It’s a year on from the death of my friend and teammate Billy McNeill after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Billy never shouted and bawled in the dressing room before games. That was always Big Jock who did that. Billy’s shouting on the park came more from a positional and encouragement point of view.
He was a great Captain and leader and commended great respect from all his teammates. I’ve known Billy since we played against each other in our early teens in the Boys Guild leagues and then going on to sign for Celtic within a year or each other.
It’s also fair to say that he was involved in the two moments that really changed Celtics history. His winning headed goal in the 1965 Scottish Cup Final from a Charlie Gallagher corner was the start of a Golden Era under Jock Stein. His last minute headed winner, also from a Charlie Gallagher corner in the European Cup, was the springboard for going on to win the big cup.
I have great memories my time playing with a great player, leader and friend. It was a fitting tribute last season when Celtic went on to win an historic Treble Treble on the historic date of the 25th May.
John Fallon has been writing for this Celtic fanzine since 2002. The original Holy Goalie has won every honour with Celtic and played his part in the greatest ever era in the history of the famous Glasgow Celtic. John is ever present at Celtic games home and away and at Celtic supporters functions.