Of course, among his never-ending list of achievements as an heroic captain and manager for Celtic, McNeill became the first British man to lift the European Cup in Lisbon in 1967 when the Glasgow side famously defeated Inter Milan 2-1.
But domestically, he and Greig enjoyed many fair-spirited and hard-fought battles against one another throughout their long and distinguished careers and the ex-Gers skipper has today spoken of his sadness at losing a ‘great friend’.
A statement issued via the Rangers club website earlier today read: ‘THE Directors, players and staff of Rangers Football Club are today saddened to learn of the death of Celtic legend Billy McNeill.
‘Mr McNeill passed away last night at the age of 79 having fought a brave battle with dementia in recent years.
‘He served Celtic Football Club as both captain and manager and was a true leader both on and off the pitch, always showing outstanding respect and conducting himself with great dignity.
‘Rangers Honorary Life President John Greig MBE said: “We were very good friends for many years and we had a great respect for each other both on and off the pitch.
‘“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.”
‘Everyone at Rangers today sends their condolences to the family and friends of Mr McNeill.’
McNeill’s passing comes two years after his family revealed he was battling dementiaand it goes without saying that he’ll be sadly missed by the entire Scottish footballing community and beyond.