CELTIC treble-winning boss Martin O’Neill has paid a heartfelt tribute to his Nottingham Forest team-mate Trevor Francis.
The former Rangers player passed away yesterday after suffering a heartat in Marbella. He was 69.
And Celtic icon O’Neill fondly remembered Francis and revealed their contrasting Old Firm support never got in the way of their close bond.
As players they won the European Cup together with £1mFrancis scoring the winner against Malmo in 1979.
He later went on to play for Graeme Souness at Ibrox following a stint in Sampdoria, while O’Neill took over the Hoops hotseat more than a decade later.
And O’Neill revealed his pal was “as big a Rangers fan as I am afan” and they’d share banter across the divide.
O’Neill explained: “Trevor was a terrific. He had electric pace and was very, very quick. He could score a goal and he befits the title of the first million-pound player.”
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph he added: “He became a player for Rangers under Graeme Souness and Graeme and he both played in the same team in , so that might have been a bit more difficult for him.
“He was a big, avid Rangers fan himself, but that didn’t stop us from a proper. In fact, we used to laugh about it as much as anything else.
“When I say laughing, don’t get me wrong. Trevor took Rangers seriously; he was as avid a Rangers fan as I suppose I am a Celtic fan, but it didn’t impinge on ourat all.
“I think because our paths never really crossed in Scotland, that might have had something to do with it.”
But O’Neill cheekily added: “It might have been different had he been managing Rangers at the same time I was managing Celtic.
“I might not have been speaking to him then!”
But the pair’s friendship was forged during their time at paid tribute via his where he wrote: “Really devastated to hear the tragic account that Trevor Francis has passed away.Ground and O’Neill publicly
“A phenomenal player, superb teammate and a great friend.has lost a true great of the game.”
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