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  • Kenny Dalglish: Spending time with Billy was a wonderful education

    Kenny Dalglish: Spending time with Billy was a wonderful education

    By: Newsroom Staff on 24 Apr, 2019 10:45

  • KENNY Dalglish joined Celtic in May 1967, just three weeks before Billy McNeill lifted the European Cup in the Estadio Nacional. A year later, and still only 17, he was training with the Lisbon Lions, and he still recalls the thrill of becoming a team-mate of the Celtic legends.

    Paying tribute to Billy McNeill, his former captain and long-time friend, Sir Kenny Dalglish said: “My condolences go out to Billy's family and their loved ones. Marina and I are deeply saddened by the news as we have known the family for the best part of 50 years.

    "I count myself as being extremely privileged to have been a team-mate of Billy's and also his friend. He was an inspirational leader on the pitch but, just as importantly, he offered wise counsel off the pitch.

    "This is a sad time but also a period to reflect and remember the happy memories. I'll never forget how, as a 17-year-old, I got to train with Billy and other Lisbon Lions in 1968/69. I was in awe. They made every young player feel welcome.

    "They never excluded you from anything, even to the point where Billy would pick me up on the South Side of Glasgow and take me to training. I didn't have a car so I relied on Billy and others such as Jim Craig and Bertie Auld to take me in.

    "Billy looked after you or made sure you were looked after. That was his way. He set extremely high standards and others followed that exemplary leadership and kindness.

    "Sharing the journeys in the car with Billy taught me how to handle success and be humble. To spend time with the Celtic captain was a wonderful education and stood me in good stead for my professional career and also as a person. Billy achieved amazing things in his career as a player and manager and he thoroughly deserved it all.

    "He was a wonderful person and a great family man. Liz has lost her husband, the children have lost their dad and the grandkids have their lost their grandfather. Right now, that overrides everything, including football."

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