Former Celtic captain and manager Billy McNeill has passed away aged 79, the club confirmed on Tuesday.
McNeill captained Celtic’s famous ‘Lisbon Lions’ side of 1967, becoming the first British player to lift the European Cup when the Glasgow club beat Inter 2-1 in the Portuguese capital.
Having spent his entire senior playing career at Celtic, winning nine league titles, McNeill moved into management and took over at Park Head in 1978, guiding the club to three top-flight championships during a five-year spell.
Following a three-year stint at Manchester City, McNeill returned to Celtic in 1987, winning a domestic double in his first season back at the club.
The #CelticFC Family is mourning the death of Billy McNeill, the club’s greatest ever captain and one of the finest men to have played and managed the Hoops, who has passed away at the age of 79.
Rest in peace, Cesar. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 23, 2019
A statement from McNeill’s family, released on Celtic’s website, read: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our father Billy McNeill. He passed away late last night (Monday, April 22) surrounded by his family and loved ones.
“He suffered from Dementia for a number of years and fought bravely to the end, showing the strength and fortitude he always has done throughout his life.
“Whilst this is a very sad time for all the family and we know our privacy will be respected, our father always made time for the supporters so please tell his stories, sing his songs and help us celebrate his life.”
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