By Andrew  Atkinson

SIR ROD Stewart gets his kicks out of football as much today, as he did as a youth, when kicking balls for fun in his schooldays.

“I still love football – as much as I did – as when I was a youngster,” said Sir Rod, whose dreams of becoming a professional footballer fizzled out during his teenage years.

“I tried to be a footballer – but wasn’t good enough,” said Celtic fan Sir Rod.

“After I realised that I wasn’t going to be a footballer I went into music, where I felt I could make living,” said Sir Rod.

“But I didn’t think I’d be wealthy, or famous,” said Sir Rod, who, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, is worth £180m.

From trying his hand as a Screenprinter at a wallpaper manufacturer, to that of plumbing, and a grave-measurer, Sir Rod’s music career has brought wealth.

Sir Rod, married to model wife Penny Lancaster in 2007, a husband-supporting Celtic fan, one of the Bhoys, resides in Los Angeles, with their two children Alastair and Aiden.

The Stewart’s sold their Essex family 6 bedrooms Grade II Jacobean style Listed Mansion, for a reported £4.1m in May, to footballer Andy Carroll and his wife Billi Mucklow.

The Mansion has a full sized football pitch – with Celtic, Newcastle United and Liverpool players having trained there.

“I couldn’t be more happier,” said Sir Rod, on a summer vacation on a chartered cruiseliner in France and Italy, during July.

“Penny is great. I’m really fit, and enjoy the shows – but money can’t buy you health and happiness,” said Sir Rod, whose Los Angeles Mansion is called ‘Celtic House’.

Sir Rod, who has a property in Palm Beach, Florida, and played guitar on a beach in Brighton upon leaving school, rubs shoulders with Sir Alex Ferguson, former manager of his ‘adopted’ English team, Manchester United.

Sir Rod paid a heart warming tribute to former Celtic skipper Billy McNeill, who died in April, following a long, brave battle with dementia.

McNeill – The Lisbon Lion – who lead Celtic to win the European Cup in 1967, is described by Sir Rod as a friend, and one of the best Celts ever.

“Hail Hail Cesar! Farewell my friend, Billy McNeill. And Farewell to one of the best Celts ever”, said Sir Rod, via Twitter.