SCOTT Brown believes “genius” Brendan Rodgers will one day return to a hero’s welcome at Celtic Park and insisted his old manager was a genuine supporter of the club.

The captain has been in regular contact with the Northern Irishman since the dramatic events of February which saw Rodgers fall from legend to traitor in the eyes of many supporters who questioned whether he was ever really one of them.

Brown, Celtic’s longest serving player, knows full well the level of anger many of the support have for the now Leicester City manager – but believes time will prove a healer and that Rodgers will be given the opportunity to say a proper goodbye.

Brown said: “I’m hoping that (a return) could happen one day. It would be amazing. I think when people look back in ten years’ time and see how well he did and look at his record of coming here, competing for seven trophies and winning all seven, they will see it’s not a bad record.

“For me he was unbelievable. He made the last two and a half years of my career so exciting. He pushed me on to levels I would never have hit if he hadn’t come in and put that trust and belief into me.

“He is always texting me before games, he is always texting after games. He is still taking a real interest in Celtic. He loves the club inside and out and a lot of the lads are still speaking to him. He takes time to speak to us still.

“A manager that didn’t support the club, or especially like the club, could easily have left, deleted his contacts here and changed his number and started a brand new career at Leicester. It just shows you the man that he is that he still keeps in contact.

“Brendan came in for two and a half years and I felt lucky to have a manager of his quality who left Liverpool after coming to within two games of winning an English title for the first time in so many years. For him to come to Celtic was fantastic.

“We maybe weren’t the best team to watch in the past but Brendan came in and took all the criticism of us trying to play out from the back. Now everyone wants us to play out from the back every single game and that’s down to that man taking the time and patience and settling the club down.

“And the only reason we really got him at Celtic was because he was a diehard Celtic fan. He has gone back down the road now and we should just wish him all the best and go from there.

“We wouldn’t have had the double treble without him. We wouldn’t have the opportunity to be eight points clear when he left with the chance of another Scottish Cup as well. For me, he was a genius when he came in.”

Rodgers’s supposed love for Celtic always felt, to some, as insincere; a feeling which increased after his abrupt departure.

However, Brown said: “He was definitely genuine enough in what he said. ‘Especially with me and all the lads.

“You don’t keep in touch with players and text them all the time to make sure everything is going alright if you don’t care about the club. Everyone is going to be disappointed when a manager like that leaves.

and all the lads.

“You don’t keep in touch with players and text them all the time to make sure everything is going alright if you don’t care about the club. Everyone is going to be disappointed when a manager like that leaves.

"I speak to him quite a lot. We just speak in general. The way his team has been playing, how I am getting on, how he is getting on. It’s just mate’s chat really.

"That won’t change. Brendan’s reputation – for me – is unbelievable.

“But yet again we have another great manager who has come back in. He came and started this great run off. It’s seven-in-a-row so far, so here’s hoping we can get another one on the tally at Aberdeen.

"We’ve been trying to play in the same the same style.

"Brendan was Brendan. He was very good at what he did.

"Neil is very good at what he does as well and he has just tried to keep everything running along the same lines as Brendan."

Brown and Celtic could at long last seal their league title this afternoon, the eighth in a row, if they win a point against Aberdeen in the early afternoon kick-off at Pittodrie.

It has been a poignant week for the current club captain having yesterday said goodbye to Billy McNeill, Celtic's favourite son, and then Stevie Chalmers, scorer of the club's most famous club, passed away as well.

Brown said: "It’s a sad, sad week for the club. Two of the lions have left us at the same time. I actually spoke to big Billy quite a lot in my time here. Stevie not as much, but he was a genuine guy and a lovely man.

"Billy was always there. There to give you advice and speak to you and chat to you. He was huge as a man in every sense.

"He was enormous and you can imagine in his heyday how everyone else felt. He was a very powerful influential man at this club and a great ambassador.

"He is beyond everyone’s position at this club. Billy will go down as the biggest hero ever – and rightly so."

Kieran Tierney could play today and win his fourth league made at the age of 21 - the first Celtic player to have done so. He will have a double hernia operation soon.