Billy McNeill: Celtic and Rangers to hold minute's applause at weekend games

Rangers legend John Greig lays a wreath at Billy McNeill's statue
Rangers legend John Greig laid a wreath at Billy McNeill's statue on Wednesday

Billy McNeill's family have urged Celtic fans to commemorate his life in "cheers, songs and applause" when Kilmarnock visit on Saturday.

City rivals Rangers will also hold a minute's applause for the former Celtic captain and manager when they host Aberdeen on Sunday.

Celtic plan "a special celebration" of their "greatest-ever captain", who died aged 79 on Monday.

His family say football stadiums were not "built to be silent".

"Our father would not have wanted that. They should be places of noise, passion and enjoyment," they have stated.

"Football was his life and Celtic Park was a very large part of that. So please celebrate his life with a moment of cheers, songs and applause, because that would make him feel at home again."

As requested by the McNeill family, who have been invited to the match, a minute's applause will be held immediately before the game and "special video tributes" will be shown.

The Celtic first team will lay a wreath on the Celtic Way 90 minutes before kick-off and will wear black armbands "bearing the number five to recognise Billy's iconic number that he always wore with pride".

Celtic's players will also wear the number five on their shorts in tribute to McNeill when they face Hearts in the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park on Saturday 25 May.

McNeill's funeral will be held in Glasgow on Friday 3 May, with a church mass for the former Scotland defender being scheduled for 11:30 BST in the city centre.

The cortege will then proceed to Celtic Park, where fans will be gathered, and after leaving the stadium, the funeral will head for a private family interment.

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport