Rangers have paid tribute to Celtic icon Billy McNeill after the Lisbon Lion’s death aged 79, with Ibrox legend John Greig calling him a “great man.”
McNeill’s death was confirmed earlier today and tributes have poured in from across the world of football to the first Brit to lift the European Cup.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 02: John Greig former Rangers captain and Billy McNeill former Celtic captain hold a wreath prior to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match on January 2, 2011 in Glasgow, Scotland. Scotland. Rangers and Celtic fans observed a one minutes silence to mark the 40th anniversary of the Ibrox disaster, when sixty six football supporters lost their lives at the end of the 1971 New Year match.
(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Greig told how he had “great respect” his former adversary and became “very good friends” with the man Celtic fans called “Cesar.”
“We were very good friends for many years and we had a great respect for each other both on and off the pitch,”
Greig told the Rangers website.
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 10: Ex Rangers player and manager John Greig looks on during the Scottish Championship Opening League Match between Rangers and Hearts, at Ibrox Stadium on August 10, 2014 Glasgow, Scotland.
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
“We were the captains of Rangers and Celtic in the past of course but, more recently, we received our honorary doctorates from Glasgow University on the same day which was a special occasion – so we had a lot in common.

“As a player, I remember Billy was like an extra forward because of his aerial ability at set-pieces. He was also a leader and a commanding and respected figure in the Lisbon Lions team of the Sixties.
“He was a great man and at this sad time my thoughts are with Liz and her family.”
McNeill won 31 trophies as both a player and manager at Parkhead as well as playing in 790 games during his illustrious career.
After leaving Celtic as a player, he had spells managing Aberdeen, Clyde, Aston Villa, Manchester City and two stints in the hotseat at Parkhead.

19.12.2015. Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland. Scottish Premier League. Celtic versus Motherwell. Billy McNeill with his family
(Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/ActionPlus/Corbis via Getty Images)
It seems unlikely that we’ll ever see rival Old Firm captains with the same mutual respect as Greig and McNeill had for each other.
Both Greig and McNeill are the epitome of what their respective clubs are all about and Greig’s words only serve to show how much has changed in Scottish football over the years.

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