'It was personal': The celebration which is talk of football - and why Lincoln City's former Portsmouth, Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday and Oxford United striker did it to Sunderland boss

Former Pompey striker Chris Maguire has revealed the reason for his incendiary celebrations in Lee Johnson’s face as he bagged a hat-trick against former side Sunderland last night.

By Jordan Cross
Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 1:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 2:05 pm

The Lincoln City front man admitted it got ‘personal’ with Johnson, after he was shown the door by the Black Cats boss in the summer.

Maguire’s response to grabbing the opening strike of his salvo went viral, as he intimated a refusal to celebrate - before sprinting to Johnson to mark the moment.

The 32-year-old, who scored against Southampton for the Blues in 2012 with a spectacular effort in the 2-2 St Mary’s draw, didn’t hold back with his exuberant response as Johnson remained motionless in the 3-1 loss for his men.

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That wasn’t the case for the Sunderland boss later on, as Johnson was sent off for his part in a touchline melee on a night to forget for the former Bristol City manager.

Maguire told BBC Radio Lincolnshire: ‘You could probably say it was a little bit personal, with how my time here ended.

‘I just do my talking on the pitch and I've done that again.

‘It was a bit of tongue in cheek. He (Johnson) tried to get me sent off with my first tackle, and people at this ground know I like to wind up.

Ex-Pompey striker Chris Maguire celebrates in Lee Johnson's face last night. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

‘I've great respect for the Sunderland fans - I loved my time here and it wasn't to be disrespectful to them. I hope they can see that. I thought I was hard done by the last six months of my career.

‘I played here for three years. It's a great place to play football and an even better place to get three points and win a game of football.’

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