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  • Celtic honour club legend Billy McNeill

    Celtic honour club legend Billy McNeill

    By: Newsroom Staff on 11 Apr, 2015 14:44

  • CELTIC Football Club announced today that it is to erect a bronze statue of Billy McNeill to mark the magnificent achievements of the club’s greatest ever Captain.

    The statue will be positioned on the recently opened Celtic Way and will represent a man who is synonymous with Celtic Football Club and someone who represented the club with true distinction as both a player and manager.

    As a player, Billy won nine league championship titles (all in a row), seven Scottish Cups, six League Cups and, of course, he was the first British team captain to lift the European Cup in 1967.

    Billy was named the Scottish Footballer of the Year in season 1964/65, the first ever winner of the award.

    As manager, Billy McNeill delivered four league championship titles to Celtic, three Scottish Cups and he lifted the League Cup once.

    As both player and manager, Billy enjoyed a 27-year association with Celtic Football Club.

    Fittingly, the work on the statue will be carried out by John McKenna, the sculptor who recently completed the statue of Jock Stein which sits at the entrance to Celtic Park.  

    Work on the statue of Billy will begin immediately and it is hoped that the completed work will be unveiled at Celtic Park later this year, around Autumn.

    Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: “Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s as a Celtic supporter, Billy McNeill was an inspiration to me and someone of huge stature in the game, not only on the field but also off it, as a statesman, a leader and a figurehead for our great club. 

    “His achievements for Celtic are simply outstanding and across a period of 27 years he gave so much to the club.   

    “It is a privilege to now know Billy, and consider him as a friend. He is someone who commands the respect of everyone across the entire footballing spectrum.   

    “We are delighted already to have Billy as our Ambassador at the club but the Board felt unanimously that he should recognised in this way, given all that he has contributed to Celtic over so many years.

    “We look forward to the unveiling of the statue, which we are sure will be a great tribute to a great man.”

    Billy McNeill himself said: "When Peter contacted me regarding the statue I was completely taken by surprise. 

    “Whenever I walk up the Celtic Way, I look on with a great sense of pride at the sight of Brother Walfrid, Big Jock and my old team-mate and friend Jinky rightly taking their place almost as guardians of Celtic Park.

    “Every time I look back at this special club’s history and what we achieved it fills me with joy, and now to be told I am to be honoured beside these Celtic greats, this really is a special day for me and all my family."

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