Athletic Bilbao pay social media tribute to Celtic icon Billy McNeill

By John Reid

March 26, 2020

Spanish side Athletic Bilbao took to social media on Thursday to pay tribute to a Celtic icon. That player was former Hoops captain and manager Billy McNeill.

With football on lockdown, the Spanish side’s English Twitter account looked back to when they gave McNeill the ‘one club man’ award.

McNeill received the award last April, which was given to him for only playing for one club throughout his career.

The late Billy McNeill has a statue at Celtic Park (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The award was collected by McNeill’s daughter and fellow Lisbon Lion John Clark last May, not long after the Celtic icon died.

Won every trophy as a player

It is testament to McNeill’s standing in football that he was given the award by the Spanish side. He was a football icon, who won every trophy in the game as Celtic captain. McNeill then went on to have a successful managerial career with the club, winning three league titles.

Billy McNeill and Chris Morris after Celtic completed the centenary double (Photo by Simon Bruty/Allsport/Getty Images)

It is fitting that there is a statue of the player outside Celtic Park. He deserves to be remembered as one of Celtic’s greatest heroes for generations to come.

So many highlights as player and manager

Undeniably the highlight of McNeill’s time as a Celtic player was lifting the European Cup in 1967. As Celtic manager the centenary double in 1988 must be up there.

However, he played a part in so many Celtic triumphs that it would take a long time to list all of them. All that needs to be remembered is that McNeill will never be forgotten in the eyes of the Celtic support, his legend will live on forever.