DUE to Covid-19 restrictions, Scott Brown never did get to say a proper farewell to the Celtic supporters after 14 years of sterling service to the club – 11 of those as captain.

Instead, he bowed out in front of an empty stadium after a season to forget, not at all appropriate for the impact he had there, while the fans were denied the chance to thank him for all that he did.

It is little wonder then that he dreams of the day he can go back and say his goodbyes in the proper fashion, but despite the relaxation of crowd restrictions and Celtic once again being champions of Scotland, that time has not arrived just yet.

Brown, who has taken his first steps in management by accepting the Fleetwood Town job, has revealed that Celtic asked him to come back and present the Premiership trophy today to his friend and successor, Callum McGregor.

The selflessness that was his hallmark as Celtic captain though is a quality he retains, deciding to politely decline the offer so that McGregor would not be sharing the limelight on a day, that Brown says, belongs to him and the club.

"I am delighted for him to be fair,” Brown said.

"Celtic asked me to pass the trophy to him but I don't think it was quite right for me to go back to Celtic just yet.

"That would make it all about me and not about Callum and it has to be about Callum [on Saturday] and what he has done for the club, and how hard he has worked.

"It was a no-brainer when I was leaving the club to name Callum captain as I knew he was a fantastic player, his work rate was exceptional, and he runs the dressing room.

"That's what you want for a captain as you want someone that is responsible and will work hard and who also leads by example on the park, and he has done that this season.

"He has been exceptional.”

Brown is hoping that the qualities which brought him such success as a leader at Celtic on the field will translate to the dugout, but he has been leaning on the advice of some of his former managers at the club – Neil Lennon, Gordon Strachan and Brendan Rodgers – as he tries to make a name for himself in the coaching game.

His old managers and all of his former clubs should know though, that it might not just be counsel he is after the next time he calls, but a few players too.

As for his approach, might it be safe to presume it be a mish-mash of the best bits of all the best coaches he has worked under?

“Yeah, I think you got that spot on,” he said. “It is about learning, stealing little bits from every manager.

“For me, I’ve had some fantastic managers over the years. I still speak to them now and I spoke to them last week about taking this job and they all gave me the green light, and glowing references as well. It is huge for myself to maybe go on to the phone to them and maybe ask for a favour or two.

“Or for them to watch the games and see what I’ve been missing as well.”

So, what pearls of wisdom did they have to impart to Brown?

“Win games! Otherwise you won’t be a manager,” he said. “No, they all text me to say ‘welcome to the crazy gang now’.

“I spoke to Lenny, I spoke to Brendan and I spoke to Gordon. For me, over the years, they have been vital for me.

“Gordon was the one that signed me as a young, wild 20-year-old, and he nurtured me into a centre midfielder and taught me how to play well and with a bit of discipline.

“I had Lenny who was fantastic with me. He made me captain, and kept me club captain as well, and for me to learn from Neil who himself was captain of Celtic…his desire to win was exceptional.

“I had Brendan later on in my career when I was 30, and he pushed me to a different level as well.

“To take different bits from every manager, I’m lucky enough to have the career that I did and those managers that I did as well.

“They put a lot of time and focus on me, and I can’t thank them enough for that.

“But now I’m always going to ask for little favours as well, so they’re stuck with me.”

Brown will be looking to mine the Scottish game for talent, with no more impressive testimonial to the benefits of a loan in England’s lower leagues than his former teammate, Celtic captain McGregor, who blossomed after a spell at Notts County early in his career.

“I’ll take Callum!” Brown laughed. “I don’t know if we could afford him.

“But yeah, definitely, there’s always going to be little bits of quality there, and I’ve got a great relationship with Celtic, and Hibs and Aberdeen as well.

“For me to hopefully be able to speak to them and maybe get a player or two as well would be huge.”