An awful, devastating tragedy, RIP Matthew

Some truly terrible news today. A body has been found in Amsterdam in the search for the grandson of Celtic legend Billy McNeill and the family of 21-year-old Matthew McCombe have confirmed that his body was discovered this morning.

A body was recovered from a canal in Amsterdam by Dutch Police earlier today. And Matthew’s devastated family have now confirmed the sad news that  Matthew has lost his life.

An Amsterdam police spokesman released the following statement: “A body was found in the water at the Molenkade in Duivendrecht. Our colleagues discovered that this is the missing Matthew McCombe.

“We are investigating the cause of death”.

Matthew, who was in Amsterdam for his 21st birthday celebrations and was last seen on Saturday 14 March when he left the Novotel in the city without his phone, passport or wallet. Today his mum Paula has paid a heartfelt tribute to her son on Facebook.

“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”.

Of all the tributes and messages of condolences that are being paid to Matthew, Paul Larkin’s stood out. He simply stated that this was “an awful, devastating tragedy, RIP.”

Celtic have now posted a message of condolence to Matthew’s family. “Everyone at Celtic is devastated at the news of the sad passing of Matthew McCombe, grandson of legend Billy McNeill.

The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the club are with Matthew’s family and friends at this difficult time,” the club said.

And Matthew’s pal Mikey Johnston has posted his own message. “Absolutely gutted to hear the news about Matthew, amazing memories growing up together. Thoughts are with Paula and Charlie. RIP Matthew.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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