Celtic legend Billy McNeill is laid to rest

Funeral was held at St Aloysius' Church
Funeral was held at St Aloysius' Church

The funeral of Billy McNeill took place in St Aloysius Church, Garnethill, today (Friday) attended by some of the greats of the Scottish game.

The Celtic legend from Bellshill died last month aged 79 surrounded by his family, having lived with dementia in his final years.

Lisbon Lion Bobby Lennox

Lisbon Lion Bobby Lennox

In his homily Archbishop Philip Tartaglia offered sympathies to Billy’s wife of 56 years, Liz, and his five children and eight grandchildren, while also recalling memories of watching Billy in his youth.

He added: “We are aware that Billy had a few hard years with his health before he died, which he endured with dignity and courage, but now he is at peace.

“As a 16 year old boy, I watched with overflowing joy as Billy and his Lions lifted the European Cup. Never for a moment did I imagine that I would be conducting his Funeral Mass. I assure Liz and her family that it is a great honour for me to do so.

“Billy McNeill will remain in our hearts and minds undoubtedly as a football icon and a Celtic legend.

Liz McNeill and family arrive

Liz McNeill and family arrive

“At the same time, Billy was a family man who loved his wife and children. He treasured the intimacy of his family life.

“As with the best of heroes, he was blessed with an unassuming character. He never forgot his own origins and he always had time for ordinary people and fans.”

Among those who spoke at the service were his son Martyn and broadcaster Archie MacPherson.

Celtic’s entire first team squad and former managers Brendan Rodgers, Martin O’Neill, Gordon Strachan and Sir Kenny Dalglish were in attendance along with Lisbon Lions Bobby Lennox, John Clark, Jim Craig and Bertie Auld.

Kieran Tierney leads a group of the Celtic first team

Kieran Tierney leads a group of the Celtic first team

Among the mourners were Walter Smith, Sir Alex Ferguson, Murdo MacLeod, Pat Bonner and Alex McLeish.

Following the service, the cortege headed to Celtic Park where thousands of supporters had gathered to pay their respects.

Sir Kenny Dalglish

Sir Kenny Dalglish

John Greig and Walter Smith

John Greig and Walter Smith

Lisbon Lion Jim Craig

Lisbon Lion Jim Craig