Never Forgotten

At times like these its hard to know what to say and where to look , things just arent right and you , just like everyone else , can sense it.
Its when tragedy strikes that family bonds can be either strengthened or tested , but such is the character of the man that passed that its hard to see past anything but universal respect pouring forth in this case.
Fortunately for us we have each other , and always will have for if theres one slogan that does actually ring true and always will , its You’ll Never Walk Alone.
And please try to take comfort that there are many thousands worldwide feeling the exact same ,, that one of a kind has left us. And what a man he was !

Depending on your age the great man would have meant different things to you ,, he was clearly big Packys hero and many many others also. I envy those who were soo very fortunate to have seen the colossus take to the field , a giant among men. Im just glad all , not just Celtic fans , seem to appreciate just what they witnessed , a true Captain fantastic.
Much too late I came to the scene and he was an elder statesmanlike figure to me ,, but it was the reverence and sincere esteem that he was held in by men I knew who didnt give that kinda thing out lightly that made its lasting imprint on me.

One of my earliest memories was the switch to my own bedroom at I suppose age two or something . The very first thing went on the wall was not the starting 11 Lions but the 14 man squad , for some reason unbeknown to me thats the pic that dad chose.
I was ordered to quickly learn the names of those heroes to recite on demand to become a big boy ,, and the task was jumped at by someone hoping to get a bike sooner rather than later.
However the bedroom in question was also home to two dreaded features, both the bane of a young active mind . The hot water tank closet or hotpress ,, and a large tall dark dresser .
One makes creaks and noises with drips through the night and the other had two doors that would open at any minute to allow the underworldly monsters and their ilk easy access to this young bhoys room as soon as his daddy closed the door.
And thus began a few months of tears and angst with the transition.
However many a night dad kept reassuring me that under Big Billys watch nothing untoward would go down at all .
Why I asked ? Because the monsters are afraid of him !!!
No ordinary man ,, carved not born etc etc and slowly but surely under his watchful eye this young Hoop was able to settle at night as much as any young man could.
The same man in that same pic may very well help my wee one in her transition , it certainly would be fitting .

“ Call me old fashioned but I prefer the manager of Celtic to be Scottish or Irish “ I recall him telling a broadcaster prior to the appointment of Martin , who I think he approved of.
Well he wasnt one to just preach he could also practice what came out of that mouth and how lucky we were for that fact in the centenary year .
If there was ever a perfect case of right man, right place , right time then surely that year and Big Billy must be close to the very top of that pile for that immortal campaign alone.
I recall one of my first ever pints with Beppe asking why Real Madrid and he told me a truly heart warming story of how their famous captain Sanchis in his very last campaign lead his team to the European cup final , and goes on to win that cup in his last ever game.
Leading his team up to lift the big Cup he leads his young son by the hand up with him.
When they reach the cup he gestures and his son is actually the first to lift it , then naturally hands it over to his dad.
It turns out that very son , 25 years later captained the very same team to glory in his own European Cup final . And when he went up to lift the Cup ,, he brought his dad with him and made him hand it over this time !!!
I woulda balled my eyes out watching that and its a reminder that the game can be beautiful even if we do have some world class cynics among us.
Every fan of every team no doubt has their own tales like that above , though maybe less trophy laden , but still that tale of the club actually being more than a club at that very minute ,, of how it seems the hand of fate itself came down and touched that very pitch and interfered in our mortal sport for mere fun.
But Billys tale though ,, local lad and one club man to be the biggest of heroes not once but twice, once on the field and once off it ,, its not the green tinted specs to be saying we have never seen a story like that and never will again ,, its just straight up fact.
It quite simply couldnt be scripted what he gave us , and he would probably say what we and the club gave him.
It was , and always will be ,, OUR FINEST HOURS FULLSTOP !
And make no mistake his actions will echo in eternity.

“ Johnny Doyle was the epitome of the phrase a true Celt “ Billy Mc Neill
Well Big Man that may well be true to you , however to this young man it was to yourself I would grant that finest of accolades that will never be bought but only earned.
Billy , Sir , you had and always will have my utmost respect.
Hail Hail Cesar
We’ll never see his likes again.

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Noel Skytrot
April 24, 2019 6:44 am

Sad, sad time for the McNeill family and everyone associated with the club. An absolute titan of the game who was respected by those who know football. I’m sitting in my house and there’s the famous picture of Billy holding aloft the Big Cup and although saddened by his passing, seeing that image and knowing how much joy it has brought to peoples lives along with all his other achievements makes me smile, and we should always hold onto that.

Billy McNeill RIP

April 24, 2019 7:30 am

Fantastic tribute Mahe to a great man and Celtic legend.
Haven’t been on much lately due to working in Europe for two weeks and then meeting the wife in Paris to be whisked off to beautiful Provence.
I took a long walk by my self this morning allowing the wife some rest and got caught in a ferocious downpour.
But as my thoughts were all about that fantastic moment when Billy McNeil hosted the European cup to vindicate all that had gone before the rain did nothing to dampen my smile.
Getting older but will always have no trouble reciting Simpson Craig Gemmell Murdoch McNeil Clark Johnstone Wallace Chalmers Auld Lennox and of course Jock Stein.
Billy was a great man and a credit to the club and supporters.
While his body may have left Paradise his spirit will live forever.
Great men like those Giants of Lisbon make me proud to be a Celtic supporter.

April 24, 2019 7:42 am


I’ve got my mural of the eleven men who started the match,plus Jock. A present a few years back from my sisters,and has pride of place in my living room,first thing I see as I open the door from the hallway.

It really is ATHINGOFBEAUTY and a fitting tribute to our legends. My sisters are generous to a fault,but they excelled themselves with that gift!

Tooday,mate,you excelled yourself. What a lovely piece in tribute to Our Greatest Captain. Absolutely wonderful.

big packy
April 24, 2019 7:46 am

MAHE, lovely words there, we have lost a true great and a true gentleman, I spent all last night reading the tributes the amount of people saying such lovely words for billy had me in tears, he was truly a giant among giants.hh.

The Exiled Tim
April 24, 2019 8:07 am

Beautiful tribute Mahe.
RIP Billy

Cosy corner bhoy
April 24, 2019 8:12 am

An excellent tribute to a gentleman and legend.
God bless Oor King Billy RIP.

April 24, 2019 8:25 am

A wonderful tribute Mahe. Billy epitomised everything that is good about Celtic both on and off the park. A football warrior and an absolute gentleman. Rest in peace now Cesar. HH

Bada Bing
April 24, 2019 9:10 am

I wonder if the huns will have a minutes applause/silence, for the ex Aberdeen manager who passed away?

Noel Skytrot
April 24, 2019 9:22 am

I’m heading over to CP to lay some flowers at Billy’s statue, i’ve wrote on the card that the flowers are from all at Sentinel Celts.
meant to say earlier that your piece was a fitting tribute.

The Gombeen Man
April 24, 2019 9:29 am


Thanks for taking the time to write and share your thoughts on Billy’s life.

Titles and trophies are great but Billy achieved so much more than that.

A special, gifted man who will be much missed.


The Gombeen Man
April 24, 2019 9:32 am


That is a lovely gesture and helps us who aren’t able to attend to feel part of the tribute.

Thanks for that.


April 24, 2019 9:42 am

Just texted the writer of this post over on CQN to ask his permission to c&p on here. If any of you have a spare £200k or so,you too can waken up to Cesar leading the troops into battle.

Go to slide 14-it’s nearly as good as my mural!
NORRIEM on 24TH APRIL 2019 8:06 AM
Goood Morning CQN

Was just sitting here thinking, on Easter Monday morning at breakfast ( my Ghirls stayed over on Easter Sunday), we were looking at a house on line, as one of the Ghirls are looking to move)

Anyway, many will also know, I used to post as Cowiebhoy


Take a look at picture 14 of this house for sale in Cowie

Worth buying for this picture on it’s own ?

Hail Hail Cesar

April 24, 2019 9:44 am


Humbled by that,sir. Thank you from all of us!

April 24, 2019 9:53 am

I’ve missed your patter recently Mahe but you made up for it today. A terrific piece.

Noel Skytrot
April 24, 2019 10:00 am

BMCUWP and The Gombeen Man,
no thanks needed. It’s what we do.

April 24, 2019 11:03 am

Noel S,

That was a very good thing to do. I am very moved by your gesture.

My thoughts are with Billy’s family. It is fitting that there are so many memories of past glories and these will be remembered through the club forever. But perhaps it is worth mentioning Billy’s biggest battle…that is his fight against the long goodbye. He and his family handled it with dignity and, mainly, got the privacy that Billy earned.

Seven years ago I lost my father to the same illness. The dedication of my mother visiting him in hospital twice a day for his ever increasing frequent stays in that place, was amazing to behold. I arrived from Canada just in time to have a nice wee talk with him before he slept away. I shall never forget that chat. It was as near as two real men could get to showing affection for one another. I hope that Billy and his family got to share such a moment. For my family and for Dad, it was time for him to go. I found comfort in that a d I hope that Billy’s family feel the same.



April 24, 2019 12:11 pm

I’ve had many an imaginary argument with Tom English over the past few years but he has excelled himself today with this article. A beautiful tribute to Billy.

Bada Bing
April 24, 2019 1:19 pm

Have the league announced a minutes applause/silence at all grounds this weekend?……oh wait…

Bada Bing
April 24, 2019 1:20 pm

Red Matchday have done this fantastic tribute to Billy McNeill, which sums up the feelings up here in Aberdeen today. Well done to all those involved in this fantastic piece of writing!

The very sad news that Billy McNeill had passed away late last night (Monday 22nd April 2019) was announced by his family and Celtic FC this morning. The Red Matchday team pay tribute to the former Aberdeen manager Billy McNeill.

Billy McNeill was one of the most well-known and respected figures in Scottish football history.

Billy enjoyed a distinguished career as a player and manager and served Scottish football with distinction over many years. A man of immense stature he was a born leader on and off the field.

During an 18 year spell as a player, he made 790 competitive appearances for Celtic and would return to manage the club.

Along with his legendary spell as leader of the Lisbon Lions at Celtic, McNeill also had an all but too brief spell as manager at Aberdeen in season 1977/78.

After finishing his playing career in 1975, McNeill moved into management and cut his teeth with Clyde before Aberdeen made a shock move for him after Ally MacLeod left Aberdeen to take up the Scotland manager’s role. Many observers were surprised that he was the first choice to replace MacLeod as he had yet to prove himself as a manager. While his reputation as a player and captain was unsurpassed, but many believed that taking on a big job like Aberdeen came too early in his coaching career.

However, Aberdeen took the view that a young emerging manager, keen to establish himself, was the ideal candidate. There would always be an element of risk, but the only real success as a manager at Pittodrie since the Dave Halliday era was a young Eddie Turnbull who had revolutionised the Pittodrie set up in the late 1960s. McNeill ticked all the Aberdeen boxes as a young manager with a burning desire to succeed – as did Alex Ferguson, who followed in his wake.

It is ironic that in his one and only season with the Dons, he took Aberdeen so near to success only to be thwarted by his great rivals from Ibrox. It all started so well in the opening game of the season when a new look Rangers came north with big money signing Davie Cooper making his debut. McNeill, mindful of his new role and the passion that went along with any Aberdeen – Rangers game, emerged from the tunnel resplendent in his red shirt as he took a bow in front of the capacity crowd. It was a clever move as it immediately brought widespread satisfaction from the Aberdeen support and raised the noise levels, clearly having an impact on the visitors.

Despite the hype surrounding the new Rangers side, they were sent packing in an impressive 3-1 win that had Pittodrie warming to their new manager who had got off to the best possible start. It soon became clear that the league would develop into a straight battle between Aberdeen and Rangers as the Glasgow club set the early pace.

Aberdeen welcomed Rangers back to Pittodrie for the second league meeting on Christmas Eve 1977 and McNeill had encouraged his side to attack Rangers as he was convinced that if his players got to their defence early, they would have a good day.

He was spot on in that assessment as Aberdeen hammered Rangers 4-0 to close the gap at the top. Aberdeen could have done with a helping hand from elsewhere that season, but Rangers rarely slipped up against any other side and by the time Aberdeen inflicted a 3-0 defeat on Rangers at Ibrox in March, there was still a narrow gap at the top.

Eventually, Aberdeen lost out in the last game of the season and further disappointment followed when they did not really turn up at Hampden for the Scottish Cup final and Rangers won 2-1. On an extremely hot day at Hampden, tt was bitterly disappointing afternoon for Billy and the Dons and a sad way for his managerial spell at Pittodrie to end.

McNeill and his players were crestfallen and, not long after that final, his old club Celtic came calling as they were in need of their former captain to revive their fortunes.

Billy McNeill may only have been in charge at Pittodrie for a season, but he laid the foundations for further success with the signing of Steve Archibald and Gordon Strachan paving the way for Alex Ferguson to take over.

Archibald came to his attention as a part-time youngster with Clyde and the £20,000 fee paid by Aberdeen to the Shawfield side is one of the best transfer deals ever completed by the club – Craig Brown was the Clyde manager at that time. While Archibald’s signing was welcome, the deal that took Gordon Strachan to Pittodrie even topped that.

After the Dons were edged out by RWD Molenbeek in the UEFA Cup, McNeill had real concerns as to his team’s lack of creativity. In the domestic game it was less of an issue but on the European stage, it was clear that the Dons needed some guile and craft in the side. McNeill turned to Strachan, a young firebrand and tenacious player who was making his mark with Dundee in Division One. Aberdeen offloaded Jim Shirra along with £40,000 to take Strachan to Pittodrie. It was too late for Europe but it was clear that in the young midfielder Aberdeen had a player of huge potential. On reflection, the signing of Strachan was a significant event in Aberdeen FC history as the ‘wee man’ went on to play a starring role in the successes of the 1980s, both at home and abroad.

And he also signed a young midfielder by the name Neil Simpson. Neil was given a professional contract and was one of several very promising youngsters who were about to have a major impact on the side.

McNeill, who stayed in the Stonehaven area, openly admitted that he and his family loved life in the north east and that he regretted having to leave Aberdeen after only one season, but understandably the lure of Celtic was too strong. McNeill and Aberdeen both went on to enjoy future success, the Dons entering their golden era under Alex Ferguson.

No one should ever forget the contribution Billy made to Aberdeen.

Billy was an absolute gentleman and one of the nicest guys you could meet in football.

In 2003 he took part in an event to mark the century of AFC and recalled how much he enjoyed his spell at Pittodrie. In more recent years he would go out of his way to make the Aberdeen staff and directors feel welcome at Parkhead when the Dons faced Celtic in Glasgow.

He is someone who will always be regarded in the highest esteem at Pittodrie and across Scottish football.

Byres Road Bhoy
April 24, 2019 1:20 pm

“…under Big Billy’s watch nothing untoward would go down at all.” Your daddy’s words struck a chord with me Mahe because a long time ago when I was struggling, Big Billy provided me with reassurance and belief that changed my life for the better – and yet I never met the man!
It happened like this.
Back in the late nineties I was sitting in a departure lounge at Glasgow Airport… sweating. The upcoming flight to Malaga filled me with terror. The word ‘plummet’ seemed to dominate my thinking as I stared at the floor. Hithertoo I’d simply drowned my fear of flying, wafting to and fro on holiday jaunts aboard a carpet of booze and artificial jollification.
But this trip would be the first flying holiday my wife and I had taken in the two years since I had stopped drinking after realising that I was no more than a functioning alcoholic with a residence beneath a motorway flyover beckoning in the not too distant future. It had been hard going.
Now I was prepared to put it all at risk. For all I could think of were the excuses I would make to my wife once an air hostess appeared with a trolley of drinks that might ameliorate my sheer funk.
At this point I heard laughter, looked up and there he was – Big Billy McNeill! On the same flight! There was no mistaking the tall figure, now walking with a slight limp, as he moved around graciously acknowledging and greeting fans and admirers who had stepped up to say hello and get their photo taken alongside him.
I was in awe. Like many I had stood on terraces and watched on TV during the glory years of European Cup and nine-in-a-row. Now here he was, just a few yards away. Sadly for me, I couldn’t bring myself to approach one of my all time heroes but as I watched him smile and laugh, it got me thinking.
“Big Billy McNeill is on the same flight!” I said to myself. I sensed reassurance. And suddenly for whatever reason the fear just oozed away silently and swiftly. Daft as it seems, I felt certain that no way could ‘Big Cesar’ be aboard a plane that could possibly hurtle earthwards in flames. The fear was gone.
“There’s Big Billy McNeill,” I said to my wife. “Who’s he?” said she. I started laughing. I was still laughing when we boarded the plane.
Billy wasn’t on the return flight but I didn’t need his personal assistance by then. I was able to dismiss any trepidation with a simple thought, ‘How would Big Billy handle it?’
It’s a thought that’s got me effortlessly through dozens of flights since then.
Sadly my dear wife left this earth some years ago. Now Billy has too. But I’ll have had 25 good booze free years come this summer.
Thank you Billy. And thanks for everything else. HH

April 24, 2019 2:05 pm

Byres Road Bhoy, you have a gift for posting. Don’t make yourself a stranger.

April 24, 2019 2:07 pm

Really beautiful writing. So sad for his family, though living in someone’s heart is not really dying.

April 24, 2019 2:32 pm

Noel,,Many thanks for that great gesture, I really appreciate it and it helps me to think a wee part of us is there in tribute.
I don’t mind admitting I had to stop and dry the tears several times . When you’re crying over a person you’ve never met then you know they have made a real impression.

Bryes Road Bhoy,,thanks for your excellent comment and welcome. Please don’t be a stranger. A lovely tale.
Hail Hail

The Exiled Tim
April 24, 2019 4:22 pm

Thanks for the gesture Noel, very much appreciated.
First time I met Billy was at a family wedding, I just happened to be sitting at the same table during the reception and was simply awestruck, I so so wanted to speak to him but didn’t know what to say, he eventually broke the ice, he said I understand you are a Celtic supporter, that was it, he couldn’t get a word in after that, my nerves took over and I just talked non stop, I bet he regretted speaking to me that day, if he did it never showed, he was amazing, after that at other family gatherings everything was as normal as it could be, a top bloke, a gentleman and a true legend in every sense of the word.

Noel Skytrot
April 24, 2019 4:28 pm

A very sombre mood by those who were paying tribute to Billy McNeill this morning. There were scarves from Inter, Benfica, Hibs, Sevco, Motherwell, Man City, Aberdeen, St Mirren, a Polish team that I couldn’t translate, a Bayern Munich top and others. That tells you in a small way just how respected our captain was.

It would be fitting if our title win or Scottish Cup win was dedicated to the big man.

April 24, 2019 4:34 pm

TeT,,what a privilege sharing tables and gatherings but he probably never seen it that way such was his humility.
As I never seen him play if anyone could maybe point to a comparable more modern player I might know I would appreciate it. I know it’s hard to compare players sometimes.
There have been some lovely tributes and as I say the entire footballing world seems to have united in respect for him.
Only a few men could ever achieve that .
Dare I say it there’s a chance to improve relations between all fans and clubs this weekend by having their own moments of reflection whichever one/route they choose.
I favour the minutes applause myself, not the silence though I do understand it.
And may I state for the record,
I want a stand named after him.
The north or main stand.

Hail Hail

April 24, 2019 4:38 pm

I believe the Celtic support, from a multitude of backgrounds, see Celtic from a number of different perspectives producing different ideas of what Celtic means to them.

However to me personally Billy McNeill probably personifies more than any Celt in living memory my ideal of Celtic.

A man of many qualities: a warp and weft of integrity, honesty, character, strength, warmth, bravery, intelligence, empathy, humour and determination to form a cloak of honour.

An honourable man who reflects the spirit of Celtic in a materialistic world where such spiritual qualities are badly needed.

Winning 10iar is an admirable objective, but for me pales into insignificance compared to leaving the world in a better state than we entered.

Billy McNeill left many individual worlds in a better state, hence the outpouring of thanks giving as well as sorrow at his passing.

Lose sight of Billy’s honourable life message and the fairy tale that he believed existed around the club and my, and possibly others, ideal of Celtic ends.

Billy McNeill was, and will continue to be, a reminder of who I/we want Celtic to be.

Bada Bing
April 24, 2019 4:48 pm
Bada Bing
April 24, 2019 5:14 pm

I hope with the blessing of the family, the service can be played on the screens at CP next week

The Exiled Tim
April 24, 2019 5:19 pm

Privileged and humbled to have known him, thing is, he was as normal as the next bloke, the fact he was the captain of the Lions was immaterial to him, he saw it as an honour to represent us, he told me that when he got a word in.
I agree with the applause and the stand, I also hope the players today take it on board what he stood for and play out of their skin for the remainder of this seasons games and they are dedicated to him.

big packy
April 24, 2019 5:53 pm

EVENING BHOYS, byres road bhoy welcome to the blog lovely post.hh.

April 24, 2019 5:56 pm

Evening Big Packy.
You got a mention in today’s article,,,don’t sat we don’t care hey 😉
Some fitting tributes but do you agree name the north stand after him ?
Hail Hail

big packy
April 24, 2019 5:59 pm

HI MAHE im honored to get a mention, yes agree 100 per cent.hh.

The Exiled Tim
April 24, 2019 6:03 pm

There is an awful lot of the huns must-will stop the ten, depending on what and where you are reading stuff from, from their perspective it’s all bollix, from ours all it is, is us attempting to overhaul our own record, feck all to do with the huns, old or new, we were first to the NIAR, they equaled it through cheating, they couldn’t beat it so they are insignificant in all of this, so their boasts about stopping the ten are just that, wind and pish.
It’s our record and it will be our own record we will beat.

April 24, 2019 6:05 pm

I couldn’t post yesterday, cried my eyes out all day -so much so that by afternoon, reading all the online tributes and watching TV reports, I had resorted to holding a hand towel on my lap as tissues were piling up 🙂 when my son came in from work took one look at my red, swollen eyes and said “knew you’d be in some state!”
My hero is dead, the beautiful shining embodiment of all that is good at Celtic has gone. Even as I typed that I realised it was incorrect, he is not gone who lives on in our hearts and minds. He has simply moved on to a higher plane to be ever remembered and revered by us all.
I went up to Celtic Park early yesterday to lay my flowers and to say a prayer at his statue for the repose of his soul. Not that I have any fears on that score I have a fancy the gates of Heaven were stood open awaiting his arrival to join his Lisbon brethren gone before. I remember I used to see him quite regularly at Mass in my parish (St Alphonsus) with his wife and son. Funnily enough though I was in his presence quite a few times at functions etc I never plucked up the courage to speak to him, have seen a few others say this too so least I’m not the only one.
My brightest tangible memories of Billy were during the centenary year – who else could have steered us safely to shore during that emotional, sometimes turbulent, year? He was, of course, already my hero but that year just somehow sticks out in my memory. His joyful celebrations when we won the double were just so open hearted you could just see his love for Celtic!
The number of tributes being paid to him from far and wide just prove what a very special man he was, a beautiful soul who commanded respect wherever he went, we will not see his like again!
Plus, he punched Gerry McNee right in the kisser, who among us did not shout “yesss” when they heard that lol!!

big packy
April 24, 2019 6:08 pm

NOEL SKYTROT,lovely gesture, thank you very much.hh.

April 24, 2019 6:24 pm

I agree with Big Packy.

Bada Bing
April 24, 2019 6:25 pm

Prior to the kick-off, at 11am, the Celtic first-team will lay a wreath on the Celtic Way in honour of the Hoops legend, a footballing giant who devoted his life to his beloved Celtic.

Members of Billy’s family have been invited to the match and before kick-off there will also be special video tributes within the stadium to the great man, for supporters to enjoy and remember Cesar.

The Celtic first team will wear a special black armband in memory of Billy on Saturday, bearing the Number 5 to recognise Billy’s iconic number that he always wore with pride. 

At the request of the McNeill family, a minute’s applause will then take place just prior to the 12.30pm kick-off. The McNeill Family said: “We do not believe football stadiums were ever built to be to be silent. Our father would not have wanted that. They should be places of noise, passion and enjoyment.

“Football was his life and Celtic Park was a very large part of that. So please celebrate his life with a moment of cheers, songs and applause because that would make him feel at home again.”

Billy will also be honoured and celebrated further at Celtic’s last fixture of the season, the Scottish Cup final against Hearts, which takes place at Hampden on the poignant date of Saturday, May 25. All the Celtic first team will wear Billy’s famous Number 5 on the Celtic shorts in tribute to a man who gave so much to Celtic and to Scottish football. 

big packy
April 24, 2019 6:32 pm

BADA, thanks for posting that.hh.

big packy
April 24, 2019 6:46 pm

HI JIM how you doing,,read your post last night about going to school the day after we won the big cup., remember going into our school st augustines, and everybody had a celtic scarf on, then my uncle packy took me to parkhead to watch the team bringing the cup home,,happy memories.hh.

April 24, 2019 6:51 pm

BP, My mother and father also went into Glasgow to see the team come home with ole ‘Big Ears’. I can’t remember why us children didn’t get to go. Probably couldn’t afford all the train fares!

Noel Skytrot
April 24, 2019 6:54 pm

Big Packy and Jim the Tim, it was the right thing to do as we are all part of the wider Celtic family and that some folk on here are in various places throughout the world. Billy is what he is to us all, it had to be done. Not forgetting that I like the site and the opinions expressed on here by it’s posters, it’s what we do. I seek no plaudits for doing so, just remembering the big man. HH

The Exiled Tim
April 24, 2019 7:01 pm

Welcome Christina and Byres Road Bhoy don’t be strangers.

The Gombeen Man
April 24, 2019 7:05 pm


Fabulous post and very well put. I remember going to St Alphonsus as a youngster. We used to sometimes see Jinky there.

After the autograph and smiles from Jimmy, we’d wander round the Barras and always end up at a stall that was half devoted to us and the other half I can’t remember.

St Alphonsus used to be known for it’s ‘quick Masses.’ I’m not sure if that’s still the case?

I share many of those happy memories of Billy too.

Till later,


big packy
April 24, 2019 7:08 pm

CHRISTINA, lovely heartfelt post, welcome to the blog.

April 24, 2019 7:17 pm

Yes Christina welcome. Hope you keep posting.

I used to meet Jinky at Greyfriars in Uddingston, he helped tend the grounds. Greyfriars had a wee chapel with a bell within, which if you rung it, a priest would come into the confessional and hear your confession! Confession on demand! Not that I needed that (much).

A thing of beauty
April 24, 2019 8:04 pm

Some lovely words today especially from byres road bhoy and Christina. As TET says, don’t be strangers.

April 24, 2019 8:04 pm

Noel skytrot-fantastic gesture
BADA BING- like wise yours yesterday mate
Byres Road Bhoy-heartwarming story,thank you

April 24, 2019 8:08 pm

Mane-brilliant mate