Celtic to unveil statue honouring Billy McNeill

Billy McNeill captained the side that won the 1967 European Cup. Picture: John Devlin

Billy McNeill captained the side that won the 1967 European Cup. Picture: John Devlin

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Celtic will unveil a statue of former captain and manager Billy McNeill prior to a home league meeting with Motherwell on December 19.

The statue, which was first announced in April, will be situated alongside fellow Celtic legends Jock Stein, Jimmy Johnstone and founder Brother Walfrid at the top of Celtic Way outside the Parkhead ground.

McNeill, voted greatest ever Celtic captain by supporters, skippered the Lisbon Lions side that won the 1967 European Cup Final against Inter Milan.

Prior to his retirement as the club’s record appearance holder he won nine league titles, seven Scottish Cups and six League Cups to go along with the European triumph as the Hoops dominated Scottish football under Stein’s stewardship.

He would later return to the club as manager, winning four league titles over two different spells. He would also secure a league and cup double in the club’s centenary season of 1987/88.

In a statement announcing the unveiling, chief executive Peter Lawwell paid tribute to McNeill’s achievements and standing among the Celtic support.

He said: “Billy McNeill is all that’s great about Celtic. He stands for everything that Celtic stands for and he’s a leader. He has the right values in terms of family, respect, humility - a magnificent man on and off the park and this statue is a fitting tribute to him as one of Celtic’s all-time greats.”

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