Supporter tributes come flooding in for Billy McNeill - Celtic's greatest ever captain
Celtic legend and greatest ever captain Billy McNeill has died, aged 79.
Cesar, as was his legendary nickname, made an incredible 790 appearances for Celtic. He was a one-club man, and was, of course, the captain of the Lisbon Lions – the greatest football story of all time.
McNeill managed 34 goals during his legendary 18 years as a player. He bows out having captured the admiration and love of every Celtic supporter in the world.
And supporters have been quick to flood in their own personal tributes towards Cesar. Here’s a look at some of the reaction to his passing on social media:
RIP to one of our greatest. A once in a lifetime iconic captain, be at peace now. There’s only one King Billy that’s McNeil 🍀 pic.twitter.com/YEHf6cTETz
— CELTIC.OK (@OkCeltic) April 23, 2019
What an incredible medal collection from Big Billy Mcneil when Scottish football would match any teams in the world and we were Kings of Europe, Rip Billy Mcneil an absolute gentleman 💚 pic.twitter.com/t8ySEDsGpn
— Paul Docherty (@PaulDoc78) April 23, 2019
— Gerry Campbell (@gerrycampbell69) April 23, 2019
Heartbroken over the passing of my great friend and captain Billy McNeill. A huge blow for the Celtic family but a devastating loss for Liz, Susan Libby Carol, Paula and Martyn. My thoughts and prayers are with them today.
RIP my friend.
— Jim Craig ⭐️ (@Cairney2) April 23, 2019
So so sad to lose another @CelticFC Scotland and football legend. Billy McNeil the captain of the Lisbon Lions passes away. Yes I have tears in my eyes today as will many of my fellow Celtic supporters. Hail Hail pic.twitter.com/VRcvoBdjh0
— Colin Dolan (@Colin_Dolan) April 23, 2019
Gutted Billy McNeil was not only a true legend but was a truly wonderful gentleman. God Bless
— Scott Doc (@scottdoc76) April 23, 2019
Very sad to wake up to the news of Billy McNeil passing, a true Celtic man who gave us his everything, will not be forgotten 💚
— Colin (@hcscolin) April 23, 2019
Today is about Billy McNeil and the Lisbon lions.
All tweets and retweets will be of them.
— Tony K (@TeeKAye10) April 23, 2019
The first game I remember attending was the Cup Final in 1965, Billy scored the winner. Billy McNeil was always a winner, Legend, RIP.
— TommyBrannigan (@Tombrann) April 23, 2019
A day of mourning
My fingers near tremble as I write this. Even for a supporter like myself who hasn’t ever had the fortune to have met Cesar, his loss has rocked me greatly. Just knowing how much he means to our club leaves such a gaping hole. The Celtic family is in mourning, and will be for some time after losing such a legend like Billy
McNeill had the professional career a good footballer could only dream of. He ended his life having won everything he could at Celtic, and having been a player, manager, ambassador, and, first and foremost, a supporter.
For those fortunate enough to have encountered the Celtic icon, you’ll never hear a bad word. McNeill was clearly a gentleman of the highest order, and his legacy at Parkhead will forever be cemented through his iconic statue outside of Parkhead.
All of this puts the football into the background. Cesar gave his life to Celtic, and without his era of success at Parkhead, the club would never be as successful or even as famous as it is now. He was simply a giant among men, both on and off the pitch.
Supporters will continue to flood in their tributes throughout the day. Players and rival clubs have already been reacting to the news on social media too. It’s a day that doesn’t just rock Celtic, but Scottish football as a whole.
There aren’t many men who can unite Scotland in mourning the way Cesar has this morning. His loss leaves a massive hole in the Celtic family that won’t ever be filled.
Our thoughts and prayers particularly go out to the McNeill family at this tragic time.