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Sport Scott Brown tipped to drag Celtic to glory as Joe Ledley admits shock watching birth of iconic 'Broonie' celebration

01:30  14 april  2021
01:30  14 april  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Joe Ledley was just yards from Scott Brown when the captain’s Celtic legend was born.

It was inside Ibrox during a last 16 Scottish Cup tie a decade ago.

Now, as the Hoops leader returns to the home of Rangers for a final time in a knockout competition, his old Welsh pal wouldn’t be shocked to see him drive his troops to success again.

It was 2011 when Brown’s spectacular strike and arms open celebration gave birth to 'The Broonie'.

Celtic were down to 10 men after a Fraser Forster red card and staring down the barrel as they also trailed 2-1 at the time.

This time Ledley’s old club are again under pressure in Govan with no trophies in the bag this term and no wins from the last four meetings with Steven Gerrard’s newly-crowned champions.

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Odds are tipped against Celtic, but it was the same 10 years ago when Brown famously stepped up and his former midfield colleague can visualise a repeat.

Ledley recalled: “I didn’t think anything of it at first. I was just surprised he scored such a great goal! That celebration went viral and massive and he’s still doing it now.

“Browny has always been one of the big characters in these games and as a captain as well.

“He will go down as a legend. He is massive. He is a character off the pitch as well and switches completely.

“I’ve never seen someone just go from joking and messing around in the changing room to the matchday.

“He’s completely different. That’s the type he is. He likes having a laugh, but once he crosses that line, he’s so focused. I’ve not seen anyone like it in my whole career.

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“He could be standing next to his best mate and he wouldn’t speak to him. He’s so determined to win and that’s the player and person he is.

“When I was there, you would always look up to him. He always sets the tone. Once you get in the Huddle, he sets it from the beginning.

“He will be desperate to go out on a high. At the end of the day, there’s a trophy to be won as well and he’ll want to lift it as the captain for the last time, but that won’t faze him. He’ll just play his own game and drag everyone else with him.

“He’s always been like that. It’s not just about him. He thinks about everyone else, trying to get behind them and encourage them as a player and as a man as well.

“Even though he’s coming to his last few games for Celtic, he’ll want to go out there and win, like he always does.

“That’s what’ll be missed. He’s a massive influence and gets 100 per cent from everyone.”

Brown, of course, can’t do it on his own. He’ll need team-mates to step forward and Ledley believes there is enough quality within John Kennedy’s group to get the job done.

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He continued: “If you look at that Celtic team, especially with Jamesy Forrest back into it, it’s looking a lot stronger.

“I’m glad to see Jamesy back. He’s been a massive miss.

“He’s proven over the past few years how good he is. He doesn’t just score goals, he creates goals. As a defender he’s a nightmare as he’s so quick and the more he’s matured, he’s gained more experience.

“He’s got better over the years and is a massive part of how Celtic play. He’s one of the best in the team and Jamesy doesn’t get much credit.

“Edouard is a great player. His goalscoring has been fantastic. He reminds me a bit of Gary Hooper, hopefully we can keep him for next season. Callum McGregor has also come on leaps and bounds in recent years.”

Ledley himself knows what it’s like to be the hero against Rangers having bagged a Parkhead winner with a header from Charlie Mulgrew’s corner 10 months after the iconic Brown moment.

It helped propel Neil Lennon’s team to the title and, speaking to the Celtic Huddle Podcast, he recalled the night and said: “Lenny used to just name the team. I’m thinking that we had a lot of midfielders.

“I said to Garry Parker, ‘Where are I am playing?’ He said, ‘Left-back’. I’m like, ‘What? It’s Old Firm, I want to be midfield’. I was against Sone Aluko and I’m like, 'oh my God', with his pace.

“At the end of the day, we got the corner and a great ball from Charlie and I got above the defender. I got a clean sheet at left-back as well and it was an unbelievable achievement.

“I loved big games and always came through. I don’t why. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of pressure on you.

“My first Old Firm game got to me massively. We got battered and lost 3-1 at home. It was learning from mistakes. They are the best games to be involved in. It’s the best derby in the world.”

With Brown leading from the front, Ledley feels Celtic can prevail on Sunday and added: “I think they will be going in as underdogs. Rangers are the champions, but anything can happen. I still believe Celtic can win it and I’m going to go 2-0.”

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