Date: 1st March 2019 at 6:10pm
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To the east of Celtic Park, just off the London Road, lies St Peter’s Cemetery.

The graveyard is notable for the presence of many Celtic heroes, including Dan Doyle, a former captain and member of the club’s first ever league winning team.

St Peter’s shares one thing in common with all burial sites; in it are men and women whose lives once shone bright, but after their light was extinguished, on went the world.

It’s often a difficult personal realisation that after we leave – which inevitably we all do – things ultimately carry on.

As the ink on Brendan Rodgers’ resignation letter still dries, some people seem in a state of shock, worried about the impact on the team for the rest of the year.

But surprising though the manner of his departure may be, the club still endures.

Celtic has never been about any individual, whether a manager, player or even a single fan.

Great men like Jock Stein, Billy McNeill, Tommy Burns, Paul McStay and Henrik Larsson have come and gone.

They leave a legacy of which they can be proud – but their parting did not end the club.

Instead Celtic Football Club is defined by its fans. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad; sometimes many, sometimes fewer, but still owned and driven by the supporters.

Clubs can die.

But Celtic’s fans are a collective that will never do so.

Individual supporters may pass on but the group will continue, passing down the stories, songs and experiences.

Brendan Rodgers has written his name into Celtic’s history. His achievements are profound, and when the dust settles this will surely be remembered.

But he’ll never carry the same awe and respect as so many other players and managers. No statue to line the Celtic Way will ever be sculpted in his image.

Instead he will simply be someone who briefly lit up the club, and was as soon forgotten.

As a child my obsession was Celtic strips, with birthdays, Christmases and any spare money being used to buy home, away and even third kits.

But of all the tops owned, none ever had a player’s name printed on it, for two simple reasons.

Firstly, a cold realisation that a specific footballer could leave at any moment – and often did.

But more importantly, the fact that no name on the back could outshine the importance of the badge which adorned the front.

The players that have defined my early Celtic supporting years have all long since changed.

But the crowd with whom I’ve watched football have not. Individuals may have left us, but their voices and presence lingers in those that followed. And always wil do.

As the song goes, ‘Celtic first, Celtic last and Celtic overall’.

Whoever may be lucky enough to briefly inhabit the dugout or pull on the famous hooped jersey.

Matthew Marr is a Celtic fan and blogger from Glasgow.

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