Tributes have been paid to the man who played a 'pivotal role in saving Celtic'.

Former director and honorary chairman, John Keane, sadly passed away yesterday, with the club, Dermot Desmond and other high-profile figures paying tribute.

Keane paid £1m to keep Celtic going and ultimately to avoid administration during the 1990s. He later supported Fergus McCann's takeover.

The lifelong Celtic supporter served as a non-director of the Scottish Premiership club for over 20 years, and in 2013, was named honorary chairman.

A club statement read: "John will forever be regarded as one of the Club’s saviours and, for that reason, all Celtic supporters will always owe John an eternal debt.

"A man of absolute humility and dignity, and a lifelong Celtic supporter, John played a hugely significant role in preserving the Club’s history, success and, above all, continuity. John played a pivotal role in saving Celtic for us all and his contribution can never be underestimated.

"The Club was delighted in August 2013 to give John the highly-deserved honour of unfurling the League Championship Flag, a moment we know was so dear to John and his family. John gave so much to Celtic, making such a crucial contribution and putting the club before anything else. He should be remembered, always as one of the most important figures in the Club’s long history.

"An unassuming man of such knowledge, warmth and character, John will be so sadly missed by so many. The sincere thoughts and prayers of everyone at the club are with John’s family at this very difficult time."

Owner Dermot Desmond commented: "The Celtic family will be forever indebted to John Keane, for in our darkest days he alone delivered funding.

"He was a humble man of few words, but when he did speak they were pearls of wisdom. We are fortunate that he has passed on these virtues to Mark, his son, one of our shareholders. May he sit at the right hand of our Lord."

Chairman Peter Lawwell continued: “Today we have lost a true Celtic great and a wonderful friend, someone who will always mean so much to Celtic and a man who gave his heart and soul to the Club.

"His contribution to Celtic was phenomenal over many years but above all, the way he was, his humility and compassion and love for his family shone from him every day and made him the man he was.

"All our thoughts and condolences go to John’s wife, Kathleen, son Mark, daughter-in-law Karisma and grandchildren, John-Henry, Norah and Fiádh and his wider family. John will always be in our hearts."

Fergus McCann added: "John Keane was a staunch and key partner in the takeover, refinancing and rebuilding of Celtic.

"I continue to be thankful and honoured for his commitment to me and to the Club, and for his friendship. 'Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth'."