Big Billy, Peter Swales got it right.

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Joe O'Rourke
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Big Billy, Peter Swales got it right.

Postby Joe O'Rourke » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:56 am

It was very sad to read over the weekend that Big Billy aka Cesar is suffering from Dementia, of course it was a well-known secret amongst his family and close friends and team mates for a while that the Big Man was struggling with health issues, but it still comes as a shock to actually see it in writing.

Billy was nick-named Cesar after Cesar Romero the actor in the original Ocean’s Eleven movie, because Billy had a car when very few other players had one. But Big Billy could have been named after Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, or Hannibal, Napoleon or Alexander the Great, or any of the great historical leaders, because he certainly was a Great Leader, but he had humility along with it.

Billy’s place as the Greatest Captain in Celtic’s long unbroken history is guaranteed for ever, that will never change, that is Infinite. Billy won 23 trophies as a player, and another 8 as Manager, he was also named Footballer of the Year in 1965. In any other country but Scotland Big Billy would have won about 100 caps, but here it didn’t matter how good you were, it mattered who you played for, or where you went or didn’t go on a Sunday morning.

Peter Swales the Manchester City Boss said of Billy, it didn’t matter whether he was at City or Aston Villa, his heart was always at Celtic Park, and Tommy Docherty once said when Lorenzo Amoruso was compared to Big Billy … “I don’t remember Billy being Crap”.

Billy certainly has an Aura about him, he looked and acted like the Captain of a Great Football Team. The pictures of Billy holding aloft the European Cup is proof of his stature, there is no gloating or showboating, Big Billy holds the Cup aloft proud and statesman like, then again maybe the big Man was knackered after walking up all those stairs.

Billy rightly became our Great Club’s Ambassador in 2009, who better to represent Celtic than Billy Mc Neill, the workload for that has been taken over by two trusty Lieutenants in Davie Hay and Tom Boyd. The first thing Martin O’Neill did when he came to Celtic was to take Billy and the rest of the Lion’s out for dinner, and Martin could certain recognise Greatness when he saw it.

We have to remember we are not writing Big Billy’s obituary, I certainly hope that Billy is with us for many more years, with the love of Liz and the rest of his Family he will never want for anything, he also has great support from Peter Lawwell and the rest of his old team mates.

With a week of celebrations coming up in May to commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary of winning the European Cup, let’s hope that Billy can take his place at the front of the rest of the Lisbon Lions, where he always was as their Great Leader. May God Bless and take care of you and yours Billy … Hail Cesar !!!!!

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