Be there on Saturday for yourself


Jock and BillyAt the front of Celtic Park on Saturday a statue will be unveiled to our greatest ever captain, Billy McNeill. Billy joins our founder, Bro. Walfrid, our greatest ever manager, Jock Stein, and our greatest player, Jimmy Johnstone, in being honoured in this way.

Achievers of this calibre are so rare I cannot imagine the circumstances under which another candidate for a statue will emerge. Even if we go on at some point in the future to win the Champions League, it will be nothing like what Billy and his team did. Modern European champions are the distillation of global scouting, money and big business. They don’t take the bus from the town they were born into training for years at the club they will collectively bring to the summit.

Without being distracted by contemporary issues, I have hope for the future, and for Celtic, but on Saturday we will peer through a telescope that looks back 128 years. Billy McNeill encapsulates the values and traditions which founded and nurtured Celtic throughout this period. Not only that, he is the man who led the team (in every sense of the word) to one of the most incredible sporting achievements in football history.

Get to the game early and be there for Billy. Be there for yourself. Our memories of Saturday will last. We’ll recall the first time we saw his statue, and that we were there to share his smile on the day.

Get your friends along.  Bring the kids. Tell them who he is and what he did. You or they will never again get a chance to honour Willie Maley, Jimmy McGrory, Jock Stein or Jimmy Johnstone, but you can be there to share an important occasion with Billy McNeill. That, my friends, will be a precious moment.


On Thursday morning, near Shawfield, Glasgow the Caring City are loading their latest batch of aid bound for migrants camped in Serbia. Much needed winter clothes are being shipped. They are looking for four volunteers to help load the container. Starting at 9:00 they should finish by 11:00.

It will be physical work but they are offering tea and rolls in compensation. If you can make it along to help these great people with such a worthy cause, email Ross Galbriath, and let him know. I bet you also get something out of the experience you’re not expecting.


Stocking fillers, books, DVDs and all sorts of wonders (actually, just books and DVDs, but they are great) are available at the CQN Bookstore.


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  1. There’s only one King




    ………………….that’s McNeill.




  2. garygillespieshamstring on

    Mrs Ggh asked me how I felt about renewing our vows when we were married for 25 years.



    Apparently “I ”ve been never to make the same mistake twice” was not the desired response.

  3. My own memories are of fairly recent vintage as it was only in the last 15 years or so that I started attending matches even though I was a fan as far back as 1960. My best memories were the whole occasion surrounding Seville, remember stopping at a service station on the road to Seville with the place crammed with hundreds of Hooped Jerseys, spine tingling. The Man United game with Nakas free and Boruc’s save and a mob of United thugs invading our Hotel after the game in Central Station. Jan Venegoor’s last minute header against the Deid team that turned our season when a strong finish snatched a Title that seemed to be going away from us. On a sour note getting baton charged in confined Airport in Vigo after a Big Bad John goal put us through.


    Tight call for the best moment between, Van the Mhan & Naka, My mate said I was greetin like a wean after the Naka game, so maybe a nod to that game but certainly those 2 games were the best Celtic moments where I was there.

  4. Recently Collum wrote that Dallas was his model and mentor. Surely it could not have been that statement that now sees him named as one of the 18 referees for the European Championships in France. Dallas would not be sending emails to important officials in UEFA would he? Surely Willie ( I’ve got eyes in the back of my head) is well known for his refereeing ability in Europe. After all he has he spoken about in Spain and Italy. He must have got there through his own merits,surely (Joking.)The Lanarkshire influence could not have reached the continent to that extent. Must be the emails that did it.

  5. CultsBhoy can not relate to Celtic Board ambitions on or off the park on

    Jinky Story



    My dad worked with a guy whose nickname was Sammy – his real name was Jimmy.. and he was among other things a Karate guy but was also a close cousin of Jinky’s. Sammy stayed with us at one point due to work circumstances so I got to know him quite well. I was in the car with him and my dad driving through Viewpark – when we spotted Jinky a bit the worse for wear. Sammy tells my dad to stop and we jump out – Sammy gives Jimmy a bit of a dressing down.. then brings him in to the car so we could take him home. I was about 11 at the time. I remember feeling a bit sorry for the wee man but also thrilled to have a hero sitting beside me. He was just chatting away rebuking himself mostly…



    I’ll never forget it…

  6. Parkheadcumsalford on 15th December 2015 4:19 pm



    That 3-1 game was a ‘must win’ tie to progress out of the section. It was late August or early September. Willie Henderson score in the first half -off side? Johanssen took their penalty with about ten minutes to go. The ball rebounded down off the bar back to him and he headed it – foul. The Celtic support struck up, ‘Hail Hail etc.’. We had equalised before the second verse began.



    We scored again and yet again. They imploded. A night to remember.

  7. Best live Celtic moments:


    Ibrox 1967, 2nd Jinky goal. League won,


    Red Star – the Jinky show. Wow!


    1989 Cup final. 4-0 v them. Ye ha!


    Lots of great memories, These are my favourites.



  8. Fritzsong,



    I can still remember the feeling of them getting that penalty and we already down 1-0 with 10 minutes to go. I can still remember the ball hitting the crossbar and us going up the park and scoring andf scoring and scoring again INTO THE DEID TEAM’S END. They must have been sick and know the writing was well and truly on the wall. Great great night. Probably August, as you say.

  9. Evening all



    Not been on for a while and am ‘aff oot’ to meet an uncle to give him Christmas presents for his family then mostly moan about Celtic.



    My three greatest memories of the Hoops?



    The 72 Cup Final- a majestic 6-1 win over Hibs.



    The 4-2 game in 79 . The most unbelievably good game ever at Celtic Park.



    The 3rd of May 1986. I still occasionally wake up and think it is that morning and it never happened.



    This list is subject to change.



    And it will be a good topic of discussion tonight in Jinty’s





  10. Reading today’s blog got me thinking that, having come home for Christmas, I really must head up to Celtic Park for the unveiling of Billy McNeil’s statue.



    OK it will be cold and the damp already has me wishing someone would invent WD40, or in my case WD69, for joints that once jeered at the cold, but now seize up if not lubricated by the occasional rum or exercised in warmer climes, but “head up” to Celtic Park is the right phrase to use when talking about Billy McNeil.



    I’m sure this picture will bring back happy memories to Parkheadcomesalford and many more of our generation on CQN:





    Not that late or last minute headers in vital games was a one off for Billy McNeil. I was behind the goal in the European Cup tie v Vojvodina in 1967 when Billy repeated his 1965 effort to take Celtic into the European Cup semi finals. There is murky archive of that winner at





    around 6 minutes in. The film may be murky but not the joy that Billy brought to me and thousands of others dancing on the terraces that night.



    And to complete the hat trick what better way than Billy scoring another header against Rangers in the 1969 Scottish Cup Final where I watched from the Celtic end and danced.





    All great goals but the thing about that first image from 1965 is not only does Billy’s late header v Dunfermline in the 1965 Scottish Cup Final signal the end of years in the trophy wilderness and the start of a unique era in Celtic’s history, it symbolises why there is a statue being erected in Billy’s honour, for in it Billy towers over everything in the picture, even the Celtic end at Hampden in the background, where I first began to dance to a new exciting Celtic tune.



    I thought for years that Billy McNeil got called Caesar because of his stature as a player, a captain and, on the very odd occasion I have spoken to him as a fan, as a person of greatness carried with humility, but I read that originally it was something to do with a film star called Caesar Romero.



    That may well be, but with the passage of time, for me and I suspect many others, Billy McNeil has the stature and bearing of an emperor and it is emperors that get statues erected in their honour.



    So come one o clock this Saturday lets “Hail Caesar”

  11. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    connaire12 on 15th December 2015 4:40 pm Recently Collum wrote that Dallas was his model and mentor. Surely it could not have been that statement that now sees him named as one of the 18 referees for the European Championships in France.




    Maybe he meant the TV programme?

  12. Cesar (Caesar) – The well documented confusions surrounding this nickname for Billy McNeill stems from the assumption that it was born from Billy’s imperious leadership qualities. In fact McNeill earned the label Cesar – not Caesar! – well before he was the established figurehead of Stein’s Bhoys. The name comes from the 1960s Hollywood ‘rat-pack’ thriller Ocean’s Eleven. The young Celtic stars of the era liked to model themselves on the cool stars of the film and, in a reference to Cesar Romero’s role in Ocean’s Eleven, Billy was nicknamed ‘Cesar’ as he was the only one in the Parkhead group to own a car.




  13. Games


    Jinky v Redstar ( obvious)


    Leeds at Hampden


    Easter road for 8 in a row


    Brockvillle for 9 – first time I invaded a pitch, first underage drink and first mature woman ( one of those is a lie)


    But my favourite game – we lost to Stirling Albion in early 67 – my uncle took me on the Greenock CSC Bus. I got to see Stirling Castle, I had a Fish Supper, I was with people I loved.


    I miss them still


    It’s not all about winning.


    Hail hail

  14. Games


    Jinky v Redstar


    Leeds at Hampden


    Easter road for 8 in a row


    Brockvillle for 9 – first time I invaded a pitch, first underage drink and first mature woman ( one of those is a lie)


    But my favourite game – we lost to Stirling Albion in early 67 – my uncle took me on the Greenock CSC Bus. I got to see Stirling Castle, I had a Fish Supper, I was with people I loved.


    I miss them still


    It’s not all about winning.


    Hail hail

  15. Well we now know the position of the Aberdeen board after move on Milne’s interview on STV, sickening what some people will do for money and stuff integrity.

  16. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Weeminger 2:51


    That’s interesting.


    Funnily enough NONE of that came up in the Sportsound interview with MacIntyre and Wilson. I wonder why!

  17. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on




    Had a great night at Greenock CSC Friday. Cracking big club and great people



    Fav games for me would be Real Madrid at home when as a kid I couldn’t believe the size of the crowd then the Sporting game when I was in the jungle, place was at its best that night. Honestly don’t know how people survived those amazing crowd sways, superb and scary at the same time

  18. ibleedgreenandwhite1 on

    Just watched STV sport news at 6



    Absolutely sickened by the Aberdeen chairman’s comments about Scottish football has to move on from stripping titles etc



    I wonder what the Aberdeen fans make of there clubs stance







  19. BT Tim


    I recall the Real game very well – not only cos we won but because a smashing lassie in our company lost her contact lense when Johnny scored – I saw it shing in the floodlights, standing on its edge amongst the ash, Pish and lager if the Sellick end.


    I licked it clean for her – the rest is history :-)

  20. Home for Christmas. Oh yes, me too. One more day working in the back of beyond here then travelling home to arrive at lunchtime on Friday for 4 weeks.



    I met big Billy a few times and he even came to meet up with me for a pint in the Grove Bar when it was owned by a pal of mine, dooh I think that was around 22-23 years ago. Time flies. He is a gentleman and any of the brief times I had the privilege to be in his company I was ever impressed with how he always took the time to speak with fans. A true living legend and one of the most approachable, gracious and affable men you could ever hope to meet. So I’ll definitely head round to see his statue being unveiled.



    Anyway, I don’t know much about the McNeill Suite at Celtic Park actually, other than the fact that such a facility exists, but I thought I might even push the boat oot and see if I can get in there for the afternoon, raise a wee glass or two in his honour. I don’t know if he’ll be there at all but I’d love to talk to him again, even for a minute or two. Has anyone been in the Billy McNeill Suite and, if so, whereabouts is it?



    It would also be great to catch up with some CQN folk around the unveiling too, or before or after the match for a blether, or even a snifter or two could be possible!



    Let me know if emdy fancies a chat :)



    Hail Hail,



  21. mike in toronto on




    On so many levels, are we really surprised?



    1. Everyone knew that some level of cheating was going on for years, and no one did anything about it (at best).



    2. It is quite clear that there is no appetite for seeking financial redress as a result of these stolen titles/trophies. So what do these clubs presently have to gain? Financially, little or nothing. But, digging up the bodies may implicate some from other clubs who could have/should have done something but didn’t. This might not go over well with some fans from some clubs.



    3. There will be a perception (not entirely false) that the more the league is dragged through the mud, the more that it and its value will be diminished.



    4. Some will fear retribution from the zombies if they stick their heads above the parapet (although I think this is less of a factor).



    5. Then there is simply attrition. People’s attention/indignation naturally fades over time. Which is what most involved in this want, I believe.



    As a result, I think you will see more comments like those made by the sheepie chairman.



    Unless Celtic PLC is prepared to go to war with these guys (and I have seen no evidence of that) then I am increasingly concerned that, in time, this will be swept under the rug (in spite of the considerable efforts of some… including our friends on CQN).

  22. ibleedgreenandwhite1 on

    Mike in Toronto



    If this is allowed to be just more dirt sweeped under the carpet then for me the game in Scotland is over,if there are no rules then what’s the point,,,I really am sickened by Milnes comments,I thought if there was any club in Scotland apart from ourselves who would not let the cheating go unpunished then that club would most certainly be Aberdeen.



    This kind of stuff wears you down,,,absolutely sickened




  23. mike in toronto on

    Ibleed …. Like yourself, I would find it hard to continue if this does get swept under the carpet …. as I said, I have seen no evidence from Celtic PLC that they are prepared to take this on ….



    HOWEVER ….



    there are some good guys on here who say that things are happening behind the scenes, including with Celtic’s input …. I have my reservations … but the guys on here who are telling us that are good Celts and have done enough hard work, that they deserve the benefit of my doubt.



    so, I can only wait and hope for the best.

  24. My friends in Celtic,



    I am surprised, that some of us are surprised about the comments and thoughts coming from the Aberdeen hierarchy.