HAIL, CAESAR!

Billy McNeill
Billy McNeill
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A TRUE giant of Scottish football will be guesting at the first ever Raith Rovers Hall of Fame evening.

Celtic and Scotland legend Billy McNeill is attending the event at the Adam Smith Theatre, which will see nine Rovers icons recognised for the part they’ve played in the club’s history - as well as raising money for the Kirkcaldy side.

Author Val McDermid, former Scotland star Gordon Strachan and broadcasting legend Archie McPherson will take to the stage on Monday, November 12 to talk about Raith Rovers and Scottish football in general - and there will also be one or two surprises on the night!.

And now Billy McNeill, one of the most respected figures in Scottish football, will also be there, having been invited by Gordon Brown MP, a member of the organising committee.

McNeill, nicknamed ‘Caesar’, made his debut for Celtic in 1957 and as team captain went on to win nine Scottish League Championships, seven Scottish Cups, and six Scottish League Cups. But it was for becoming the first British player to lift the European Cup that he’s best remembered for when Celtic defeated Inter Milan 2-1 in the final in 1967.

In that same year McNeill played alongside Hall of Fame inductee Jim Baxter for Scotland in the famous 3-2 victory over then world champions England at Wembley.

He retired in 1975 having racked up nearly 800 appearances for the Glasgow giants in a glittering career.

He made his first step into management with Clyde, then had a short spell at Aberdeen before succeeding the legendary Jock Stein at Parkhead in 1978. Over the next five years Celtic won three league titles, two Scottish Cups and the League Cup. After stints at Manchester City then Aston Villa, McNeill returned to manage Celtic for a second time. His four years weren’t quite as successful as his first spell in the dugout, but he still managed to deliver another league title and Scottish Cup.

In 2009 he was named as club ambassador, a role which he performs to this day.