk he scored some vital goals, when Jansen resigned after disputes with Jock Brown it would have been easy for Larsson to move on as well but him and his family seemed settled and happy with their lifestyle and stayed around.

The goals really began to flow under Dr Jo Venglos, under John Barnes a very promising partnership with Mark Viduka was halted by a horrific leg break away to Lyon that would have ended the career of lesser players.

Within a few weeks there were claims that Larsson was using a trampoline to assist his return, he tried to get back for a League Cup Final against Aberdeen but suffered a set-back.

He wasn’t to be denied however, playing in the final league match of the season then joining Sweden’s Euro 2000 squad and scoring against Italy to signal his return.

Under Martin O’Neill there was a new dynamic about Celtic led by Larsson with Sutton, signed for £6m from Chelsea happy to be the understudy as his career was revived in Scotland.

The goals, glory and medals followed but what no-one truly appreciates is the stamp that successful Celtic players make on the lives of thousands of people.

Larsson is mobbed and adored during his infrequent visits to Scotland, outwith the Lisbon Lions he is the most revered former player, without question.

Sutton might make the odd slip up on media duties but is respected and welcomed by supporters across the country. Neither Sutton or Larsson were born into Celtic families.

Last night Joe Hart and Matt O’Riley were on stage taking the adulation, three years ago Celtic were just a distant, perhaps mythical club that they had hear a few stories about.

Hart and O’Riley may be elsewhere this time next year but they can be guaranteed a heroes welcome any time they return to Glasgow after leaving memories that will last a lifetime.

CLICK HERE for two faced Keevins makes remarkable Rodgers u-turn

CLICK HERE for Santa Ponsa celebrates Celtic’s victory in the Glasgow Derby.

CLICK HERE for SPFL Premiership table.

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