School sports park to be named after football great

Billy McNeill Sports Park

Billy McNeill Sports Park

A new state-of-the-art 4g sports pitch at a Motherwell secondary school will be named after former pupil and legendary Celtic FC and Scottish Internationalist Billy McNeill.

Construction progress on the new 'Billy McNeill Sports Park' officially got underway at Our Lady's High on Thursday 30 May and will be completed later this year.

Sadly, Billy passed away last month. His wife Liz McNeill and daughter Libby joined Our Lady's Head Teacher Dan Cardle and Paul Kelly, Depute Leader of North Lanarkshire Council to launch work on the new park.

Another Lisbon Lion, the late great Bobby Murdoch, also attended Our Lady's High before going on to join Celtic.

"It's fantastic," said Billy's wife Liz. "I couldn't believe it when they first said they were going to do it. Billy enjoyed his time at the school."  

The school, which was founded in 1888 the same year as Celtic FC, has had other famous former pupils who have reached the pinnacle of footballing success. Iconic former Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby, former Celtic and Motherwell player, Stephen Pearson and current Celtic defender, Kieran Tierney, all attended the school.

When completed, the all-weather 11-a-side pitch on the current school campus at Dalzell Drive will be used for a number of sports including football and hockey.

Paul Kelly, Depute Leader of North Lanarkshire Council said: "Billy McNeill is rightly remembered as an all-time sporting great and an inspiration to young people. Billy proudly hailed from North Lanarkshire having been born and brought up in Bellshill and attending high school here in Motherwell.

"When the decision was made to build a new sports pitch for the pupils at Our Lady's, it seemed fitting to name the park after the school's most famous former pupil. We are all looking forward to the pitch being completed and providing a first class sports area for pupils and the local community to enjoy."

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