The family of the late Celtic legend Billy McNeill have posted a message thanking the Celtic support for their actions following his death.
McNeill passed away at the age of 79 earlier this year, following a nine-year battle with dementia. The European Cup winner was honoured by the Celtic support at the match immediately proceeding his death with tributes also paid at his glorious statue on the Celtic Way.
And now the family of the legend have chosen to speak after a difficult few months. The official Celtic website has a statement from them in which they thank the wider Celtic fanbase.
The McNeill family says: “We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to you all for the expressions of condolence, support and tribute that we received in such great volume following the loss of Billy.
“We have been unable to acknowledge every single one but we have drawn huge strength from the overwhelming number of cards, letters, flowers and memories shared that have come our way and we want you to know that they have been an enormous comfort to us all.
“Thank you also for your kind donations to Alzheimer Scotland.
“We are all part of a very special family and we will never forget the love and support that you gave to Billy throughout his life and the warmth and compassion you have shown us at such a difficult time.”
The reaction to the sad passing
Celtic dealt impeccably with the news of McNeill and fellow Lisbon Lion Stevie Chalmers’ passing. The club handled the delicate situation well on their social media channels with apt tribute videos and quotes from legends setting a nice tone.
The match against Kilmarnock at the start of May will be remembered fondly by the Celtic support. We paid our respects to McNeill with a minutes applause and songs throughout the 90 minutes, while Jozo Simunovic’s goal will go down in Celtic history.
Like all things, life must move on. But the Celtic support will never forget McNeill or Chalmers and the effect they had on the club. Reminders of both will be etched in both our club’s history and future.