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Cesar Billy McNeill - Rest In Peace Cesar.

Discussion in 'The Lisbon Lions' started by HoopswithPride, Feb 25, 2017.

Discuss Billy McNeill - Rest In Peace Cesar. in the The Lisbon Lions area at TalkCeltic.net.

  1. CookieMonster BOTB King Gold Member

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    Brings a tear to your eye :54: hope the club do a collection for his family or for a dementia charity at the next weekend home game. Awful thing to watch your loved one go through.
     
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  2. \o/

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    Peerless.
     

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  3. Officer Doofy Hey Terry, smell my finger! Gold Member

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    Absolutely heartbreaking. His contribution to this club is beyond comprehension. Played a massive part in 31 of our 100 trophies. Staggering statistic.
     
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  4. CH4 Gold Member Gold Member

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    image.jpeg stunning photo
     
  5. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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    THE family of Billy McNeill have revealed that the Celtic legend has dementia. The club’s greatest ever captain, who led the Hoops to their historic European Cup triumph in 1967, was diagnosed seven years ago. And his family have now spoken publicly about the illness, which has also robbed Billy of his voice.

    In an emotional interview with the Sunday Mail, Billy’s wife, Liz, spoke about the initial shock of the diagnosis, through to dealing with the condition on a daily basis today.

    Liz explained: “It is sad. We don’t know what he can remember because he can’t communicate. We don’t know if he can remember what he did. Sometimes you will see something, a smile or a look but then it goes.

    “Not being able to communicate with him is hard. He understands when you speak to him directly but only for a short time. He can’t concentrate. He can’t follow a conversation. If this had happened to him when he was younger then I might feel different but he’s 77 in March and we have to accept it. We take it day by day.”

    And Liz explained that Billy still recognises his family and his closest friends.

    “Celtic have been great, as have the supporters, and some of the old friends and players come and take him out. People like Pat Bonner, Andy Walker, Frank MacAvennie and Murdo McLeod come over.

    “We are still doing things every day. He can’t sit still for very long so I take him out. We go to the shopping centre and people still come up to him. I now tell them that he can’t speak because of the dementia. We never hid it. Seven years ago, it was a family matter but I think the time is right to talk about it.”



    Billy, who will celebrate his 77th birthday this Thursday, March 2, has made more appearances for his beloved Celtic than any other player, playing an incredible 787 times between 1958 and ’75. His debut came in a League Cup tie at home to Clyde on August 23, 1958, while he pulled on the Hoops for the last ever time on May 3, 1975 when he led Celtic to victory in the Scottish Cup final over Airdrie at Hampden.

    Jock Stein’s leader on the pitch, the man known as Cesar was our nine-in-a-row captain and the man who led the team to victory on May 25, 1967 in the Estadio Nacional, when Celtic beat Inter Milan 2-1 to lift the European Cup. The legend of the Lisbon Lions was born and Billy was always the leader of those legends.

    As a Celtic player, he won nine league titles, seven Scottish Cups, six League Cups and, of course, the European Cup.

    He enjoyed two spells as Celtic manager, and among his many managerial triumphs were the unforgettable 1979 title win, on a night when ’10 men won the league’. And he was also in charge during the club’s centenary season of 1987/88, when the Hoops won the Double.

    He won four league titles in total as manager, as well as three Scottish Cups and one League Cup.

    He was also named the club’s first ambassador back in 2009, and was later joined by Davie Hay and Tom Boyd in that role, while in December 2015 the magnificent statue of Billy holding aloft the European Cup was unveiled at the entrance to The Celtic Way.

    Billy remains a regular visitor to Paradise for Celtic games, and his wife, Liz, explained: “He knows Celtic Park and all the people there. The chief executive, Peter Lawwell, has been great and Billy seems to enjoy being there – although we never stay long now.”

    Liz is caring for Billy herself with help from their five children, Susan, Paula, twins Libby and Carol, and Martyn. Billy’s eight grandchildren are all regular visitors too.

    And Liz added: “Billy still plays football with the younger ones, although he obviously can’t kick the ball as he used to. He watches grandsons play football. The older ones come round to see him and are great. He’s just grandad to them.”

    Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: “Billy is a man of true stature, someone who has given so much of his life to Celtic and at all times with such grace, humility and dignity. He is respected by all in football and someone who will always be loved dearly by all Celtic supporters.

    “Personally, it is a privilege to have known Billy for so many years. To me he will always be such an inspirational figure.

    “We were delighted to welcome Billy as our Ambassador and recently to honour all he did for the club when we unveiled his magnificent statue at CelticPark, a fitting tribute to Celtic's greatest ever captain.

    “We have always been in close contact with Billy and his family and have been well aware for some time of the challenges he has been facing, a situation he has met with true bravery, a quality synonymous with Billy McNeill.

    “I know Liz has been an absolute tower of strength too for Billy. Her compassion and care for Billy has been crucial and I would like to pay tribute to her and the rest of the family.

    “He is a very special man and everyone at Celtic will continue to give Billy and his family every support.”

    And the club revealed that a proportion of the proceeds from the forthcoming Celtic FC Foundation charity match between Henrik’s Heroes and Lubo’s Legends on Sunday, May 28 at Celtic Park will be going to the Foundation’s work in the area of dementia to support those affected.

    The Foundation will ensure that funds will go towards a range of programmes, designed and delivered in conjunction with dementia specialists and experts. This will allow us to continue the work of the Foundation in the area of dementia. It is something Celtic have been involved in for some time and will be delighted to continue this important work.



    http://www.celticfc.net/news/12151
     
  6. Gil-Scott Heron

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    Heartbreaking stuff.

    Big Billy is woven into the fabric of Celtic, and we'd be so much a lesser team, club and way of life without him.

    Who among us can deny that thrill when we see him atop the platform in the Stadium of Light with his arms aloft, and in his hands the greatest prize in world club football? When we see him dart off the touchline at Hampden in 1989 after Joe Miller put the Huns to the sword, telling the players to stay calm and get the job done? When he rose like a salmon to head the ball into the net as the Huns felt the roar of the Lisbon Lions in the 69 cup final?

    There are a select few who belong in that special pantheon of Celtic greats. Billy McNeill fully deserves his place there.
     
  7. Padmill It's been a while...

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    :notworthy:notworthy:notworthy

    Billy McNeill is and always will be Immortal when it comes to the history and achievements of this club.
     
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  8. bgmick Gold Member Gold Member

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    Billy Mc Neill is an all time great, not only in Celtic history but in British, European and world football. He is respected the world over for his accomplishments as a player and a manager but also I think that he is held in high esteem as a human being and a role model
     
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  9. Bonobhoy

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    not only did he hold that cup above his head, he held the meaning of Celtic above it and the love for this club....

    gutting man
     
  10. Padmill It's been a while...

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    That's deep mate, real deep.

    Yet true :shamrock:
     
  11. \o/

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    I've said it a few times today but McNeill is utterly peerless in our history.

    An absolute giant of a man, of a legend and by all accounts an absolute gent.
     
  12. pablo88

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    Absolute gutting. Hail hail big man
     
  13. muaythai postie

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    This is something I've known for a long time as my Mrs works with one of his daughters. I've also been given a photo signed by Billy himself for my gym at home which I'll treasure as it's one of the last times he was able to remember his signature. A truly sad time for his family having to watch a man of great presence being a victim of a horrendous illness.
     
  14. Swervedancer Guest

    That's really sad news regarding Billy McNeill. I wish him and his loved ones strength during these tough times.

    It's incredible how inspiring he must have been to that great team. There is no way it's a coincidence that he was a constant presence during the best days. Such a strength of character he must've had. Scottish football was of a very high quality back then. So many games as well, how solid must he have been when the heavy tackle was meant to be a part of the game. Plus he scored many a late winner, that's the sign of a great leader.

    I'm glad he got to see the the statue unveiled and the recognition of his importance to Celtic.

    31% is astonishing.

    I think our European Cup comeback against the masters of protecting a lead was one of the finest ever displays of football, it's definitely a pre Ajax breathtaking demonstration of total football, we didn't even blink. In fact if ever a team looked like a rabbit staring at the headlights it was Inter Milan. What a response it was, the bravery to play like that. I bet he was the bravest of captains. I doubt many clubs have been blessed with a legend and leader of such stature as Billy McNeill.

    Thank you Billy, the greatest of Celtic players, captain of one of the greatest ever teams in history. A style of football that many who witnessed it will never forget. Lions, Kings of the Jungle :ynwacelti
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2017
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  15. Sonic Reducer Gold Member Gold Member

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    For a long time now I've always thought Billy has looked very frail.
    Often wondered if something was up.....so sad to see a man with so much stature suffer like this.
    Must be awful for his family.
     
  16. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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  17. Dembele the next messi

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    * heartbreaking! Got really upset reading that. His wife is a saint, must be so hard to deal with!
     
  18. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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    Can't imagine what it's been like for his family.
     
  19. Jonybhoy Gold Member Gold Member

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    fukin shame ...absolute legend lives and breathes what this clubs all about
     
  20. McGrory1888

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    I had the absolute privilege of meeting him about four or five years ago and sadly even then it was clear he wasn't keeping great. He was a true gentleman though and only too happy to take photos and talk about our great club. It's horrible to hear how bad it's gotten, but his wife is clearly a credit to Billy and the spirit and fight he has shown throughout his career. He's always been such a class act whether on or off the field.