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DUNDEE HONOUR TOMMY GEMMELL TODAY

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DUNDEE will hold a minute’s silence at Dens Park today in honour of former player and manager Tommy Gemmell, who died earlier this month at the age of 73.

The Tayside outfit face Celtic where the Lisbon Lion made his name in Jock Stein’s all-conquering team in the sixties and won 15 medals, including a European Cup badge in 1967.

Gemmell captained Dundee to their first piece of silverware in a decade when they beat his old Parkhead team 1-0 in the 1973 League Cup Final.

The flamboyant, goalscoring left-back joined the Dens men earlier that year after leaving the Hoops in December 1971 for Nottingham Forest.

Manager Davie White brought him back to Scottish football two years later when his career stalled across the border.

Gemmell succeeded the former Rangers gaffer in 1977 and was boss for three years before leaving the club to concentrate on a career as a financial consultant.

Tommy recalled his first day at Dundee when he first encountered a fresh-faced Gordon Strachan.

In his autobiography, ‘All The Best’, which was published by CQN in 2014, he said: “I met him in the summer of 1973 after I had just arrived from Forest.

“I got to the ground a couple of weeks ahead of the pre-season schedule and I spotted some kids having a five-a-sides game behind one of the goals.

“‘Can I join in?’ I asked. ‘Are you any good?’ responded Strachan with a cheeky grin. ‘I’ll do my best,’ I said.

“I was hugely impressed by him right away. He was just a wee boy, really, but he had so much ability.

“He was always looking for the ball, always wanting to be in the thick of the action. He was non-stop and that endeavour never left him at any stage in his career.

“From a raw kid to a veteran at Coventry City via Aberdeen, Manchester United and Leeds United, playing into his forties, he never lacked enthusiasm.

“Ron Atkinson, the manager who took him from Pittodrie to Old Trafford in 1984, once said, ‘There’s no-one fitter at his age – except, maybe, Raquel Welch.’

“Now that’s a compliment.”

Gemmell’s funeral was held at Daldowie Crematorium a week ago on Friday after an emotional farewell from Celtic Park.

The Tommy Gemmell CSC Dunblane will hold aloft their new banner commissioned in Tommy’s memory during today’s minutes silence. 

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