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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 March 2008, 13:09 GMT
Degree award for Old Firm legends
Billy McNeill and John Greig
The university honour recognises two Old Firm greats
Two Scottish footballing legends are to receive honorary degrees from the University of Glasgow this summer.

Former Old Firm players Billy McNeill and John Greig are being recognised for their achievements in football and roles as ambassadors for the sport.

The university's principal Sir Muir Russell said the two players personified the unsung contribution Old Firm clubs make to community relations.

The pair will receive their honorary degrees in June.

Sir Muir said: "Glasgow's two internationally renowned football clubs make a hugely significant contribution to the sporting life and economy of the city and are very supportive of the university.

John and I have been friends for a very long time and we're really looking forward to the ceremony
Billy McNeill

"As distinguished role models, during and since their successful playing careers, John Greig and Billy McNeill personify the often unsung contribution the Old Firm clubs make to improving community relations in the city and in supporting many good and charitable causes."

Former Rangers captain and manager John Greig said the recognition was a great honour.

He said: "I left school at 15 and university always seemed out of my reach but now that I'm older and hopefully wiser I can see the importance of education.

"So it's very exciting to receive this award. I'd like to thank Rangers for giving me a platform and this award is as much for the club as it is for me."

John Greig and Billy McNeill
Greig and McNeill both played for and managed their clubs

Billy McNeill, former Celtic captain and manager, said: "I have few regrets in life but one is that I never studied at university.

"So it means a lot to me to be awarded an honorary degree from Glasgow University. It is a magnificent gesture.

"John and I have been friends for a very long time and we're really looking forward to the ceremony in the summer."

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said: "Billy was a born leader on and off the field.

"To captain Celtic and become the first British club to win the European Cup, the biggest prize in club football, is a massive achievement and Billy and the other Lisbon Lions will forever be among the most important figures in Celtic's illustrious history."

Rangers Chairman Sir David Murray said the move was testimony to everything John Greig had achieved over a long and distinguished career in sport.

"This honour is richly deserved for a man who is a hero to thousands of Scots," he added.

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