The fixture had been arranged in the wake of Martin O’Neill’s departure from Leicester City to manage Celtic in June 2000.
Following O’Neill’s departure, a contractual agreement was drawn up between the two clubs as part of the deal which allowed O’Neill’s first team coach at Leicester, Steve Walford, to follow his manager to Parkhead.
In return, Celtic agreed to play a fixture against City at Filbert Street with the home side keeping the gate receipts.
Martin O'Neill received a warm welcome back to Filbert Street ahead of the fixture.
The game, on a Monday evening, was Micky Adams' first match as Leicester City’s manager. With relegation from the Premier League confirmed after a home defeat against Manchester United two days earlier, manager Dave Bassett stood aside to become director of football with his assistant Adams taking over the manager’s role for the final four games of the Premier League season.
This fixture was also one of the last games at the old Filbert Street ground. Only two more were to follow before the Club’s move to their new stadium on Filbert Way. Celtic came to Filbert Street as the previous seasons Scottish champions, Scottish FA Cup winners and Scottish League Cup winners.
Their team included two of O’Neill’s Leicester City stars, Steve Guppy and Neil Lennon. Also in the Celtic XI were future Foxes players Rab Douglas and Momo Sylla. Other Celtic stars included Henrik Larsson and John Hartson.
Neil Lennon & Steve Guppy
There was emotional returns to Leicester for Neil Lennon and Steve Guppy.
The match ended in a 1-0 victory for the visitors, with Hartson scoring the goal. As expected, the crowd of over 18,000 gave O’Neill, Lennon and Guppy a tremendous welcome back to Filbert Street.
After the match, O’Neill said: “It was a very emotional evening and it probably affected me more than I thought it would. I’ll never forget my time here.”
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