Graeme Souness has become the latest person to pay tribute to the late Billy McNeill. The former Rangers player and manager labelled Celtic’s greatest ever captain “a really classy guy” more than a week on from his death.
Souness may not be a favourite among the Celtic support for a number of reasons but he is sure to have gained a great deal of respect for his kind words this time around.
"Take football out of it, he was a good man. A fantastic husband & father.
"You won't find anyone say a bad word about him in Scotland."
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) April 30, 2019
Speaking on Virgin Media Sport, he said: “I knew him but didn’t know him.
“You know, the dynamic between a Rangers manager and a Celtic manager can be quite frosty, let’s say. We’d be cursing each other across dugout to dugout.
“But what I would say is when I met him away from that environment he was a really classy guy.”
McNeill’s class crossed the divide
Souness’ comments just go to show the mark of McNeill. He earned respect with his strong, dominating performances on the pitch and for his conduct off it as a player, manager and ambassador of the club.
The measure of the man is shown by the amount of people who have queued up to praise him since his passing. Not many could have politicians, comedians and actors all paying their respects. Not to mention rival clubs.
McNeill’s funeral will be held in Glasgow on Friday 3rd May with the church mass starting at 11:30am at St Aloysius Church and then a funeral cortege making its way to Celtic Park for around 1:30pm.