Fran Alonso declared himself a Celtic fan for life after leaving his role as the Parkhead club’s women’s team manager.
The Spaniard, who joined the Hoops in January, 2020 from Lewes FC women, will join Houston Dash FC in the USA’s National Women’s Soccer League, as head coach.
Alonso told Celtic’s official website: “I was not born a Celtic supporter but I will definitely die as one and I will support Celtic for the rest of my life.
“The club, the team, the people and the Celtic community has been everything to me during the past four years and has lit up my life. It has been a wonderful adventure.
“The values, the spirit and the ethos of the club has been everything to me and I am so proud to have held the position of Celtic manager.
“I am very sad to leave Celtic and it was a really hard decision to make. However, the new opportunity in America is one that I dreamt about since I started coaching in the women’s game and I know our Celtic supporters will understand.
“During the last four years I have given absolutely everything to Celtic, on and off the field and I am delighted that we have made history in so many occasions – our very first UEFA Champions League qualification, our very first Scottish Cup, our first win in the UEFA Champions League, three trophies won, and managed to be just minutes away from winning our very first league title
“I would like to thank everyone at Celtic who has given me such brilliant support. How you all make us feel is indescribable.
“I would like to thank all the players over this four years who have given everything for me and for the badge, and also thank you to my backroom team who have always walked the extra mile to help the team, on and off the field.
“Thanks to the directors and management at Celtic who gave me the opportunity of coming here and, of course, thank you to the best fans, who have really supported us in the hard times, have been behind us no matter what, and created atmospheres that will stay in our memories for the rest of our lives.
“I leave knowing that the Celtic women’s team is in a much better place than when I first joined, and I am sure, with this terrific squad we have built, it will go from strength to strength.
“I wish the club and the team all the success, I will always be supporting you from abroad. C’mon the Hoops!”
Alonso’s arrival at Celtic coincided with the team turning professional. The League Cup final win in 2021 was followed with back-to-back Scottish Cup successes in 2022 and 2023, while two second-place finishes in the Scottish Women’s Premier League also facilitated the club’s first two experiences in the UEFA Women’s Champions’ League.
Celtic chief executive, Michael Nicholson said: “I would like to sincerely thank Fran for the fantastic contribution he has made to the development of our women’s team.
“We will also look to build on the progress that the team have made on a European level over the last couple of years.
“While we are hugely disappointed to lose Fran, everyone at the club sincerely wishes him every success in his new challenge.
“The work on identifying his successor has already begun and we will make an announcement on the position as soon as possible.”