Barry Bannan says his parents are best mates with Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon, manager of Celtic poses with the Scottish Cup at the final whistle during the Scottish Cup Final between Heart of Midlothian FC and Celtic FC at Hampden Park on May 25, 2019...

The Sheffield Wednesday midfielder is a lifelong Celtic supporter.

Barry Bannan of Sheffield Wednesday during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds United at Hillsborough Stadium on September 28, 2018 in Sheffield, England.

Barry Bannan has revealed his parents are 'best mates' with the Celtic manager, Neil Lennon. The Sheffield Wednesday midfielder grew up supporting the Celtic side played for and eventually captained by Lennon, and was later signed by the Ulsterman at Bolton Wanderers.

But Lennon is not the only former Bhoy under whom Bannan has appeared - after Martin O'Neill and Paul Lambert.

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And in an interview with Open Goal - recorded at the start of this month and broadcast on Monday evening - the Sheffield Wednesday number 10 joked: "(They’re) following me everywhere! I’m trying to get there aren’t I, but I can’t so they come to me.

 

"(Lennon was) good, really good. Obviously, he was part of that successful Martin O’Neill team, a massive part of it, so I was in awe of him as well.

"I was loving it (when Lennon approach him). He actually phoned me. It was deadline day. He was phoning me saying. ‘You’ll love it here. Parks (Garry Parker) is here, Johan (Mjallby). You’ll play every week'.

"And I was like, ‘Bolton? Do I go there? That was the first time in my career where I’ve thought I could be on a slippery slope if I go there and don’t do well.

"But I spoke to my dad and I was like, ‘I need to go out because at (Crystal) Palace I’m not going to be in the 18-man squad there. I’m just going to be doing nothing. So I was like, ‘I’ll give it a go'.

Bolton manager Neil Lennon during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Bolton Wanderers at The Amex Stadium on February 13, 2016 in Brighton, England.

"And obviously, Lenny being there and phoning me up and telling me that he wanted me was massive. To play under him was brilliant.

"My mum’s best mates with Lenny now! My maw’s best mates and my dad’s best mates with Lenny. They met him at our (2016) play-off final when I’d signed for Wednesday. He was in the hotel after the game, blitzed. My mum and dad were blitzed as well. I think they were talking about Celtic and asked him about Rangers and that and they ended up best mates."

Lennon returned for a second spell as Celtic manager in February, securing Premiership and Scottish Cup success while in interim charge.

Neil Lennon, manager of Celtic poses with the Scottish Cup at the final whistle during the Scottish Cup Final between Heart of Midlothian FC and Celtic FC at Hampden Park on May 25, 2019...

The 47-year-old was offered the permanent job after Saturday's Hampden Park win against Hearts, in which Bannan's former Sheffield Wednesday teammate, Sean Clare, started for the losers.

There is no suggestion at this stage that Lennon will target Bannan at Celtic this summer and with two years left on his recently-signed contract at Hillsborough, the Owls would be under little pressure to sell in any case.

Next season will be Bannan's fifth as a Sheffield Wednesday player. In that time he has scored or made 34 goals in 163 games.

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