Tuesday 6 December 2016

Celtic honour club legend Billy McNeill with statue

Published 19/12/2015 | 14:59

Celtic's European Cup winning captain Billy McNeill unveil his statue outside Celtic Park before the Scottish Premiership match with Motherwell.
Celtic's European Cup winning captain Billy McNeill unveil his statue outside Celtic Park before the Scottish Premiership match with Motherwell.
A statue of former captain Billy McNeill unveiled before the game

Billy McNeill was present as a statue in his honour was unveiled outside Celtic Park.

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The former Hoops captain enjoyed a glittering career at the Parkhead club where he became the first Briton to lift the European Cup after a 2-1 win over Inter Milan in Lisbon in 1967.

McNeill, 75, also led Celtic to nine successive league titles and won seven Scottish Cups and six League Cups, before having two spells as manager.

Current Parkhead manager Ronny Deila, his staff and squad formed a guard of honour for McNeill and Lions' team mates John Clark, Jim Craig, Bobby Lennox and Stevie Chalmers to walk down Celtic Way before the ceremony which was watched by several thousand Hoops fans.

Another Lisbon Lion, Bertie Auld, described the former Scotland defender as "an amazing man, a great captain and a great player - throughout his career he has been Celtic through and through and a great ambassador for the club" before leading supporters in an impromptu version of the 'Celtic Song'.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said McNeill, "encapsulates everything that is great about this football club" while Craig said of his former team mate, "it was a privilege to play beside you."

A statue of former captain Billy McNeill unveiled before the game
A statue of former captain Billy McNeill unveiled before the game

McNeill was also joined by his wife Liz, family and extended family and he helped his grandchildren with the unveiling which took place before Celtic's home Scottish Premiership game against Motherwell.

Danny McGrain, George McCluskey, Dixie Deans, John Hughes and John Hughes were among other former team mates also in attendance.

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