CELTIC has released the following statement after rumours on Saturday night that Celtic’s greatest ever captain was seriously ill in hospital.

The Celtic legend is currently battling dementia and his family has confirmed he is being treated for an illness in hospital but at no point have they been ‘called to his side’.

‘Further to speculation circulating on social media we would like to confirm the following. As is widely known, our father, Billy, has been battling dementia for some time. He is currently in hospital receiving treatment for an illness. However, at no time have the family been called to his bedside and reports of his death are untrue.

‘Whilst we appreciate the love and appreciation shown towards our father, the current rumours are upsetting to us as a family. We would appreciate if people would refrain from spreading such stories and respect our request for privacy in this matter.’

The Lisbon Lion is ingrained into the fabric of Celtic football club after years of service as a player, coach and ambassador. Fans were rightfully concerned when the rumours started circulating around social media.

Rumours can be very distressing for McNeill’s family and we must be careful where information comes from. We hope the Celtic legend continues to fight on!


  1. King Billy is in the hands of the Docs, nurses and auxileirys. I wish him well. Miss him at Paradise next week, get better soon Caesar.

  2. Big Billy was always my hero. Great stature, great player, and a lovely man. I met him a few times over the years and was in awe when in his company. I hope and pray the big man can overcome his illness and get home to Liz and his famliy. God bless big man.
    As we sing “There’s only one King Billy, that’s McNeill”


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