Billy McNeill


The following World Club Championships, where we were kicked and assaulted to defeat by Racing Club, was a low point for Celtic, but an interview with a Racing player later depicted a side to Billy McNeill’s character that showed him to be a giant against above all other men.

The player saw Billy McNeill approach at the final whistle and expected an assault after what had transpired in the previous 90 mins. Instead, Billy McNeill graciously and humbly held out his hand and they shook hands followed by an exchanging of jerseys. The player was so taken by the gesture in the strained circumstances that he grasped McNeill’s jersey tight and ran back to the dressing rooms so as to ensure no one could take it from him. He stated that after all that happened he was humbled by Billy McNeill and hoped they might play again in the World Cup 1970 (which Scotland sadly didn’t make). It was the mark of the man that he was able to still be a gentleman even in the face of so much tension and havoc.

Major Honours as a Player

European Cup
Scottish Division One
1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68, 1968-69, 1969-70,
1970-71, 1971-72, 1972-73, 1973-74
Scottish Cup
1965, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972,
1974, 1975
Scottish League Cup
1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68, 1968-69, 1969-70,

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