FORMER Pars star Jackie McNamara has returned home to continue his recovery after he collapsed near his home last month.

The 46-year-old, who went on to star for Celtic and Scotland after leaving East End, fell ill on February 8 with what was reported to have been due to a bleed on the brain.

After being taken to hospital in York, McNamara was then transferred to Hull Royal Infirmary, where his condition at the time was described as "critical but stable".

Close pal and former team-mate Simon Donnelly, who also enjoyed a spell with Dunfermline later in his own career, told BBC Radio Scotland at the weekend that McNamara had been discharged from hospital.

That was followed yesterday by a statement from McNamara, posted on his Twitter account, in which he confirmed that he was "back home" with family.

He said: "I have been overwhelmed by the messages of support for me and my family, from the football community and supporters, during what has been an extremely worrying and emotional time.

"I would like to personally thank the paramedics, York Hospital and Hull Royal Infirmary who have been phenomenal, and (sic) if it wasn't for these services I wouldn't be here today.

"It will be a slow and steady process but I'm on the road to recovery. I am back home with my family and feel very grateful."

As news of McNamara's condition became known, Scottish football united to offer their support, prompting his daughter, Erin, to express the family's thanks to well-wishers.

She posted on Twitter: "Thank you for the continued support for my dad, the past week has been so overwhelming for us as a family.

"He is making progress but still has a long road to recovery. We are so thankful for all the care he's received and remain positive."

Former Pars managers Bert Paton and Dick Campbell, who both worked with him during his time as a Dunfermline player, were among those to offer their support.

Campbell, currently managing Arbroath, described the former full back as a "fighter" and a "lovely boy and human being", while Paton said that he was "very well-liked" and "a great lad and great around the dressing room".

After joining Dunfermline in 1991, McNamara was sold to boyhood heroes Celtic four years later, and went on to enjoy a stellar 10-year career with Celtic.

In a decade that also saw him captain the club, he won four league titles, three Scottish Cups and three League Cups, as well as being part of Martin O'Neill's squad that reached the 2003 UEFA Cup final.

McNamara, who also represented his country at the 1998 World Cup in France, then went on to play for Wolves, Aberdeen and Falkirk before finishing his playing career with Partick Thistle, who he went on to manage.

He also took charge at Dundee United - where he worked with current Pars stars Paul Paton and Ryan Dow, as well as Scotland captain Andy Robertson - before moving to York City in 2015.

After being unable to prevent them being relegated to the National League, McNamara became the club's chief executive in October 2016, before leaving in March 2018.

Following the appointment of Stevie Crawford as Athletic's head coach last January, McNamara, with his sports consultancy firm, Consilium Sports, then became involved with the club once more in a role "providing ongoing technical support to the board".