Former Celtic man reveals extraordinary Lennoxtown exchange with Neil Lennon
Former Celtic player and coach Alan Thompson has shared how his friendship and relationship began to break down with Neil Lennon at the Bhoys nearly ten years ago.
Thompson was initially part of Lennon’s backroom staff at the Bhoys during his first spell as Celtic boss.
However, the former midfielder left the club in 2012 after helping successfully guide the Bhoys to a first league title in four years.
It’s long been assumed that off the pitch problems contributed to this and Thompson has now confirmed rumours about his private life helped contribute to his eventual exit.
As quoted by The Scottish Sun, who is serialising his new book, Thommo said: “We’d just won the league in May 2012 and everything was going swimmingly well — or so I thought! I had no idea that just weeks later I would be out the door at Celtic after only two years on the management staff.
“There’d been a few issues with myself away from the club which were well publicised in the media but nothing that I thought was worth me being fired. Looking back at it now, there were signs that I should have seen something like that coming.
“One day I remember particularly was Lenny coming into the coaching office to see me at Lennoxtown Training Centre. ‘Thommo, can I have a word please?’, Lenny asks out of the blue. It sounded all rather serious considering we were best mates but, of course, I told him he could.
“Lenny then comes out with, ‘Thommo, I’ve been asked from certain people above me to ask you this, although I already know the answer. I have to ask you if you are taking drugs?’. Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather as he went on to say certain members of the Celtic board had heard I was taking cocaine. Anyone who knows me will tell you the answer to that.”
Thompson goes on to say he offered to take immediate drug tests to clear the matter up, convincing Lennon of his denial. However, he says that put a dent in his friendship with the former Celtic boss, even though they are back on speaking terms now.
It all ended rather sadly for the former fans favourite at the club. Since leaving Celtic he’s been closely aligned with manager Lee Clark, following him for coaching stints at Birmingham City, Blackpool and Bury.
Now he’s giving his side of the story on all sorts of issues from his career in a new book written with Jamie Boyle, which is available via WarCry Publishing.