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Neil Francis Lennon (born June 25, 1971 in Lurgan, County Armagh) is a professional footballer from Northern Ireland. He is the former captain of Celtic F.C., after leaving the club at the end of the 2006-07 campaign. On the 12th of June 2007 he signed a 1 year deal with the option of a second with Nottingham Forest F.C. After joining Manchester City as trainee in 1989, Lennon played for Crewe and Leicester City. before moving to Celtic, in 2000. Lennon became Celtic captain in 2005. In February 2006, he scored only his third goal for Celtic in their 8-1 win over Dunfermline.
When his former club Leicester City sacked Craig Levein, Lennon was linked with a return to the Midlands side in a player-manager role. He went on record as saying he was flattered but wanted to captain Celtic to the SPL title.
Although he was also linked with a possible move to Crystal Palace in a player/coach role in the summer of 2006,on 23 June 2006, Celtic announced he had signed a new one-year contract. Sunderland manager Roy Keane made an attempt to sign Lennon prior to the closure of the August 2006 transfer window, but his approach for the player was rejected by Celtic. On 25 April 2007, Lennon announced he would be leaving Celtic. He ended his service for the club on 26 May 2007 by captaining the team to victory in the Scottish Cup Final against Dunfermline Athletic; Celtic’s 1-0 win clinched the League/Cup Double.
For Northern Ireland, Lennon has been capped 40 times, scoring two goals. He has previously captained the squad. Lennon decided to retire from international football in August 2002 upon receiving a death threat before a Northern Ireland match against Cyprus. The threats came after his alleged claim that he wanted to play for a team representing a United Ireland. The threat was made by the Loyalist Volunteer Force, although the organization later disputed this. The death threat was met with widespread disgust from both sections of the community in Northern Ireland.
Lennon joined Nottingham Forest on a one year deal with an option for a second year on 12 June 2007. Lennon, however, will not be joining in a coaching capacity as first thought.
Lennon made his Nottingham Forest debut which he even captained a 0-0 draw at home to A.F.C. Bournemouth. Lennon has maintained the captaincy so far this season and is expected to become an important factor in Forest's push for promotion.
Lennon has also represented County Armagh Gaelic football team at Minor Level.
In his 2006 memoir, Neil Lennon: Man and Bhoy, Lennon revealed that he had suffered from clinical depression for seven years, and was taking antidepressants. Word has it that it was the reason he felt the need to butt in with his idiotic opinion on the Celtic fan incident on October 9, 2007. This book has been praised by mental health organizations and has become the biggest selling Scottish football book of all time.
- Leicester City
- League Cup: 1996–97,1999–00
- Scottish Premier League: 2000–01, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07
- Scottish Cup 2000–01, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2006–07
- Scottish League Cup 2000–01, 2005–06
- Scottish Cup: 2001–02
- Scottish League Cup: 2002–03
- UEFA Cup: 2002-03