Guest blog by Tommy Gemmell


Today, we have the small matter of a guest blog by Lisbon Lion, right back, left back, dominator of play, years ahead of his time, scorer of two of our three most important goals, a truly modern player and one of Europe’s finest…….. Tommy Gemmell.

Tommy has spent the last few years ‘getting it all down on paper’, and this year CQN is publishing the definitive autobiography of a remarkable football player, icon and man.  It’s not his first book (which predicted we would win the European Cup in 1969), and it’s not his second, but it is a book with enormous sincerity and insight on the days when Scotland produced giants of the world game.

Inspirational people can inspire with little effort.  I described a goal to Tommy as “a great goal”, he gave me a half smile and said, “Every goal is a great goal”.  Tommy knows what it means to score goals so valuable they will live in legend as long as the game is played, but he was able to convince me that knocking the ball over the line for Celtic in a relatively meaningless game against vastly inferior opposition was, for him, indescribable, although he did a good job of describing it in the book.

Legends are made quickly these days but 40 years on, his contribution still towers.  He has really enjoyed working on the book and is looking forward to getting the final copy in his hands, and most of all, the interactions it will bring with the Celtic support.

He has put some words down for us in today’s blog, including an opportunity to ask him some questions – for inclusion in a special section of the book.  Hope you enjoy it………..


I am absolutely delighted Celtic Quick News is publishing my book ‘All The Best’ in the near future. The title is a bit of a giveaway as to what to expect within the pages of what I hope is an entertaining and insightful read.

I’ve gone through all the Celtic teams I’ve played in to come up with my eleven from heaven. Obviously, the Lisbon Lions are in a class of their own, so I haven’t touched them. Simpson, Craig and Yours Truly; Murdoch, McNeill and Clark; Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, Auld and Lennox. That’s about as close to perfection you’ll ever see in a football team.

We all had different strengths, but we really gelled as a formation. If that lot could keep Jock Stein satisfied, then who am I to change that line-up?

But there will be a few surprises along the way with my many selections. I’ve dipped into the international scene, too, and there are some great tales about Denis Law, Alan Gilzean and others. And, of course, I could never ignore the one and only Jinky,.I still miss that little rascal, but what a player!

I hope the book is interesting and enjoyable for many reasons because I really reveled in looking through the past. I relished ‘Heart Of A Lion: The Willie Wallace Story’ by my old pal. If my own memoirs are as appreciated as those of Willie, I’ll be well satisfied.

I have never before spoken at length about my friendship with George Best, for instance. Bestie and I had a good relationship and I would often look him up when I was in London on business. Well, what would you prefer? A boring old seminar about the world of finance or a couple of beers with Bestie? Thought so!

And there were also meetings with Brian Clough when I was at Nottingham Forest and he was manager at Derby County. Our paths crossed several times and I have to say he was a completely one-off individual. Not sure if I could have played for him, though!

And, of course, I could never ignore what Jock Stein did for me as a Celtic player. We may not always have seen eye-to-eye, but you can’t take away what he achieved at Celtic. He completely turned the club upside down. Mind you, he could be ruthless and I know what I’m talking about because I was on the receiving end a few times.

Without warning, he dropped me from the line-up for the League Cup Final against St.Johnstone in 1969. I was so livid that I asked for a transfer the following day. And yet Jock knew I never wanted to leave Celtic. Who in their right mind would? I was heart broken at the time, but I’ll tell you more in ‘All The Best’. All will be revealed, as they say.

I am going to try something different for the book.  Today, Celtic Quick News is open for you to send me questions on the blog.  I will take the questions and answer them in a hardback small run of the book, all of which will be signed.  So, don’t hesitate – get writing and I’ll be only too delighted to reply. If you have anything you’d like to ask me about my career in football, or anything else for that matter, please post on CQN today and the guys will forward me on the questions. I’ll do the rest!

I have always loved the interaction with the Celtic support. Even today I’ll get stopped in the street and fans will ask me about my European Cup Final goal. Mischievously, I’ll always respond with, ‘Which one?’ People seem to have forgotten that I scored in TWO European Cup Finals – against Inter Milan and Feyenoord. Most folk, though, don’t want to talk about the latter. Understandable, I suppose.

So, please send in your questions and I promise to answer every single one. And I will give it to you straight. I have also been promised my own account on CQN so when I am signing your books I am going to log in to CQN and have a chat with everyone. Paul will let you know when this is happening.

That’s the great part of ‘All The Best’. I’ve been able to tell it like it is and I hope the supporters appreciate the sentiments.

I am delighted Celtic Quick News guys are publishing the book, it’s an exciting adventure for us all, and I do hope you get as much enjoyment reading the book as I did putting it together.

All the best!

Tommy Gemmell

We’re so lucky to have these guys. They have been a gift beyond all recognition.

If you would like to read the new CQN Magazine, GO HERE to read properly, and for FREE, the graphic below is just a taster.
[calameo code=0003901710a55b5798f06 lang=en page=1 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]

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  1. BMCUW


    Possibly North Korea would also be a little unhappy with some political commentary at football matches but I have never been there. Anyway, you are being very harsh on Scotland. Political comments are allowed but they must be the right kind of political comments.




  2. Steinreignedsupreme on

    John O’Neil 12:17 on 12 February, 2014



    “Some CQN posters seem to be fond of linking a major world faith to child abuse. They may wish to link the BBC with child abuse. They might want to link children’s homes with child abuse. Actually, the reality is that child abuse can occur anywhere where children and adults exist together.”



    That is very true. But there is an obvious reason why sexual abuse within the RC Church is given precedence.


    Question for the big fella.



    When you chased that German to boot him up the bahoochie,was it the fastest you had ever run,and the hardest you had ever kicked?



    And was it the first time you completely missed the ball?

  4. All the Best with the book, Tommy! Be prepared for lots of questions about referees and the deid club before they were deid 0:-)








    In deference to your request to end the subject,I won’t c&p your 1226.



    But I wholeheartedly agree with your comment about extremism.



    My last word on the subject too,mate.

  6. Big Tam’s free kick goal against Benfica is etched on the memory.



    As is his arse kicking in the world club championship debacle

  7. masty is neil lennon and both of us are supporting wee oscar on



    the green brigade dont drink in the brazen, they used to use upstairs for banners and meetings but, big gian was told to drop them or problems could arise with licencing a bit like his dad had with shebeen in the day.btw not all of us brazen punters agree with tony on the green brigade, I myself have had a few barneys with him on that subject disnay make him a bad guy.

  8. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on

    Just trying to catch up and a new article appears.



    John O’Neill



    JF’s political views had no bearing on either of the 2 Open Meetings.



    She acted as chairperson and facilitator.



    The post by TNT this morning was the discussion which took place at the second meeting. It involved the answers from Celtic to the questions which were generated at the first meeting.



    These questions came from the floor; from ordinary rank and file Celtic supporters. The questions were NOT created by with JF or the Celtic Trust.



    Ps a strange Commie considering she’s a practicing Catholic.

  9. Q for big tam



    How long did you play for meadow thistle & did you ever bring the big cup back to Craigneuk Or are they simply Craigneuk folklore!

  10. Big Tam, eh?



    What a catch, Paul!



    A boyhood hero of mine, whose shooting technique I spent countless hours trying (fruitlessly) to imitate …




  11. BMCUWP



    I think Big Tam kicked that bassa from Racing Club harder in Montevideo. Hardly anyone in the stadium saw it except for the TV cameraman. Belter!

  12. Q for Tommy


    When you kicked that German player in the Germany-Scotland game (3-2 defeat) was it frustration because Muller fouled in the build up to the German goal, or did that particular player do something to annoy you?





    Haud oan while I google it!



    He certainly packed some power in it,that’s for sure.

  14. Phyllis Dietrichson on

    Welcome Tommy – and thanks for many of my finest memories.



    My question is “What was in your mind when you stepped up to take a penalty, and did those thoughts change the more penalties you took?”



    OK sorry – two questions.

  15. Question for Big Tam



    Can you recall the most motivational team talk that you heard from a manager?



    And if so ,can you tell us a bit about it?




  16. “Simpson, Craig and Yours Truly”



    What a wonderful way to describe yourself.



    John Clark can boast ” Murdoch. McNeil and me”



    Bobby Lennox can leave out the last name of “Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, Auld and…” and just point to himself.



    What a wonderful way to live life.




    Anyway, Questions for Big Tam:-



    Who would come second in a world arse-kicking contest?



    Could Peter Lorimer kick the ball harder than you?



    Celtic Wiki says some foreign football journalists voted you the best “right-back” in the world. Which side did you prefer?



    What do you think of BRTH’s footwear?

  17. Q’s for Tommy



    Are you still on Ayala from Racing Club’s Christmas card list?



    Would you bring back the Green Brigade or do you agree with some numpties on here that they are Marxist infiltrators hell bent on destroying Celtic from within?

  18. Q for Big Tam



    What were your feelings about the non-PC chant about you coined by the fans of yon Glasgow team no longer in existence?

  19. KevJungle – Sack the ‘bored’ or face admin afore xmas


    12:02 on


    12 February, 2014



    Neil Lennon – a Celtic supporter ?



    The 1st time Neil pulled oan the hoops was, the 1st time he’d seen the hoops.


    Ain’t that right Neil ?



    Do you practice at being daft? You should gee up as you are now an expert at it!!



    Lenny played football for the local Lurgan Celtic youth team – but I guess the strip consisted of an apron and half rolled down sock?



    ….”Shakes his head and goes back to do his work”

  20. Hi Tommy , The Big Shot was my first Celtic book,……..”that,s me in the middle” comment about the Front cover picture,had my brother confused…braw ….do you still shoot? and what is the name o yer dug? braw

  21. Traditionalist 88



    I often see standing areas in German football being credited with full stadiums and an excellent atmosphere over there, but that is only part of the story.



    I go to at least one Bundesliga game each season, and ticket prices probably has as much to do with full stadiums as the ability to go to a standing area. For example, at the start of the season Werder Bremen class each game as either A, B or C and ticket prices are modified accordingly.



    Last season I stood on the curve in Bremen’s stadium for a Saturday night match against Monchengladbach. The ticket cost me 14 euro.

  22. Tommy, did you meet Danny Kaye when he stayed a the Centrsl hotel?



    Can you rank in order: Jinky, Dalglish and Best.

  23. Best of health Tommy. Great to know you’ve recovered and are back to form.


    My question


    Why didn’t you lift the Torrey Canyon?


    It’s was a pleasure seeing you play over the years and meeting you a couple of times in Kearny and Manhattan.

  24. Question For Tommy



    How did you feel when you won the Scottish League Cup for Dundee against the hoops back in 1973?



    I imagine it was a combination of professionalism, sadness and delight? But would like your thoughts?



    All the best big man, you were my wee maws favourite player.



    Hail Hail




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