Comedian Billy Connolly is lending his support to the charitable work of his favourite football team, it was announced today.

He has been appointed patron of the Celtic Foundation, which runs a wide range of community projects in his native Glasgow.

The foundation has programmes including football in the community, anti-drugs campaigns, employment support projects, and social inclusion programmes.

Connolly is a staunch Celtic fan, and organisers hope his backing will raise the foundation's profile.

"Billy's international reputation will prove to be extremely useful in raising awareness of the club's social dimension," said Celtic's chief executive Peter Lawwell.

"His involvement will be crucial in motivating those people we are assisting and those who we would like to get involved in our work.

"To have him backing this community work is simply fantastic. He will be a tremendous ambassador for the club."

He went on: "The investment which the club is making in the Celtic Foundation reflects the importance we attach to our role in the community.

"Football has the power to do so much good and we are delighted that as a club, we continue to do all we can off the field in making a difference to the lives of so many people."

The Celtic Foundation has 15 full-time staff, and head of the foundation is Robert Docherty.

Mr Docherty said: "It is tremendous news to have someone like Billy endorsing the work we do.

"He is a great Celtic supporter and someone who is very passionate about the work in the community which we are involved in."

Glasgow rivals Rangers also have a foundation, which was established in 2002. The Rangers Charity Foundation focuses its efforts on three main charities every year, as well as supporting other local projects.