Published: Wed, April 24, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Kieran Tierney's Two Word Tribute to His Celtic Hero

Kieran Tierney's Two Word Tribute to His Celtic Hero

Former Celtic captain Billy McNeill, the skipper of the "Lisbon Lions" side that became the first British team to win the European Cup in 1967, has died aged 79, his family announced on the club's website on Tuesday.

These shining luminaries of Scottish football also faced each other during their playing days, with McNeill captaining Celtic and Ferguson playing as a forward for Rangers.

McNeill's status in the Scottish game is nearly beyond compare after a huge career in football not just at our great rivals Celtic but also as manager of clubs such as Aberdeen, Manchester City and Aston Villa.

He passed away late last night (Monday, April 22) surrounded by his family and loved ones.

Celtic certainly won everything in sight in the 1966-67 season, and a statue of McNeill holding the European Cup aloft has pride of place outside the stadium, yet when the centre-half first joined the club from local junior side Blantyre Victoria in 1957, trophies were few and far between. The defender also won 29 caps for Scotland.

McNeill captained Celtic to their only European Cup victory over Inter Milan in 1967 and later managed the club over two spells.

The Association of Irish Celtic Supporters Clubs also said Mr McNeill had "dedicated his life to Celtic".

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"He won a lot of trophies with Celtic on and off the pitch but not only that, he was a great person, a fantastic man". Billy McNeill was an inspirational leader, a legend and a lion.

"He will be sadly missed".

Tributes have been paid to the man Celtic fans called Cesar.

Football pundit and former Celtic striker Chris Sutton tweeted: "Such heartbreaking news. Thoughts go out to his family and the Celtic family".

Billy McNeill was "a giant of the game" in whose footsteps he is "lucky" to follow, says Celtic boss Neil Lennon.

"He was loved by all the players and you don't hear that about all managers". Like many of us who didn't see him play, Billy is a mythical figure; he was the embodiment of everything Celtic!

Billy McNeill made such a towering contribution to Scottish football that when it comes to an appreciation of his life it is hard to know quite where to start, so a personally-assembled mountain of silverware seems as good a place as any. He was also a truly good man and will be a loss to everyone who knew him.

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