Celtic-daft rockstar Rod Stewart recalls how Jock Stein encounter convinced him to start following the club

The Maggie May singer met the Hoops European Cup-winning manager after performing a gig in Glasgow in 1973

Celtic super-fan Rod Stewart has admitted he splashes out on a private jet to watch Ange Postecoglou’s side in action and claim it is worth every penny.

The British rockstar continues to follow his beloved Hoops around the world and has claimed he enjoys the luxury of travelling in style to Glasgow to watch games at Parkhead.

Sign up to our GlasgowWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Maggie May singer revealed on talkSPORT how his Scottish-born father would talk about the historic day when Scotland beat England 5-1 in the 1928 British Championship, which influenced his decision to become a member of the Tartan Army.

Stewart said: “To all intents and purposes I am English. I’ve never pretended I never said I was a Scotsman, so let’s get that out of the way.

“My dad was born in Leith in Edinburgh. He had a big bearing on the football that we liked. He’d always say he was a Hibs supporter.

“And he’d always talk about the Wembley wizards, so that sort of rubbed off on me and my brothers, and we just became Scotland supporters.”

However, it was a face-to-face encounter with Celtic’s European Cup-winning manager Jock Stein at the training ground 48 years ago that convinced Stewart to start following the club’s progress.

Alex Ferguson (right) led Scotland to the World Cup in Mexico with a 2-0 aggregate play-off win over Australia following Jock Stein’s sudden death.

The 76-year-old recalled being in Glasgow for a gig with his old band The Faces.

He stated: “I met Jock Stein in 1973, Kenny Dalglish, Jimmy Johnstone and Harry Hood, all knocked on my door.

“We just did a show with The Faces in Glasgow, and they all came to wake me and Ronnie (Wood) up to get us to go training.

“Ronnie didn’t get out of bed, but I went and I met Jock. He looked at me and he laughed at my shoes and since that day, I’ve become a Celtic supporter.

“I was so enamoured by him, you know, this huge guy was just brilliant.”

Asked about jetting all over the country to follow the Glasgow giants, Stewart replied: “It’s worth every penny.

“I’m going up there on Thursday (to see them play Hearts) and it’s a lovely day out. It’s the one thing where I spoil myself and I get a private jet and go up to Glasgow and watch them.

“I don’t do it very often, but I just wish sometimes they played in the Championship (in England). I didn’t say the Premiership because I think we’d do well in the Championship.”

Stewart is a strong believer that both Old Firm club are good enough to compete in the second-tier of English football but insists he can’t see either Celtic or Rangers playing south of the border in his lifetime.

Rod Stewart at Celtic Park. Picture: SNS

He said: “I personally don’t think it will ever happen in my lifetime but the thing is Scottish football would suffer. With great respect, nobody wants to see St Mirren play whoever. And I mean, no disrespect.

“But they (Celtic and Rangers) are the giants. They are the ones that get the big crowds, so without them I don’t know what would happen with Scottish football.”

Stewart is adamant there is no better atmosphere in world football than a European night at Parkhead.

He added: “Everybody says what the other grounds are like, you know (Manchester) United and Liverpool but it’s nothing like Celtic.

“The Celtic fans, with all due respect again, all the London teams, Liverpool... they’re all singing the same songs they were singing 25 years ago.

“You come up to Celtic and there’s new songs, new chants and they’re just blinding supporters. They misbehave, sometimes, but there you go.”