Death threats were made against the Polish goalkeeper before he travelled to Belfast for the World Cup qualifying match between Northern Ireland and Poland and by the time he arrived at Windsor Park he found that 'Boruc RIP' had been daubed in huge letters on walls outside all four ends of the stadium. Ex-Celt Davie Provan revealed that himself, Danny McGrain and Roy Aitken had also received death threats when Scotland travelled to Windsor Park to play in the old British Home Internationals. Neil Lennon, of course, endured the same type of threats when he played FOR the Northern Ireland team so there's no denying the previous form of those particular sectarian bigots.
Celtic coach Lennon thinks that the man dubbed the Holy Goalie by the Celtic faithful has taken over his role as the man that other fans love to hate. "I certainly think Artur has taken over my mantle as the pantomime villain up here." said Neil. "In terms of his international duties, that might have been a one-off in the Northern Ireland game. It affected him a little bit. But I think he is back where he's loved, among his own. He had a good couple of days training when he came back."
Boruc was subjected to sustained baiting from the Windsor Park crowd and did not produce his best form in the match which Poland lost 3-2. His international boss, Leo Beenhakker, displayed a remarkable lack of faith in Artur by sending him home from the Polish camp prior to their second match against San Marino the following Wednesday but Neil Lennon is just glad that the big keeper is back where he is appreciated and loved. "Artur was upset about the whole incident and the treatment he had to put up with," said Lenny. "It's all right to say he is a strong character but he is still a human being and these things affect you."
"His performance was excellent on Saturday and he made a really good save at 2-0." he added. "He has made a tremendous save, actually, when he has really not had a lot to do. That shows me he has hopefully put that behind him. Sometimes you get players who go away buzzing, but when they come back after a couple of poor performances with their country they really need picking up again. That was the case, obviously, with Artur."