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BIG BILLY’S FINAL FAREWELL

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BILLY McNEILL’S funeral cortege will pass Celtic Park a week tomorrow to allow fans the opportunity to say an emotional farewell.

Thousands are expected at the stadium as the legendary Lisbon Lion is laid to rest following his passing on Monday evening at the age of 79.

His final farewell on Friday, May 3 will begin with a funeral Mass at St Aloysius Church in Garnethill, Glasgow at 11.30am.

The cortege will then travel to the stadium in the east end where fans will gather at 1.30pm.

After leaving the ground, the procession will travel through the streets and cross Shawfield Bridge before going on to a family interment.

Supporters have gathered at the ground to pay tribute following previous deaths of club legends. There were huge crowds at the funeral of Tommy Burns in 2008 after the former player and manager lost his gallant battle with skin cancer at the age of 51.

When Jimmy Johnstone died of motor neurone disease aged 61 in 2006, his cortege also made a last call at the ground.

And McNeill’s fellow-Lisbon hero Tommy Gemmell received a similar send-off after he passed away in 2017 aged 73.

Parkhead will be emotion-charged on Saturday when Kilmarnock visit for the crucial Premiership game which has a 12.30pm kick-off with the club revealing plans, as CQN reported earlier today.

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