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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

QPR Confirm Celtic Friendly, July 15


The Club are delighted to announce details of a prestigious pre-season friendly against Scottish giants Celtic.

The R's will play host to the reigning Bells Scottish Premier League Champions on Sunday 15th July (kick-off 2.00pm), after contract negotiations with the Glasgow-based side reached a conclusion on Tuesday afternoon.

Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, Chairman Gianni Paladini revealed his delight at securing the lucrative friendly against the 41-time Champions of Scotland.

"It's a terrific fixture for the Club,'' he said.

"It's a huge honour for us to play host to a Club of Celtic's size and we're expecting a good crowd to mark the occasion.''

The fixture against Gordon Strachan's side will be a joint celebration for the Hoops of both sides.

In the year that the R's celebrate the 40th anniversary of our League Cup Final win against West Bromwich Albion at Wembley, 2007 also marks the anniversary of the Bhoys' 1967 European Champions Cup triumph against Internazionale Milan in Lisbon.

The Celtic victory is widely regarded as the greatest in the Scottish Club's history, with the 11 players dubbed the Lisbon Lions - the first non-Latin side to win the European Cup.

Jock Stein was credited with creating the winning side, of which all the players were born within a 30 mile radius of Glasgow.

Stein had joined as Manager in March 1965 and within weeks Celtic had won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 11 years - they had previously been beaten in four finals.

He led the team to many more triumphs - including a second European Cup Final four years later, where the Bhoys lost to Dutch side Feyenoord Rotterdam.

Celtic's domestic record is highly impressive, with Strachan's side registering title number 41 earlier this season, with an injury-time free-kick from Shunsuke Nakamura clinching a 2-1 victory against Kilmarnock - a result which left Celtic 13 points clear of arch-rivals Glasgow Rangers with four matches remaining.

And the Bhoys - who last visited Loftus Road in the pre-season of 2002 - could be set to add yet another trophy to their glistening cabinet, when they lock horns with Dunfermline Athletic in the Tennants Scottish Cup Final on Saturday afternoon.

*Ticket details will be announced in due course. QPR

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