The thoughts of everyone at the Scottish FA are with the family and friends of former Celtic and Scotland captain Billy McNeill, who has sadly passed away.

In a celebrated football career, Billy McNeill captained Celtic during the most successful period for a Scottish club of all time, winning nine Scottish League Championships, seven Scottish Cups and six Scottish League Cups.

He became the first British player to lift the European Cup, captaining the Lisbon Lions team in their historic victory in 1967. In total, he made more than 800 appearances for Celtic in a playing career that also saw him earn 29 caps for Scotland.

Following his retirement he managed Celtic on two occasions, adding a further four Scottish League Championships, three Scottish Cups and one Scottish League Cup to his trophy haul.

Scottish FA President Alan McRae has paid tribute to the Scottish football legend following his passing.

“The Scottish football family has lost one of its all-time greats. Billy was, quite simply, an icon of Scottish football – a natural leader who, though synonymous with Celtic, was respected throughout the entire Scottish footballing fraternity.

“A solid, uncompromising defender, his greatest talent was inspiring his teammates to reach new heights. His standards on and off the pitch were impeccable and he was a true ambassador for the best of the Scottish game wherever he travelled.

“Billy’s unprecedented honour-laden playing career came during a golden era for Scottish football. Though the man known as ‘Cesar’ to Celtic fans is predominately known for his club career, his Scotland career also saw him help the team to new heights – in his first match as captain of Scotland he led the team to a 1-0 victory over England in front of more than 133,000 fans at Hampden Park.

“He will go down in history for his achievements in Scottish football and was rightfully among the inaugural inductees into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

“The likes of Billy will never be seen again. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends. Scottish football will remember him, always.”