William (Billy) McNeill

1940 - 2019

Football player. Born in Bellshill (North Lanarkshire), McNeill was educated at Our Lady's High School in Motherwell and joined the Glasgow football team Celtic in 1957. He spent his entire playing career with that club, which went through an unprecedented era of success under the management of Jock Stein (1922-85), dominating football in Scotland. Playing in the centre-half position, McNeill participated in nine consecutive League Championship and seven Scottish Cup wins.

McNeill was captain of the Celtic team which beat Inter Milan in Lisbon to take the European Cup in 1967, the first time a British club had won this trophy. He also captained his national team and was capped on 29 occasions for Scotland.

Retiring as a player in 1975, he went on to become a successful football manager with Clyde, Aberdeen, Celtic, Manchester City, Aston Villa and finally Celtic once again.

He was awarded an MBE in 1976, became one of the first members of the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Glasgow in 2008.

McNeill died at his home in Newton Mearns having suffered from dementia. His funeral mass took place in St Aloysius' Church and the cortege passed Celtic Park on its way to his burial.

He is remembered by a statue outside Celtic Park, having played more matches with that team than any other player.

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