Tributes paid to well-known bandsman

Bill Neill.
Bill Neill.

Tributes have been paid to former Monkstown YCV Flute Band member, Bill Neill.

Mr Neill passed away peacefully at home on December 30.

He was the beloved husband of Elaine and a loving father and grandfather.

Paying tribute, a spokesperson for Monkstown YCV FB said: “The officers and members of Monkstown YCV are saddened to hear the passing of our former member Bill Neill and would like to pass on our sympathy to the family circle. At rest. Lest we forget.”

Newtownabbey residents have paid tribute to Bill on social media.

Commenting on Facebook, one person said: “Rest easy Bill Neill. You were an Ulster man and a true gentleman who always had a bit of advice when it was needed through the years.”

Another person said: “So sorry to hear about this. I am thinking of the family at this sad time.”

A former bandmate added: “Deeply saddened to hear the sad news of Bill Neill passing. I had great craic back in the day when I was involved with the Monkstown band. Sleep easy friend.”

Bill was also an avid Crusaders supporter. Paying tribute, a spokesperson for the Shore Road club said: “It is with great sadness the club has learnt of the passing of Crusaders supporter Bill Neill after illness.

“Newtownabbey man Bill attended as many games as possible and could be seen at matches home and away with the shirt on getting behind the team alongside his fellow supporters.

“On behalf of Crusaders Board, players, management and supporters, Chairman Ronnie Millar would like to offer deepest condolences to his wife Elaine and family on Bill’s passing and our thoughts are with them all at this sad time. RIP Bill.”

Bill’s funeral service will take place in Roselawn Crematorium on Saturday, January 5 at 11am.

A notice on the Funeral Times site said: “Family flowers only please, donations in memory of Bill if desired to Marie Curie, c/o Stephen McCosh, 11 Jennings Park, Newtownabbey, BT37 0NB.

“In silence he suffered, with patience he bore, till God called him homeward to suffer no more.”