Shropshire Star

Statue of football great Billy McNeill unveiled in his home town

McNeill played for Celtic his whole career.


A statue of former Celtic captain Billy McNeill has been unveiled in his home town.

McNeill, who was captain of the famous Lisbon Lions side, died in April 2019 at the age of 79 after suffering dementia.

Soccer – Scottish Premier League – Celtic v Motherwell – Celtic Park
Billy McNeill (Jeff Holmes/PA)

His widow Liz and members of the Billy McNeill Commemoration Committee unveiled the statue in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, on Saturday.

The watching crowd also included former Celtic players Frank McAvennie, John Fallon, Jim Craig, John Clark, Danny McGrain and Tommy Boyd.

In a Facebook post ahead of the unveiling, the committee wrote: “The boy from Abbotsford Place barely 150 yards from the statue site and who went on to be one of the most respected gentlemen in world football will finally get the recognition that he has so earned and deserved in his boyhood town of Bellshill and Mossend.”

Billy McNeill statue
Former Celtic players were at the unveiling (Andrew Milligan/PA)

McNeill played for Celtic his whole career and was captain of the Lisbon Lions side which won the European Cup in 1967.

He joined Celtic in 1957 from junior side Blantyre Victoria and made 790 appearances over 18 seasons. The defender also won 29 caps for Scotland.

He had two spells as Celtic manager spanning nearly 10 years and won 31 trophies during his long association with the club.

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