PROJECTBilly McNeill, Captain of Celtic ‘Lisbon Lions’

Billy McNeill, Captain of Celtic ‘Lisbon Lions’

Lifesize bronze statue of Billy McNeill, Celtic FC, sited in his birthplace town of Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, Scotland

The second Billy McNeill bronze statue, created by John McKenna Sculptor at his studio in Ayrshire, the statue was commissioned by ardent Celtic fans and is now installed at Bellshill, where McNeill was born.

The statue celebrates the moment when Billy McNeill walked out onto the pitch, leading his team to play at the the European cup final Estádio Nacional in LisbonPortugal on 25 May 1967. Celtic won the cup final trophy by beating Inter Milan – F.C. Internazionale Milano by 2 goals to 1. This was the first occasion any British team had won the European Cup and Celtic’s captain, Billy McNeill was the first British football team captain to have that honour of lifting the European cup. The Celtic team, managed by Jock Stein went on to become known as ‘the Lisbon Lions’ and had a great run of winning championships over the next years.

This is the second bronze statue to the great man, who well deserved this honour.

Photographs of claywork in McKenna’s studio

The statue cast in bronze.

The McNeill family unveiling the statue at Bellshill.