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Page last updated at 21:56 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 22:56 UK

Celtic success delights Strachan


News conference: Celtic boss Gordon Strachan

Gordon Strachan described leading Celtic to a third consecutive Scottish Premier League title as "fantastic".

Celtic's 1-0 win over Dundee United and Rangers' 2-0 defeat at Aberdeen ensured that Strachan's side pipped their Old Firm rivals by three points.

"This has been one of the most fantastic occasions of my life," said Celtic manager Strachan.

"We had a challenge and accepted it and I want to celebrate it with guys who believed in me and who I believed in."

Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink scored Celtic's winner and the Dutch striker was quick to dedicate the team's SPL triumph to former coach Tommy Burns.

Gordon Strachan goes down in Celtic's history as a legend

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell
Club legend Burns, who had been first-team coach, died seven days ago.

"It's incredible," said the Dutchman. "It's about Tommy Burns, it's a tribute to him. We did it and it's a great feeling."

Centre-back Gary Caldwell added: "It's been a tough week for everyone at Celtic.

"Tommy was a great man and a great coach and also a friend to all of us.

"I'm sure he would have loved tonight. He loved winning trophies for Celtic and this is obviously dedicated to him and his memory.

"He was a great man and we did it for him."

Three years ago Celtic striker Scott McDonald famously denied the Bhoys the SPL title in 2005 when his two late goals for Motherwell against his current club handed the trophy to Rangers.

Understandably the Australian, who finished the season as the SPL's top scorer, was delighted to play his part in Celtic's third successive championship.

"It's something I'll never forget," said McDonald.

"After three years ago, it's great to put that right and I'm certainly going to enjoy this."

GrahamSpiers No1

After a difficult season, Strachan becomes the first Celtic manager since Jock Stein in 1974 to win a league title hat-trick.

"Forty odd years have past since a Celtic manager has won three titles in a row," said Caldwell. "It is not easy. In fact, to win three in a row is a fantastic achievement.

"It says it all that he has been able to do that under the circumstances.

"He's been under a lot of pressure from day one but he has kept going and he has tremendous mental strength and willpower."

Two Old Firm victories in April proved the turning point in the campaign and chief executive Peter Lawwell was full of praise for Strachan.

"He goes down in Celtic's history as a legend," Lawwell said.

"We've been written off and come back. It's a wonderful night for this club.

"It's been a week for this club that we should all be proud of.

"It's been a very emotional week - terrible grief, terrible sorrow - but tonight we can be proud to be a Celtic supporter."

see also
Dundee United 0-1 Celtic
22 May 08 |  Scottish Premier
Celtic clinch SPL title on final day
22 May 08 |  Scottish Premier
SPL photo gallery
22 May 08 |  Scottish Premier
Aberdeen 2-0 Rangers
22 May 08 |  Scottish Premier