Those who live on in our hearts never die


Thousands will gather at Celtic Park and along the funeral cortege route this morning to pay their final respects to Billy McNeill.  My guess is that he will have met most of them at one point in his life.  He was available to at least three generations of Celtic fans.  Hundreds of thousands shook his hand, got an autograph or photo and listened to the great man talk about Stein, Jinky, Paul McStay, Seville or whatever the subject of the day was.

All the greats of the future will not have lived in our communities as kids, or remain here as they grow old.  They will fleet in and out our lives.

When we lost Jock Stein 34 years ago, we knew there would never be another like him.  The same is true of Billy.  We can hope and dream for European greatness again.  Nine-in-a-row will surely be ours soon, but it will never be the same.  There will never be another titan like Billy McNeill.

Those who live on in our hearts never die.

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  1. Rest in peace billy ynwa.



    UGHAYE i have to agree that every member of the lisbon lions should be remembered on the celtic way individually. I want every lion to have their own sculptured plinth lined up behind billy.



    We may have had some great individuals who are deserving such as, larsson and mcgrory but we have never had and are unlikely to ever have a better team.




  2. I’m heading in to meet old pals at 12 in a bar that Big Jimmy frequents before we head out to meet the cortege.



    We have many fine memories to celebrate at this time. One that sticks in my head was Billy’s reaction to the Racing players after scoring the only goal of the game in the first leg in Glasgow.



    There were some people who Billy decided did not deserve to be treated as Gentlemen… and he was right.



    Some man! Big Billy.

  3. Hrvatski Jim on




    Received a message this morning and been asked to share this – a mate of mines mate has just gone a cycle past Celtic park and noticed some vile scumbag has vandalized the McNeill posters that have been put up along the route of the funeral ..if anyone knows who put the posters up could you let them know or if anyone could fix it…be horrible for the McNeill family to see this…thanks tims


    Hail hail ?



    So sad a reflection on some people if this is true.

  4. Hrvatski Jim on

    Just to clarify, the quote above is not from me. It is lifted from the article.

  5. South Of Tunis on

    BIG JIMMY – yesterday at 5 18 .



    For what it’s worth – I remember John Collins scoring a penalty v the Deady Bears at Ibrox on a Sunday afternoon in late 95 . Score was 3-3 . Dallas was the Ref . Robertson had a goal wrongly ruled offside . The vile Goram made an astonishingly good save from Van Hooijdonk.

  6. Paul67 etal.



    Big Billy had a phenomenal career for Celtic, His first game was against the Hun on September the 6th 1958 which we won 3-2, he was not a regular player in that season playing in 15 games and from then on he was a regular until May 3rd 1975 which was his last game as a player,One game he played as an inside right 10 day’s before the biggest game Celtic played that year,ie the European Cup Final in 1967.



    Long may he rest in peace,as I said he was a phenomenal Player for us.

  7. South Of Tunis on

    OLDTIM67 @10 56 .



    You’ve confused me ( sadly that’s easily done ) .



    I think I saw Billy McNeill’s debut -a League Cup game v Clyde .



    I went to the Deady Bears game in September 58 with my old man . We left early due to mad mental blootered fighting / Bottle flinging . My memory has it filed as being as bad as Liverpool in 66 . I think that game was a draw

  8. I’m inside the Church snd have been since 1015. For those of us with a true Catholic faith a Requiem Mass is a wonderful way to let go of our loved ones.



    Billy was not a menber of my immediate family but he was a huge part of the Celtic family.



    Requiescet in pace.




    Your correct, He played a game against Clyde On aug 23rd that year,He was missing in the game in August 20th also against Clyde, So you are correct.

  10. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    My brother who helped to instil in me my love of Celtic , had his funeral in our Alma mater , St. Aloysius , Garnethill .


    For me , how appropriate that our Billy should have his funeral in the same Church.



    May flights of Angels sing him to his rest.

  11. South Of Tunis on




    Thanks !!! .



    My memory is an anarchic mess — I no longer trust it .

  12. OldTim


    From your earlier post…….


    Not sure if you made it to Glasgow yet,


    The funeral procession will be


    passing on the North side of George square.



  13. TEUCHTER ÁR LÁ on 3RD MAY 2019 11:43 AM



    Thanks for the info, I’m heading out shortly to catch the 12.30pm to get me into Glasgow,so should see the Cortege pass through the Square around one.

  14. I am proud to be a Catholic and a Celtic fan every day of my life. Both are vital to who I am.



    Today, made me even prouder. A moving Mass and a great tribute to a great man

  15. fieldofdrams on

    Anybody know if or where the text or a recording of Archie McPherson’s eulogy to Billy McNeill will be published? I didn’t get the chance to hear it and apparently it was brilliant.

  16. Like no other on

    TANGBHOY on 3RD MAY 2019 11:27 AM


    I’m inside the Church snd have been since 1015. For those of us with a true Catholic faith a Requiem Mass is a wonderful way to let go of our loved ones.





    So true TB, a huge comfort to families and a real sense of sending their loved one back to God


    We’re so fortunate to have this along with the other rites.



    Go to your well-deserved rest Billy, a race well run.




  17. Hrvatski Jim on

    In 5 years as captain of Celtic I’ve never had a tougher job than accepting the European Cup. It was the most stirring and exciting moment of my life. But I had to steel myself for it.



    I’d just crossed the safety line into our dressing room at Lisbon after almost being swamped by the congratulations of our fans. My back ached with all the slapping. My jersey had been torn off as a souvenir. Now I had to go out and face them all again to collect the trophy.



    I put on a fresh jersey. With Assistant Manager Sean Fallon and Ronnie Simpson giving me moral and physical support, I set off.



    The trophy was to be presented on the far side of the ground. It seemed that there was just one way to get there – through the throng and right across the pitch. By the time I’d made 10 yards Ronnie had got lost.



    Sean was at my left. Round me was a posse of police. But the back-slapping, handshaking and general chaos never let up.



    We came to an obstacle – the six-foot-wide moat around the pitch. It was supposed to keep fans on the terracing! Some hope! Somehow I made it to the other side. From there it was up the steps to the rostrum.



    I’m told that my smile looked a bit forced. I don’t really remember, for in the emotion of the moment everything is a bit blurred. Also, I still had to get BACK to the dressing room.



    It was a bit easier that the first journey. This time we were led outside the stadium, hustled into a police car and whipped, siren wailing, through the crowds to the dressing-room entrance.



    We had a bit of a job getting away from the policeman – for he was determined to have his picture taken with us and the cup. But Sean and I eventually disentangled ourselves, dived for the dressing room and got through the “scrum” unscathed – except for the fact that I’d lost my jersey again!



    It was only then that I got the chance to sit down and soak up the satisfaction of being captain of Celtic.



    Since I was a kid playing in the streets of Bellshill in my green-and-white jersey, all I’d wanted was to play for Celtic. Now, I was the captain of their European Cup-winning team. And being captain to me meant more than merely being the man who carried the ball out.



    But, of course, things can come unstuck. When that happens I’m at liberty to make any switch in positions or tactics that I feel might help. No nods or winks from the touchline. And no recriminations if things go wrong.



    If there’s a penalty I decide who takes it – and it’s not necessarily regulars Tommy Gemmell or Joe McBride. Only last season, in fact, I gave a spot-kick to Bertie Auld because I felt that he was in the mood.



    But I feel my most important role of all is spokesman for my team-mates. For both the boss and the directors look on me as the buffer between them and the players.



    If there’s a point we want to put to the board, I do the talking. If the players’ opinion is wanted, the boss asks me to sound them out.


    For instance, before we took on the Real Madrid game after the European Cup Final, the manager discussed it with me. It’s the same if he feels a day at Seamill would help us to tone up. Always I ask around and find out how the boys feel about it.



    It can be a demanding job at times. It involves spending a lot of evenings at functions. It takes football right into your home life. Even my 2 ½ year ld daughter Susan can reel off the names of the team.



    But I wouldn’t have it any other way. To me it’s the finest job in football.

  18. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Just back from Celtic Park, a fitting farewell to the Greatest Celt of all Time, RIP Billy

  19. !!Bada Bing!! on

    On this day 44 years ago Big Billy played his last game in the hoops against Airdrie in the Scottish Cup Final.


    Nice but of symmetry to finish with.


    Hail Hail Cesar.

  20. FAO OLDTIM67 and others,


    Sorry but I will not make it to the BV Today as i had hoped. i was very busy all Morning, and got home about an Hour ago…Im “Cream Crackered”, and ready for a wee Nap.


    I hope to see You soon.



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