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Football: Fans target knighthood for big Jock.

Byline: By GORDON ROBERTSON

CELTIC fans are campaigning to win a knighthood for Jock Stein almost 20 years after his death.

The posthumous award would right a historical wrong after the first British boss to win the European Cup was overlooked by Whitehall mandarins for not being the 'right sort'.

Clydebank businessman and lifelong Celt Francis Paton, 41, has lobbied MPs and MSPs to try and achieve the honour for Stein.

He is now begging fellow Hoops fans to add their support. He said: 'When I heard why Jock had been overlooked I was shocked.

'It is a disgrace for Scotland that the big man was considered not the right sort of person. I have written to many MSPs and they agree.'

The move comes after Nottingham Forest fans campaigned for Brian Clough to be knighted following the death of the boss who led the club to back-to-back European Cup wins.

Forest have submitted a 6,500 name petition to Downing Street.

Paton added: 'Clough deserves a knighthood too but if we were to collect signatures outside Parkhead we would get 10 times that amount - you would need a lorry to take the petition to Downing Street.'

But current MP Brian Wilson says the case should not be reopened.

He said: 'Stein was diminished not one iota by the absence of a knighthood. He was the manager of the first British club to win the European Cup, full stop.

'A knighthood now would add nothing to that reality for all those who still honour his memory.'

If you think Jock Stein should be knighted, contact Francis Paton at bigjock2285@yahoo.com.

#FORMER Scotland boss Craig Brown is back in town tonight to support his first club Clyde.

The ex-Bully Wee boss is guest speaker at the Clyde Supporters Trust's sell-out fund-raising dinner at Glasgow's Holiday Inn.

The trust forked last week helped secure hitkid Craig Bryson on a two year deal and spokesman Cameron Macdonald said: 'We want to help strengthen the squad further.'

# RAITH defender Shaun Dennis is ready to hang up his boots - if Rovers avoid the drop.

The 35-year-old, now in his fourth spell at Stark's Park said: 'If we stay in Division One we will able to bring in younger and better centre halves.'

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Wilson: Still honoured
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 14, 2004
Words:383
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