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Billy McNeill
Personal information
Full name William McNeill[1]
Date of birth 2 March 1940 (1940-03-02) (age 69)
Place of birth Bellshill, Scotland
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
–1957 Blantyre Victoria
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1957–1975 Celtic 486 (22)
National team
1961–1972 Scotland 29 (3)
Teams managed
1977 Clyde
1977–1978 Aberdeen
1978–1983 Celtic
1983–1986 Manchester City
1986–1987 Aston Villa
1987–1991 Celtic
1998 Hibernian (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

William "Billy" McNeill MBE DUniv (born 2 March 1940) is a former Scottish footballer and manager. He is best known for captaining Celtic to the European Cup triumph in 1967 and he later went on to manage the club. He is now the official Club Ambassador at Celtic.

Contents

Football

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Playing career

McNeill, nicknamed Cesar, was voted the greatest ever captain of Celtic by the club's fans in 2002. His nickname was derived from the actor Cesar Romero. He was signed by Celtic from nearby junior team, Blantyre Victoria, in 1957 as a defender. As captain he won nine Scottish League Championships, seven Scottish Cups, and six Scottish League Cups. He also led the team to victory in the European Cup in 1967, as part of the "Lisbon Lions", and was the first British footballer to hold aloft the European Cup. He retired as a player in 1975 after over 800 appearances for Celtic. He won 29 caps for Scotland.

Management career

He began his management career at Clyde in April 1977 before moving to Aberdeen in June. However, in 1978 he returned to manage Celtic. His five years in charge saw Celtic win three League Championships, one Scottish Cup and one League cup. On 30 June 1983 he moved to England to manage Manchester City. He secured promotion for City after two seasons in charge, and oversaw survival in their first season back.

In 1986–87, he became one of the few managers to manage two relegated teams in the same season. He started the season as manager of Manchester City but quit in September 1986 to take charge of fellow strugglers Aston Villa. When Villa were relegated after finishing bottom of the First Division in May 1987, he stood down to make way for Graham Taylor and returned to Celtic.

In his first season Celtic won the double of the League Championship and Scottish Cup in the clubs' centenary year. 1987–88, was renowned for late goals for Celtic and in both the semi final and final, Celtic scored late goals to emerge victorious 2–1 in both games. He won the Scottish Cup the following season, but quit in 1991 after four years as manager. McNeill's second spell as manager was blighted by the reluctance of the Board to spend money in the transfer market.

McNeill had a brief spell as director of football at Hibs in 1998, where he unsuccessfully attempted to arrest a decline in fortunes at the club.[2] He briefly took caretaker charge of the team after Jim Duffy was sacked, even though McNeill had been out of football since leaving Celtic in 1991 and was recovering from heart surgery.[3] He left Hibs at the end of the 1997–98 season.[4]

Political career

McNeill unsuccessfully stood as a candidate for the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party in the 2003 Scottish Parliament election.

Awards

In 2008, he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Glasgow in recognition of his outstanding achievement in football and for his distinguished role as an ambassador for the national sport. Celtic's Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: "Billy McNeill has served Celtic Football Club and Scottish football in general with distinction over many years. He is a man of immense stature and someone who, as a player and manager was the complete professional. Billy was a born leader on and off the field. To captain Celtic and become the first British Club to win the European Cup, the biggest prize in Club football, is a massive achievement and Billy and the other Lisbon Lions will forever be among the most important figures in Celtic's illustrious history. Billy is fully deserving of the tremendous honour which has been bestowed on him. Everyone at the Club congratulates him on receiving the Honorary Degree from the University of Glasgow."

Career statistics

[5]

[6]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Scotland League Scottish Cup Scottish League Cup Europe Total
1957–58 Celtic Division One 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1958–59 17 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 23 0
1959–60 19 0 7 0 6 0 0 0 32 0
1960–61 31 1 8 0 4 0 0 0 43 1
1961–62 29 1 6 0 6 0 0 0 41 1
1962–63 28 1 7 0 6 0 1 0 42 1
1963–64 28 0 4 0 6 0 8 0 46 0
1964–65 22 0 6 1 6 0 2 0 36 1
1965–66 25 0 7 0 10 0 7 1 49 1
1966–67 33 0 6 0 10 2 9 1 58 3
1967–68 34 5 1 0 10 0 2 0 50* 6†
1968–69 34 3 7 3 9 0 6 0 56 6
1969–70 31 5 5 0 10 2 9 0 55 7
1970–71 31 1 8 1 10 0 5 1 54 3
1971–72 34 3 6 1 8 0 7 0 55 4
1972–73 30 1 7 1 10 0 4 0 51 2
1973–74 30 0 5 0 11 0 7 0 53 0
1974–75 30 1 4 0 9 0 2 0 45 1
Total Scotland 486 22 94 7 137 4 69 3 789* 37†
Career Total 486 22 94 7 137 4 69 3 789* 37†

* Includes 3 Appearances in the World Club Championship
† Includes 1 Goal in the World Club Championship

NB these Totals do not include Glasgow Cup appearances, which at the time was a Senior Trophy

References

  • McNeill, Billy. Hail Cesar. Headline Book Publishing (4 Oct 2004). ISBN 978-0755313150.  
  1. ^ Billy McNeill, www.londonhearts.com
  2. ^ Football: Millar two hot for Hibs, The Independent, 25 January 1998.
  3. ^ Football: Miller helps Miller to wind up Hibernian, The Independent, 8 February 1998.
  4. ^ Article: McNeill's departure inevitable, The Scotsman, 16 July 1998.
  5. ^ National Football Teams: McNeill, Billy
  6. ^ The Celtic Football Companion, David Docherty. ISBN 0 85976 173 8, Published 1986.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Duncan MacKay
Celtic captain
1962-1975
Succeeded by
Kenny Dalglish

Simple English

Billy McNeill
Personal information
Full name William McNeill
Date of birth 2 March 1940 (1940-03-02) (age 70)
Place of birth    Bellshill, Scotland
Playing position Defender (retired)
Senior clubs
Years Club
1957-1975 Celtic
National team
1961-1972 Scotland
Teams managed
1977
1977-1978
1978-1983
1983-1986
1986-1987
1987-1991
Clyde
Aberdeen
Celtic
Manchester City
Aston Villa
Celtic

Billy McNeill is a former football player. He has played for Celtic and Scotland national team.

Club career statistics

Club Performance League CupLeague CupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
ScotlandLeague Scottish Cup Scottish League Cup EuropeTotal
1957-58CelticDivision One00---00
1958-59170-60-230
1959-601907060-320
1960-613118040-431
1961-622916060-411
1962-63281706010421
1963-64280406080460
1964-65220616020361
1965-662507010071491
1966-673306010291583
1967-683451010020475
1968-69343739060566
1969-703155010290557
1970-713118110051543
1971-72343618070554
1972-733017110040512
1973-743005011070530
1974-75301409020451
CountryScotland 48622947137469378636
Total 48622947137469378636

International career statistics

Scotland national team
YearAppsGoals
Total293

References


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