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Sunday, 14 May, 2000, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
Martin O'Neill


Celtic's new manager Martin O'Neill was a big hit with BBC viewers during his first stint with the Match of the Day Live team, at France 98.

He was widely admired as one of the most astute managers in the Premiership, guiding Leicester City to a second Worthington Cup triumph earlier this year.

He took over as Celtic boss at the start of the close-season after being courted by the Parkhead hierarchy for some time.

O'Neill, who won a League title, European Cup and League Cup as a player with Nottingham Forest, recalls it was a European Championship qualifier for Northern Ireland that launched his professional career.

He was selected for the game against Russia in 1972 whilst still a student at Queen's University in Belfast, and in the crowd that day was Forest manager Matt Gillies.

"I don't know whether Matt saw something in me that day, but a week later I signed for Forest from Distillery for 50,000."

O'Neill went on to win 64 caps for Northern Ireland in a career which also took him to Norwich and Manchester City.

He took Wycombe Wanderers into the Football League as a manager, and also had a successful spell in charge at Norwich before joining Leicester and now Celtic..

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