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Leigh Griffiths: 'I'm doing all I can to come back as soon as possible, a better and stronger person'

The Celtic striker has thanked fans for their support following his decision to take a break from football.

Griffiths celebrates winning the Scottish Premiership in May.
Griffiths celebrates winning the Scottish Premiership in May.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

LEIGH GRIFFITHS HAS spoken publicly for the first time since making a decision to step away from football in order to receive professional help dealing with personal issues in his life away from the game.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed earlier this week that the 28-year-old would be stepping away from the game, with the player taking an indefinite break to focus on himself.

“Leigh has had ongoing issues for a number of months,” Rodgers said. “He has reached a point where it’s a struggle for him. We are going to give him all the professional help he needs to get him back in a good place.”

On Thursday the Scotland international thanked fans for their support, expressing his desire to come back stronger.

“I just wanted to thank everyone at the club and so many Celtic fans and other people who have sent me such kind and powerful messages of support,” Griffiths said.

“I thank you all sincerely and want to let you know I’m doing all I can to come back as soon as possible, a better and stronger person.”

Hamilton Academical v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership - Hope CBD Stadium Griffiths joined Celtic in 2014 and has made 19 appearances for his country. Source: Jeff Holmes

Celtic boss Rodgers did not elaborate on the player’s reasons for taking a break, but explained that he “needs to find happiness.”

“He’s a great guy but football and life is tough for him right now,” the manager said. “We want to help him with that and we’ll let you know when he’s back.

“I’m very close with him. We have a strong relationship but he’s had number of issues outside of football.

“The most important thing for managers and coaches is the welfare of players. It’s no longer a weakness to talk now. He has all of our support — the team, the staff and the supporters.”

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Aaron Gallagher

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