Celtic’s Mark Wilson grateful for farewell

Celtic defender Mark Wilson has thanked his manager Neil Lennon for giving him the opportunity to play for the Hoops one last time.

The 26-year-old, who joined Celtic in 2006, was injured in November and has been kept out of the team since, however Lennon gave Wilson the chance to pull on the hoops shirt once more, skippering his side in the 1-0 victory against St Johnstone at the weekend.

Wilson – a former Dundee United man – was given a warm send-off by the Celtic fans before he leaves the club on a free transfer in the summer.

He told the Celtic View: “It was a good reception because obviously I’ve never been one of the players to light the place up and get the crowd going.

“I’ve never been one of the form stars or favourites so it was a nice send-off and I really appreciate it.

“It was very humbling – I never would have thought, as a young boy sitting in the crowd, that one day I would be getting that kind of ovation going off so it was pretty special.

“I knew I was going to play. The manager told me last week he was thinking of playing me either against St Johnstone or in the Dundee United game.

“He decided he’d play me in the home game which was good because it gave me one last chance to play at Celtic Park.

“I appreciated that but obviously wish I could be staying longer, circumstances haven’t worked out that way though.

“It was good to be out there one last time, and to be the captain as well was a nice touch.

“I found myself looking around a bit more and taking things in more than I would usually do.

“With the amount of times I’ve been there you begin to take it for granted a bit, but knowing it was my last game it was important I took as much out of it as possible.

“I haven’t played for about six months so it was good just to get a game – and for it to be my last game at Celtic Park I definitely enjoyed it.”

The right-back made 138 appearances for Celtic and he hopes the Hoops fan will remember him as someone who was committed to the club.

He added: “If the fans do remember me then I hope they know I gave my all for the club.

“I always tried my best and that’s what I said I would do when I first came here.

“I remember being asked in my first interview what I was going to bring and I said I was going to try my best for the team.

“I was going to go in every week with the right attitude and I think I did that. Even when I’ve had bad games I always went in with the intention of doing well for the team.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Celtic and I’ve been very lucky to be here.”