Thousands of fans and an all star cast from Scottish football, past and present, have paid an emotional farewell to Billy McNeill, who was remembered both as a “Celtic legend” and “simply a decent human being”.
Supporters threw flowers and green and white scarves towards the hearse and sang songs about the club’s greatest captain, and the Lisbon Lions, as his coffin was driven down the Celtic Way on Friday.
A funeral mass was held at St Aloysius’ Church in Glasgow, before the cortege made its way to Celtic Park.
McNeill, who was suffering from dementia, died last month, aged 79. As a player and manager he won 31 trophies with Celtic, and became the first British player to lift the European Cup in that famous win over Inter Milan in Lisbon in 1967.
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia began his homily by offering “heartfelt sympathies” to McNeill’s wife of 56 years, Liz, and their children Susan, Carol, Libby, Paula and Martyn.
He told the congregation the renowned defender endured his years of ill health with “dignity and courage” and described him as the “captain of a team of legends”.
The churchman recalled his own “overflowing joy” as a 16-year-old boy when he watched him lift the European Cup.