Celtic lead tributes to former manager Wim Jansen following his death aged 75

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The Dutchman lifted the title during his sole season in charge at Parkhead in 1997/98

Celtic have paid a fitting tribute to former manager Wim Jansen who has died at the age of 75.

The Dutchman’s passing was confirmed by ex-club Feyenoord shortly before 12noon today.

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Jansen, who had been battling dementia, famously won the Premiership title in his only season in charge in 1997/98, stopping Rangers from winning 10 in a row.

He was the mastermind by the signing of Hoops legend Henrik Larsson and also won the League Cup during his brief spell in Glasgow.

Murdo MacLeod and Wim Jansen celebrate winning the 1997-98 Premier Division title. Picture: SNSMurdo MacLeod and Wim Jansen celebrate winning the 1997-98 Premier Division title. Picture: SNS
Murdo MacLeod and Wim Jansen celebrate winning the 1997-98 Premier Division title. Picture: SNS

As a player, he made over 500 appearances for Eredivisie giants Feyenoord, including the 1970 European Cup final win over Celtic in Milan.

He would later go on to manage the Rotterdam club, winning the Dutch Cup twice and his old club confirmed his passing by stating: “a wonderful person and great Feyenoord player is no more. Wim Jansen, rest in peace.”

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Jansen was named as Celtic first non-British or Irish manager when he replaced Tommy Burns in the Parkhead hot seat in July 1997.

A statement released on the Celtic website read: “Everyone at Celtic Park was saddened to hear of the sad passing of former manager Wim Jansen this morning at the age of 75.

“Wim, of course, will forever be remembered as the manager who arrived to stop the 10 in season 1997/98 by lifting the championship on the never-to-be-forgotten day of May 9, 1998 when goals from Henrik Larsson and Harald Brattbakk defeated St Johnstone 2-0.

“That came after the Dutchman, who had played against Celtic for Feyenoord in the 1970 European Cup final, had earlier also led the Hoops to League Cup glory by beating Dundee United in that season’s Ibrox final.

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“Also forever remembered as the man who delivered Henrik Larsson to the club, it should also be remembered that Wim rebuilt the team that term with other signings such as the aforementioned Brattbakk, Paul Lambert, Marc Rieper, Craig Burley and Jonathan Gould among others, not only stopping the 10, but setting the wheels in motion for continued success at the advent of the following decade.

“All at Celtic Park offer their most sincere thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Wim Jansen at this sad time.”

Tributes from across the footballing world continue to pour in for Jansen, with several former Hoops stars paying their respects:

Glasgow rivals Rangers posed their own message of support for Jansen’s family.

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It stated: “Rangers Football Club are today saddened to hear of the passing of former Celtic manager, Wim Jansen.

“Everyone at Rangers sends their condolences to the family and friends of Wim Jansen.”

Craig Burley, who played under Jansen during his sole season in Glasgow recalled memories working under the Dutchman.

He tweeted: “Very sad day today. You delivered one of the most important league titles in the history of Celtic FC.

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“It was a privilege to play for you boss with this group of players at this club. A most magnificent time that can never be taken away from the memories. RIP Wim Jansen.”

Ex-Celtic striker Chris Sutton hailed Jansen as a club legend for his achievements during his year-long tenure.

He wrote: “Really sad news about Wim Jansen passing away. Thoughts and prayers go out to the Jansen family. Wim will always be a Celtic legend.”

John Hartson, who played for the Hoops between 2001 and 2006, emphasised the importance of Jansen signing Larsson in his own tribute.

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He posted on social media: “Sad news hearing Wim Jansen has passed away. Won the League Cup at Celtic, stopped ten-in-a-row and brought the brilliant Henrik Larsson to the club. Thoughts are with the Jansen family.”

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