CELTIC will spend £60,000 on a bronze statue to immortalise Lisbon Lion Jimmy Johnstone.

The Evening Times can reveal the life-size tribute will sit on a polished granite base opposite the main entrance to Celtic Park.

Jinky, who was voted the greatest Celtic player of all time, died in March 2006 at the age of 61 after a long battle against motor neurone disease.

Club officials have been in talks with city planners for months after ex-chairman Brian Quinn said Celtic would fund a permanent memorial to the legendary winger.

Detailed proposals have now been submitted to the council and land in Kerrydale Street, beside the Hoops' ticket office has been earmarked for the statue.

There is already a memorial to club founder Brother Walfrid in front of the ground's main entrance and the Jinky tribute will be built diagonally across from it.

Peter Lawwell, chief executive of the Parkhead club, said: "We are really looking forward to the completion of the Jimmy Johnstone memorial statue.

"Clearly he is still very sadly missed by the club, by our supporters and by Scottish football in general."

The Brother Walfrid statue was paid for by supporters' donations but Jinky's memorial will be bankrolled by the club.

It's hoped the project will be completed early in the new season.

Johnstone signed for Celtic in 1961 and played more than 500 times for the Hoops, scoring 130 goals.

In 1967, he played a pivotal role in Celtic's European Cup triumph.

In addition to his club honours he won 23 caps for Scotland.

Last December, a campaign to raise funds for a memorial in Johnstone's home town of Viewpark in Lanarkshire was launched by family, friends and football veterans.

A statue of Rangers hero Davie Cooper, who died aged 39, in 1995, was built in Hamilton following his untimely death and Gers legend Jim Baxter has a memorial in the Fife village of Hill O'Beath.