Bobby Lennox – Celtic's most decorated player – believes that there could be no other Celt worthy of the accolade of being the No.1 player in the history of the club than Jimmy Johnstone.

It was Jinky's skill, trickery and vision that has made his name revered by generations of Celtic fans and his presence at the top of the list of 50 Celtic legends will come as little surprise to those who saw him in action.

And Lennox is thrilled his former colleague that landed the top spot.

Lennox and Johnstone had an almost uncanny understanding on the pitch, honed off it as the two of them spent so much time in one another's company.

"Jimmy and I roomed together wherever we went in the world," Lennox explained. "They used to change it a bit but the two of us were always in the same room, whether that was just down at Seamill or whether we were away somewhere further afield, so I knew him better than most.

"We had a great friendship and he was a great guy.

"He was a guy who was always full of fun and always quick with a laugh. It was an honour for us to have him in the team."

Johnstone passed away after a battle with motor neurone disease in March 2006. He lived to see himself named as the greatest ever Celtic player as voted by the Hoops fans, an award he received in 2002.

It was not the 130 goals he scored in 495 appearances for the club, but rather the amount he set up or the bamboozling effect he had on defenders that won him so many fans.

And while Jinky's antics off the field are well known, it was his ability on it that was particularly eye-catching.

And Lennox revealed that even when his colleagues knew what Johnstone was capable of, they still had no way of being able to prepare for it.

"We all knew the tricks he had up his sleeve, but it didn't matter – you would still be left on your backside looking like a dumpling in training!" he smiled. "He would just dip a shoulder and that would be it.

"I think there are few people who have such natural skill and ability.

"He was an outstanding footballer and I think most people who played with him or who saw him play would tell you that. He really did have extraordinary feet and a great eye."

The other thing that Johnstone as well and his Lisbon Lion team-mates had was a sense of camaraderie.

It is something that Lennox believes was vital in forming such a tight-knit unit among the Lions.

"Jimmy was a smashing singer," he said.

"We were different to modern footballers in that our way when we were off on journeys on the bus was to entertain one another and we would always have a sing-song.

"We enjoyed each other's company and there was a special kind of bond between us.

Despite his slight physique, Lennox has insisted Johnstone developed his strength because he had to.

So often he was the victim of rough-house treatment because of his quick feet and small frame – but despite the fact he knew he might take a kick or two, Johnstone never shirked a tackle.

"He was as brave as a lion," said Lennox.

"If you ask any of the lads from that team – big Billy McNeill or Bertie Auld – they will tell you the same.

"You could watch him get kicked black and blue at times but he would still want the ball, he would still keep going back for more.

"All in all, he was just an exceptional talent. He worked hard but he had a gift, a real natural grace on the ball and beautiful feet.

There is no-one more deserving of the top spot in my mind. He was a special man and a special talent."

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