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Guest blog by Tommy Gemmell

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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………..

By TOMMY GEMMELL:

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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637 Comments

  1. 50 shades of green supports wee oscar and his family.h.h.wee mhan on

    Question for Tommy .

     

     

    As a tough tackling fullback, how do you feel about the introduction of the sin bin idea thats been spoke about recently ?

     

    Do you think it would give refs to much or should i say even more influence on the outcome of a match.

     

     

    And just for fun which of the Lisbon lions would have suffered the most had it been about in the sixties.

     

     

    Also like to thank you for taking the time awhile ago to sign a book i was buying for my oldest son,he was to young to recognise you but after i explained to him about you he was delighted .cheers Tommy

  2. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on

    Sorry can I just say something else — and maybe I will expand upon it more another time.

     

     

    I had a long chat today with Maire McCusker of the Celtic trust today about all things Celtic.

     

     

    It was Maire who took the minutes of the recent open meetings where 200 or so fans turned up to give their opinion or vent their spleen.

     

     

    Except, that I didn’t actually say a word to Maire McCusker of the Celtic trust at all — Instead I spoke to Maire McCusker whom I have known since I was a wee boy and who sat in with my 81 year old mother while I took my 86 year old Dad to the hospital — Maire, my mum and my dad having been close friends for what? — well decades anyway.

     

     

    In all the debates and posts going back now over quite a long time, I see people being labelled with handles, and placed in categories such as “Happyclappers” ” Rhebels” ” Left wingers” “Bored Bashers” “Lawellites” and occasionaly “Plastic tims” and all that sort of nonsense.

     

     

    At other times the argument rages about the personalities in the trust or the Green Brigade or the Board or the Celtic Supporters Association or whatever……

     

     

    Like me, many of you will know people who are active within the Celtic support in one way or another whom you have known all your lives……. good people, people who are funny, considerate, love their football club, enjoy the craid, can share a joke and who will always look out for other folk no matter who or where they might be.

     

     

    The fact that they are members of this organisation or that is incidental to who the people are.

     

     

    I read Hebcelts wee post the other day where he said he was thinking about not renewing the season ticket because he was not enjoying the match day experience.

     

     

    Can you imagine that?

     

     

    Now, I don’t know Louis very well, but here is a guy who flies to Glasgow at every conceivable opportunity to be part of Celtic — not to watch a football team called Celtic—- to be PART of Celtic.

     

     

    Celtic is not just about 11 guys on the park — it is about the fans, the supporters, the followers, the members, the lifeblood of the club who over decades have shown how to make the match day experience fantastic whether the team win, lose or draw.

     

     

    Every player, every board member, every supporter ( from any group or association ) is a part of Celtic Football Club and we cannot sit idly by and allow guys like Louis to not enjoy the match day experience.

     

     

    We have to lift ourselves and our spirit when we suffer a defeat or a setback.

     

     

    Yes we want better from our board, our manager and our players — I could give you list from here to London of what I think needs improved — but we have to improve ourselves, ditch some of the negativity, channel our criticisms to the right places and with good cause and effect — but at the same time support one another because we are every bit as much part of Celtic as the people in the boardroom or on the training ground.

     

     

    I have met so many good good people through Celtic Football Club ………. it cannot be allowed to be factionalised, marginalised, divided or diverted.

     

     

    We are a Celtic family and we should be pulling people in rather than seeing them being forced away.

     

     

    As I said someone from the Celtic trust sat with my mammy all afternoon and made her tea — even made me tea — and just chatted.

     

     

    Except to me it was just Maire — and everyone of us knows a Maire who wears a green and white scarf and does that sort of thing without thinking twice about it.

     

     

    It is what Celtic is all about —- people —— everyone from the board to the Green Brigade and all between — they are all just people—– Celtic people!

  3. Brogan I love your post. But until the board right some wrongs we are divided. Sorry. But that’s where we are.

  4. The ‘should’ve been 10-1’ question

     

    Is intented to make the point

     

    I have been watching Celtic for over 50 years

     

    And I found it part of our language that that is the type of thing we would all say after a match

     

    Must just be changing language patterns or something

     

    Never hear it now

  5. garygillespieshamstring on

    Would be a great name for a pub as well

     

     

    The Macaroon Bar.

     

     

    Not forgetting the Spearmint Chewing Gum lounge.

  6. Cowiebhoy supporting the Celtic to 3 in a row on

    BRTH

     

     

    add MWD to that list

     

     

    Sad really at where us fans now find ourselves

     

     

    Hail Hail

  7. Neganon2, Lymmbhoy, didn’t know you could gift it, Ta.

     

     

    BRTH, the Board need to listen to that point of view, it doesn’t feel like they are connecting at present, or listening.

     

    Things happening “under the radar”. How some fans are being criminalised. Heavy handed stewarding.

     

    These disconnect members of that Celtic Family.

     

    The Club, as well as all of us, have to find ways of re-engaging, and stop telling us to behave, generally we do.

  8. Qs for TG

     

     

    We signed a player called Pat McMahon in 1969. He played pretty well and scored a few in his first ten games. Why did J Stein sell him?

     

     

    Why did he sell a. You b. Willie Wallace c. John Hughes?

     

     

    Fritzsong

  9. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma

     

     

    Of course we are all Celtic people, and always will be, but while we are fighting the good fight in our own way, would it not be better to have a little bit of help from our custodians ?

     

     

    They seem to be fighting against the support in general, and against a section of the support specifically, a wee bit back would go a long way.

     

     

    HH

  10. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on

    Neganon

     

     

    They definitely have some wrongs to right — I accept that —- so can I make a suggestion?

     

     

    List what you want them to fix — drop them a line– fill a postbag — let them know directly that there is too much emphasis on looking after the company as opposed to looking after the club.

     

     

    There are ways and means to influence……

  11. Weather for sundays game looking good…..sunshine would you believe……LG on from the start, none of these last 10 minute shots…..hopefully a good crowd shows up….12.45 not everyones cup of tea……..get behind the team and manager….hopefully SJ provide some competition…..isn’t that what the fans want

  12. garygillespieshamstring

     

     

    23:25 on 12 February, 2014Would be a great name for a pub as wellThe Macaroon Bar.Not forgetting the Spearmint Chewing Gum lounge.

     

    The cheese and the ham rolls ……..the mind boggles….HH

  13. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ on

    garyg

     

     

    9d for a bag of broken Mac btw. Still got all my own teeth btw!! Sh*t the btw’s are kickin in. 0(

  14. We need to be Celtic fanatics. No more moaning to phone ins or tabloids.

     

     

    Win lose or draw, back the team. Get the Green Brigade back, get the place rockin.

     

     

    Let them see divide and conquer wont work with us.

  15. garygillespieshamstring on

    Bada Bing

     

     

    Now that is what I call pub grub.

     

     

    And you would have to pish into empty beer cans and then empty it down the steps, making sure it splashed on someone’s leg.

  16. Brogan. They do not listen. I have tried. Not just directly to celtic but other means too. I am not going to renew my season book unless celtic change their tact. It’s not a threat it’s simply the truth. I know celtic reps read sites like this. The strength of feeling on this is so strong many lifelong celtic supporters are about to turn away from celtic.

     

     

    What reason do celtic have for their forelock tugging? Why are they willing to sacrifice their support. There are too many questions and NO answers.

     

     

    We all await celtic realising this. But until that day……..

  17. Fred C. Dobbs

     

    23:33 on

     

    12 February, 2014

     

    We need to be Celtic fanatics. No more moaning to phone ins or tabloids.

     

     

    Win lose or draw, back the team. Get the Green Brigade back, get the place rockin.

     

     

    Let them see divide and conquer wont work with us.

     

    ………………….

     

     

    Post of the day.

     

     

    HH

  18. Fred the only way to unite us is not to divide us from those who run the club? Why can’t we do that? After that the MSM don’t matter a jot.

  19. I stand corrected…

     

    Arsenal’s no trophies Arsene Wenger is a diddy

     

    And St Mirrens League Cup winning manager Danny Lennon is a tactical genius

     

    I’ll keep my expectations realistic in future and hope for a lucky draw with the mighty Buddies the next time we meet

  20. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on

    Fritzsong

     

     

    I have been trying to trace Pat McMahon for an interview — if anyone knows of his whereabouts please get in touch — fascinating story there I think.

     

     

    Everyone else

     

     

    I think there is a way through to the board and to heal some of the division at least — and it is by literally treating the people concerned as a board and at the same time changing certain things which the board have nothing to do with and couldn’t prevent.

     

     

    Sorry but I am knackered but happy to expand another day but there are some things that need to fundamentally change but which should not be too difficult to do.

  21. Congrats to Nitrams on winning our tie in the last 16 of the CL predictor.

     

     

    I have a hard luck story to spin though.

     

     

    In my Superbru Predictor I put Chelsea down to win 3:0 against Newcastle. Usually I just transfer my Superbru Predictions onto my CQN Predictor but, as I was filling them in, I thought Mourinho’s Chelsea might not score as many as 3 and I downgraded to 2, the first time I had ever changed a score.

     

     

    Of course, the final 3:0 score saw me lose out on 3 points and I lost the overall tie to Nitram’s by 2 points.

     

     

    That’ll teach me to stick with first instincts.

  22. Topkat I know a great many celtic fans. NONE of them intend to attend on Sunday. We have see not all this season. Games moved for no reason at all, fans held in contempt, political apartheid, criminalisation, vast profits, no ambition. Etc.

     

     

    Another posted Paul’s obsession with the aberdeen result. Well he had to be. Excuses had to be made.

     

     

    Celtic as I have often said are a poor mans Haarlem globetrotters. The only ambition is making money. Anyone good gets sold. I say poor because we have lost the ambition to entertain.

     

     

    Money is our only idol. And to repeat a question. To what end are we making money?

  23. THE EXILED TIM,

     

     

    Gave up radio Clyde. No because of anti Celtic bias(I can handle that) but because of Celtic fans abusing our own club, makes me want to cry.

     

     

    NegAnon2,

     

     

    Our support of the team should know no bounds…boards come and go…fanatics!

  24. Fred. Do you know what. In a normal world you are correct. But we don’t live in a normal world. We live in a world where celtic exploit the only true resource they have. Us. And if they are destroying the club in the process our only recourse it seems is to remove that support.

     

     

    What celtic have done regarding the support is nothing short of shameful. Support is a two way process. Our trust is broken.

     

     

    What are celtic going to do to restore that trust?

  25. garygillespieshamstring on

    Brth

     

     

    I have a book called An alphabet of the Celts. It has a wee bit on pat and a photograph of him playing a guitar. The authors of the book might be a good starting point.

  26. paolosboots FC before PLC on

    Its embarrassing to listen to so called celtic fans say lenny has taken the teams as far as he can !!! Wtf who are we going to get that will put up with pls interfering? Neganon2 once you lose a customer its more difficult to get them back. Easier to keep a customer than prospect for a new one basic marketing principle that no one at celtic park has grasped. Many football clubs can only dream of having a fanbase like celtics but the plc is blowing it bigtime and it may already be too late!!! Fans treated like cash cows and lemmings for too ling now imi!

  27. NegAnon2,

     

     

    I agree we have been let down-to say the least-but IMO we must redouble our efforts to support the team. Be total and utter fanatics, no more no less.

     

     

    When push comes to shove I could never abandon Celtic so why should I pretend otherwise?

     

     

    I do get your point though, but I chose to be a fanatic.

     

     

    Hail Hail brother.

  28. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ on

    3000 + abusing our manager?? Thug attacks our manager last week? I can see Neil saying Eff this im off!!