After attack, a bullet in the post for Celtic boss Neil Lennon

The Celtic manager Neil Lennon was the target of another death threat yesterday when a package addressed to him containing a bullet was sent to his football club's ground.

Strathclyde Police said they were investigating a suspicious package at Parkhead, and the club's chief executive, Peter Lawwell, confirmed a package which contained "ammunition" had been received.

The incident came the day after Lennon, 39, was attacked by a Hearts fan during a Scottish Premier League game on Wednesday evening. The manager, who has had to live with round-the-clock security after past death threats, was said to be "shaken" after the incident.

The man ran at Lennon after leaping over the barrier from the Hearts section of the crowd. He was restrained by security staff after appearing to swing a punch and missing.

John Wilson, 26, from Edinburgh, was charged with breach of the peace aggravated by religious prejudice and assault aggravated by religious prejudice after appearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday.

Lennon and his fiancée, Irene, were reportedly on the receiving end of sectarian abuse while on a night out earlier this year.

Mr Lawwell said the attack on Lennon "highlights the fact that Scottish society must address fundamental and serious issues which lead to outrages of this kind", adding that a further seven people had been arrested at Celtic's training ground following an alleged firearms incident.

Hearts said it would give its full co-operation to the authorities during the investigation into the incident. Lennon has been the subject of a number of attacks and threats during his career, which have intensified since he took on the managerial role at the Parkhead club in June 2010.

Two men were being held yesterday in connection with an investigation into parcel bombs sent to Lennon and to two high-profile supporters of the club in March. The men, aged 41 and 43, were detained under the Explosives Substances Act 1883 after officers searched a number of properties in Kilwinning, Ayrshire.

A package of bullets addressed to the manager were also intercepted at a sorting office in Mallusk, Co Antrim, in January. Two months later, Lennon was involved in heated exchanges with Rangers player El-Hadji Diouf and assistant manager Ally McCoist during an ill-tempered Old Firm cup game played on 2 March.

On 19 April, it emerged that Royal Mail had intercepted two "viable" parcel bombs addressed to Lennon. In September 2008, he was treated in hospital after being attacked in Glasgow's Ashton Lane hours after the opening Old Firm game of the season in which Lennon was the Celtic first-team coach.

"The basic root of this problem is part of the religious and immigration history of Scotland," said Professor Tom Devine of Edinburgh University. "In the 19th and early 20th century there was significant numbers of Catholic and Protestant immigration from the north of Ireland. There was a sense of animosity at that group arriving at the time, and almost a sense of Scottish society being overwhelmed.

"Animosity in working-class neighbourhoods between Catholics and Protestants is weaker than it was in the old days but something of the folk memory still fuels low-level bigotry.

"[Neil Lennon] has got all the ingredients – he is Roman Catholic, he is from Northern Ireland, he is a former Celtic player and now a Celtic manager. He is also seen by Rangers fans as abrasive and unlike past Celtic managers he is very outspoken against anyone who attacks his club. None of this can possibly excuse what he and his family have had to suffer."

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond called the incident "utterly unacceptable". "We cannot have the safety of individuals endangered by such mindless incidents, and our national game tarnished," he said.

Neil Lennon: 11 years as a hate figure

As a player, Neil Lennon was often the pantomime villain on the field, booed by the opposition fans.

He has found himself the target of threats and attacks since joining Celtic as a player 11 years ago. In so doing he entered the one arena outside of Ireland where Catholic-Protestant sectarianism is alive and well: Scottish football. Rivalry between the "Old Firm" rivals Celtic and Rangers dates back hundreds of years to waves of immigration from Ireland from both Catholics and Protestants.

Animosity between the two communities still exists at a low level in some parts of Scotland, and some contend that as an Irish Catholic who is now at the helm of Celtic, Lennon was bound to attract attention from extreme sectarian elements.

Others point to Lennon's sometimes abrasive personality as a cause for hatred, noting that many Catholics have played for Rangers in the past and not faced the same ire.

Born in Lurgan, County Armagh, Lennon grew up supporting Celtic. He began to receive serious threats soon after he started playing for them in 2000. Shortly before his first game for Northern Ireland after signing for Celtic, the words "Neil Lennon RIP" appeared on a wall in the town of Lisburn. He was jeered by some of the home support during the game.

In his 2006 autobiography, Lennon said he had expected some "stick" for being a Celtic player playing for Northern Ireland but said nothing prepared him for "the sheer scale of what happened before and during that match". He retired from international football in August 2002 after receiving a death threat, reportedly from a loyalist paramilitary group.

Lennon later admitted the episode left him contemplating his future in football, but he was spurred on by his desire to succeed at Celtic.

In 2003, in Glasgow, two students were fined after Lennon was attacked in his car. A year later, threatening graffiti was daubed outside his home, and he was the victim of road rage on the M8 motorway.

Richard Hall

Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit