EVEN on the most special of occasions, being the centre of attention did not come easy to Andy Bryan.

With Morton and Celtic both stretched out in front of him, it was only after being coaxed by the Cappielow stadium announcer that the 50-year-old kitman emerged from the shadows of the home dugout to sheepishly step out for his moment in the sun.

Decked out in a dark suit and a blue and white scarf draped round his neck, Bryan stood modestly embarrassed as the 1,018 fans who came to acknowledge his achievement stood to applaud.

Twenty seconds and a couple of pictures later, he soon retreated back to the small shelter he has called home for so many years.

It is easy in this day and age to become disenchanted with a game that has seen loyalty become a rare commodity. Far too often now we see players stay at clubs for little more than a year before being lured away by money and the bright lights.

The same, believe it or not, can happen to kitmen. Only two years ago the man who washes the socks and shorts of Morton’s world-beaters had the opportunity to swap everything he had ever known for a shot at the big time with Stoke City.

The offer was politely declined by Bryan.

Last night’s 3-1 friendly defeat to Celtic did little to take the shine off a gesture that went some way to repaying that flash of loyalty.

Forty years on from when his affiliation with the club first started, it was fitting for Bryan that his testimonial was not focused on him, but the one thing he has dedicated his entire working life to – Morton.

While many of these games can be played out at an almost comical pace, this meeting between Ton and a youthful Celtic side sprinkled with first-team talent will have gone a long way to ensuring Jim Duffy’s players are that bit closer to being ready for their Ladbrokes Championship return.

The Morton manager fielded a full-strength squad who coped well for much of a competitive match before the threat the Glasgow club posed saw the game slip away.

Indeed, it was the influence of Celtic’s two top-team talents of Anthony Stokes and Stefan Scepovic that ultimately made the difference as the pair grabbed a goal each.

It was the Serbian who opened the scoring first on 16 minutes. A great cross from Aidan Nesbitt on the right dropped perfectly to Scepovic 10 yards out and he directed his low header powerfully beyond Derek Gaston.

Within three minutes Morton were level through Thomas Orr. Joe McKee threaded a great ball through the heart of the Celtic defence for the forward to take the ball across him into the box and slot low under Leo Fasan.

Orr and Ross Forbes both went close again for the hosts as they began to find their rhythm, but it was the Celtic side, coached by first-team captain Scott Brown as well as Stevie Frail and John Collins, who regained the lead two minutes before the break.

Morton target Luke Donnelly was the man to find the net as he prodded home from a yard out after Gaston spilled a Nesbitt corner.

Three minutes the other side of the interval and Stokes put the game beyond reach. The Irishman drifted in from the wing to jink his way into the box and slot the ball in at Gaston’s near post.

At the full-time whistle the man of the moment re-emerged for another quick snap ... it will surely be far from the last in the tale of a Life of Bryan in Greenock.