Billy McNeill: Celtic to honour former captain with bronze statue

Celtic captain Billy McNeill in 1967
McNeill captained Celtic to their famous European Cup win in 1967

Celtic are to honour Billy McNeill by erecting a bronze statue of the former club captain and manager.

McNeill, 75, was the first British man to lift the European Cup when Celtic won the tournament in 1967.

And the defender, who won 29 Scotland caps, went on to have two spells as manager of the club.

In total, he won 30 domestic trophies as player and manager, including Celtic's run of nine successive league titles in the 1960s and 70s.

His statue, due to be erected in the autumn, will be situated in the grounds around Celtic Park, near those of club founder Brother Walfrid, highly successful Celtic manager Jock Stein and McNeill's former team-mate Jimmy Johnstone.

"Every time I look back at this special club's history and what we achieved it fills me with joy, and now to be told I am to be honoured beside these Celtic greats, this really is a special day for me and all my family," McNeill told the Celtic website.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell added: "Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s as a Celtic supporter, Billy McNeill was an inspiration to me and someone of huge stature in the game, not only on the field but also off it, as a statesman, a leader and a figurehead for our great club.

"His achievements for Celtic are simply outstanding and across a period of 27 years he gave so much to the club."

The Celtic players celebrate with the European Cup in 1967
McNeill and Celtic brought the European Cup back to Glasgow in 1967

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