Body of Billy McNeill’s missing grandson found in Amsterdam

Matthew McCombe’s parents said the 21-year-old was 'much loved by all'.

Family: Matthew McCombe was 'much loved by all'.
Family: Matthew McCombe was 'much loved by all'.

The body of Billy McNeill’s grandson has been found in Amsterdam 18 days after going missing.

Matthew McCombe’s parents said he was “much loved by all”, adding: “Our hearts are broken.”

The 21-year-old, whose mum is the daughter of late Celtic legend McNeill, was last seen on the Berlagebrug bridge at 8.15am on March 14.

Police launched a search while Mr McCombe’s mum appealed to the “Celtic family” to share his picture far and wide in an effort to help trace him.

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Celtic FC also issued an appeal for help.

Amsterdam police said on Wednesday that a body had been found in the water at the Molenkade in Duivendrecht, about four miles south-east of the city.

A police spokesman confirmed the body was that of the missing Scot.

He said: “This morning we found a corpse in the water at the Molenkade in Duivendrecht.

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“Our colleagues discovered that this is the missing Matthew McCombe.

“We are investigating the cause of death.”

His parents – Paula and Charlie – posted a message on Facebook, stating: “It is with great sadness that we are announcing our son Matthew McCombe’s body was found this morning.

“Matthew was much loved by all and our hearts are broken.

“We would like to thank everyone who has helped in the search for Matthew and for the love, compassion and kindness that has been extended to us since our arrival in Amsterdam.

“As a family we would kindly ask for our privacy to be respected in these sad times.”

Celtic shared a statement expressing their ‘devastation’ at the news.

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The club’s chief executive Peter Lawwell said: “The passing of Matthew is devastating news for the entire McNeill family and our thoughts and prayers are very much with all family members at such a very difficult time.

“We know the search for Matthew has been long and difficult and everyone at the club is hugely saddened that it has concluded in this way, with such a heartbreaking result.

“For such a fine young man to be taken so early in his life is a real tragedy. Clearly, we will be here to offer the McNeill family our absolute, heartfelt support.”

Hibs have also paid tribute.

A spokesperson said: “Everyone at Hibernian is saddened at the news of the passing of Matthew McCombe, grandson of Billy McNeill.

“Matthew was once part of our academy set-up, playing alongside the likes of Fraser Murray and Ryan Porteous. 

“Our thoughts are with family and friends at this time.”

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