THE funeral of one of Scotland's most successful – yet paradoxically least known – footballers will take place tomorrow. Edna Neillis was an international team-mate of Rose Reilly and played alongside her at clubs in France and Italy.

Yet whereas Reilly was feted throughout her Italian career and remains the only female to have been inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame, Neillis was almost unknown when she died on July 18. She was 62, and according to contemporaries was a better player in some respects than her famous fellow countrywoman.

Neillis grew up in the east end of Glasgow, playing football in the streets and also for a boys team. Jock Stein reportedly once saw her playing against Celtic Boys Club and told the Rangers-daft girl if she had been a boy he would have signed her.

Neillis was capped for Scotland as a teenager and played alongside Reilly in the first official international against England at Greenock in 1972. Both youngsters were desperate to play professional football abroad - and aided by a tabloid newspaper they joined the French club Stade de Rheims two years later.

The pair were spotted by an AC Milan after only a few games and moved to Italy where they helped their new club secure the Serie A title in 1975. Needing to win the final game against Lazio, Neillis got two goals and Reilly the other in a 3-0 victory.

The Scottish pair also won Italian Cup medals that season, and repeated the feat the following year.

Neillis won a third cup-winners' medal in 1980, this time with the exotically named AFC Gorgonzola. She continued to play football in Italy until she retired in 1990, having also played for Foggia and Lecce.

Elsie Cook, a former Scotland women's manager and secretary, who helped the two Scottish girls' move abroad, said: "Edna was a better ball player than Rose.

"She was fantastic. She played inside right, and with her red hair and skinny wee white legs she was an absolute dead ringer for Jimmy Johnstone (the Celtic and Scotland winger).

"She could do absolutely anything with a ball, and technically was similar to Kim Little today. Rose was faster, stronger and had a more determined attitude - Edna was just pure talent.

"Together on the park they were amazing, and complemented each other so well. They weren't just at AC Milan to make up the numbers - they were the stars of the side."

Neillis suffered from health problems in her later life, and both legs had to be amputated. Her funeral is at Daldowie Crematorium tomorrow morning.