Frank McAvennie believes the Billy McNeill Fund will unite both halves of the Old Firm - in the battle against dementia.

Former Celtic striker McAvennie met up with ex-Rangers manager Walter Smith at the launch of the charity set up by the McNeill family at Parkhead yesterday.

And the man whose goals helped Celtic win the centenary double back in 1988 is confident fans of both Glasgow clubs will get behind the cause.

HeraldScotland:

“This means more to me than I realised it would,” he said. “When Billy’s family said they would get involved it was a big deal for all of us because they haven’t been involved in anything since he passed.

"You can imagine many times Liz and Martin have been asked to get involved with various things over that time. But this is the first one they’ve said ‘yes’ to so I am all for it.

“In some ways this horrible illness is a good thing for the city because at least it helps to bring the two sides of the divide together. There are no colours when it comes to something like this.

“We’ve all seen what happened to Fernando (Ricksen) and with the gaffer and when something like that happens it brings us all together. Hopefully we can find a cure for this horrible disease because I hear they are getting there.

“When I was going up to the gaffer he was getting worse and worse. It such a horrible, horrible illness and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

“I just hope the government doesn’t get involved and make it all about money. This is a horrible illness and we have to just let the experts get on with finding a cure.”

HeraldScotland:

Meanwhile, McAvennie has welcomed the return of the sort of neck-and-neck Scottish title race he was involved in during his own time as a player at Celtic.

“It’s great that there is a challenge - because it will make it a lot sweeter when Celtic do win the league!” he said.

“You saw what happened at the weekend when Rangers lost at Hearts. They were shell-shocked by that defeat. But that’s the way it’s going to be for both of them between now and the end of the season and it’s great.

“When I was playing if you dropped points on a Saturday the first thing you’d do when you got in the dressing room was ask how Rangers got on.

HeraldScotland:

"That’s the way it’s starting to get again and that can only be good for Scottish football, no matter who you support. Like I say, I support Celtic so as long as they win I’m delighted with the challenge.”