It's time Big Billy got the recognition he deserves.

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Joe O'Rourke
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It's time Big Billy got the recognition he deserves.

Postby Joe O'Rourke » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:45 am

When you look at the shambles that is Scottish Football, you wonder if there is somebody out there with the brains, stature, and honesty and integrity to drag this organisation into the 21st century. At this stage I will cut SFA CEO Ian Maxwell a bit of slack, he isn’t long in the job, and when the two people closest to him, who are supposed to help him take command of the sinking ship are Alan McCrae and Rod Petrie, then he will need all the help he can get, but certainly not from those two Muppet’s.

I certainly hope that Celtic Football Club put someone up to oppose Petrie getting the job, I know at least a couple of people within Celtic who could do a good job, even doing a decent job would be an improvement. Those two, and I’m sure there are others are draining Scottish Football, they contribute absolutely nothing to the Scottish Game, and should both be removed with immediate effect.

Talking about someone with the brains, stature, and honesty and integrity to fulfil that position, I give you the perfect person, Billy McNeill, sadly, Big Billy’s is no longer in good enough health to take up a position. But thinking of Billy recently throws up another proposal, and I would use this blog as an open invitation to those who have influence to help achieve it.

First of all let me say I have never been a supporter of people receiving honours from the state, but I am going to ignore my own preferences on this occasion. There is a groundswell at the moment in England to get the late great Gordon Banks posthumously awarded a Knighthood, and I would heartily agree with that. Gordon Banks certainly merits that award, as would the late great Jock Stein if the rules were to change.

We have no such problems with Cesar, although Billy is not in great health at the moment, he is very much still with us, as Liz and the Family rightly pointed out recently. Now would be a great time for those in the corridors of power to start a campaign to get Big Billy a Knighthood, and honour which he would so richly deserve.

Billy has been associated with Celtic almost non-stop since he signed from Blantyre Victoria in 1957. He was a one team player, and played 822 times for Celtic, and unless going off injured Billy played every minute, he was never substituted. Billy also managed the club on 455 occasions. He was captain from 1962 until he retired (prematurely) after the Scottish Cup Final in 1975. Billy is still a Club Ambassador to this day.

Billy I believe is the only player to captain his team to 9 League Titles in a row. Billy won as a player, 9 League Titles, 7 Scottish Cups, 6 League Cups, and of course the European Cup. As Manager, he won a further 4 League Titles, 3 Scottish Cups, and 1 league Cup. Making a grand total of 13 League Titles, 10 Scottish Cups, 7 League Cups, and the European Cup. 31 major trophies in all.

The Manchester City Chairman said of Billy. “There are people born to be with a certain club, and Billy McNeill was born to be at Celtic, no matter whether he was at Manchester City or Aston Villa, his heart was always in Glasgow with Celtic”

As we all know Billy was the first British Captain to lift the European Cup, with all due respect to others, I think if Celtic had played in England, and Billy had been English, he would have been knighted before he got on the plane to come home after the game.

I suppose we used to Celtic Players and their achievements being ignored, you only have to look at the caps Billy won for Scotland, a paltry 29, I would suggest Billy is the best centre half to ever play football in Scotland, he was rightly voted Celtic’s greatest ever Captain in 2002.

Billy McNeill has been an exceptional human being throughout his life. Billy is the Giants Giant. He was called Cesar after Cesar Romero, but he could easily have been called Caesar after Julius Caesar, or Hannibal, or Napoleon, or Alexander after the great Leaders of their time. Billy was certainly a Leader, but remarkably, he was very humble with it. An extraordinary man, who if anyone in Football deserves to be Knighted, Big Billy does. Make it happen.

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