REGGAE superstar Bob Marley's secret ambition was to visit Celtic Park – and play on its turf.

And Marley was such a fan of the club that he could even recite its 1967 European Cup-winning team in full.

Marley, who died in 1981, stunned Celtic legend Dixie Deans when the pair met in Australia.

But Deans, who was playing for Adelaide City as his career wound down, didn't know who Marley was.

Writing in his new autobiography, which starts an exclusive three-day serialisation in the Evening Times today, Deans says he was introduced to Marley during a training session.

Says Dixie: "I didn't know him from Adam. Our manager said he was a musician and a keen footballer but the name didn't register. I remember he was quiet-spoken, almost shy, and his hair was long and looked, frankly, as if it was matted together and needed a good wash."

But Marley floored him when they got talking about Celtic, saying: "Oh, you know I'm a big Celtic fan. I would love to go to Scotland to see Celtic Park and maybe even kick a few balls there. I know all about Jock Stein.

He added: "I love reading about British football teams and Celtic has always been my team. And now it is my son Rohan's team. He's only six but he loves Celtic. I can't tell you how much I envy you having played at Celtic Park."

Added Dixie: "We had a chat about all things Celtic and I was greatly impressed by the great man's football knowledge. And when we got down to training, I was just as impressed by his football ability."

In the book, co-written by Evening Times' journalist Ken McNab, Dixie recalls his footballing apprenticeship at Motherwell before the glory-laden years with Celtic.

He lifts the lid on his relationship with Jock Stein, life with Celtic's nine-in-a-row team and the 'brotherly bond' he shared with Hoops icon Jimmy Johnstone

Both players were famously friendly with music superstar and Celtic fan Rod Stewart, who Dixie light- heartedly calls a 'millionaire tightwad'.

"Rod was never flash with his cash – and that was because he never carried any," says Dixie. "He was like the Queen. Whenever it came to his round, he always used to say: 'Sorry lads, I'm on the bell next time'."

But Dixie has harsher words for another Scots star, Sean Connery, who, he says, switched his support from Celtic to Rangers.

"In the early seventies, when he was at the height of his fame, Sean would tell anybody and everybody how much he loved Celtic. And it's true that he often came to our games.

"But I was disappointed when Sean seemed to 'change sides' in the 1990s after David Murray took over Rangers. I think Murray kind of bought Sean's patronage of the Ibrox outfit in a way and tried to make it out that Celtic were the poor relations of the two clubs.

"It seemed to me that Sean was like an item of jewellery on Murray's arm, a piece of Hollywood bling. I could understand why so many Celtic fans were hacked off when they used to see James Bond sitting in the directors' box at Ibrox as Murray's VIP guest."