Supporter tributes come flooding in for Billy McNeill - Celtic's greatest ever captain

By David Walton

April 23, 2019

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.

Billy McNeil played for and managed Celtic during his professional career (Allsport UK /Allsport)

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:

https://twitter.com/T0MCO/status/1120613381134848000

https://twitter.com/UkPele001/status/1120601382657167360

https://twitter.com/JamesHenry83/status/1120597960180396033

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.

McNeill gave his life to Celtic (Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)

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.