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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.
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637 Comments

  1. We are eating ourselves. No wonder the club won’t spend with the support jeopardising our very existence.

  2. paolosboots FC before PLC on

    PL is there in the middle for DD to do his bidding just like cassidy jick brown etc so has only a finite shelf life when he leaves he will get a pay off to make it worth his and someone else wilk take over that’s the way of it but in the eyes of the fans trust has been seen to be broken up

  3. Off to bed not happy with the negativity and frustration you bring constantly Neganon2.

     

    there has to be a better less harmful way of creating change.

  4. Wouldn’t surprise me the guys who do the phone ins….are probably the guys who have given up going to the games….and cant get over loss of the o/f games……come the CL matches they start clamouring for tickets…..at the CL GAMES these are known as the strangers sitting next to you…..they start exiting around the eightyith minute if things not going well…….easily noticeable with their 70s and 80s scarves…….glory hunters “that’s me finished never going back”

  5. We are the hollow men

     

    We are the get stuffed men

     

    Learning together

     

    High heid Yins filled with straw. Alas!

     

    Our dried voices, when

     

    We whisper together

     

    Are quiet and meaningless

     

    Try some good grass

     

    Or rats’ arses over broken glass

     

    In our dry reseller

  6. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on

    BRTH

     

     

    I’m just catching up and caught your very good post.

     

     

    I’m sure that Marie will have enlightened you on some of the deceit and underhand tactics of those inside Celtic Park; and I’m not only referring to the board.

     

     

    Until that changes and meaningful, honest dialogue is generated between the custodians and the support then the division is only going to increase.

  7. Sadly CQN doesn’t represent the Celtic support in the main.

     

     

    We blog on here to like mined, we have a few interlopers, who are quickly sussed, bit in general we are like minded.

     

     

    The vast majority of the support still read the rags, fact, thay phone the the radio stations and vent their spleen, they are getting taken in by the bullshit, shug and his like are their baromiter, what a sad state of affairs

     

     

     

    HH

  8. A full report on the last Open Meeting is on the CST site at

     

     

    http://www.celtictrust.net/?func=d_home_article&id=469

     

     

    The response to the questions raised at the previous meeting can be read from the link that says downloadable here or use this

     

     

    http://www.celtictrust.net/index.php?func=d_home_documents_view&id=51

     

     

    and either open if you have Word or save and open with whatever document reader you have.

     

     

    Lots and lots to get fill yer boots with.

  9. eddieinkirkmichael on

    Changin Scotland

     

     

    A weekend of politics, culture and ideas …. And fun!

     

     

    Friday March 28th-Sunday March 30th

     

     

    The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool

     

     

     

     

    WHO HAS POWER IN MODERN SCOTLAND?

     

     

    In association with the Reid Foundation

     

     

     

     

    Friday March 28th

     

     

    8.00-9.30pm:

     

     

    Welcome:

     

     

    Gerry Hassan and Jean Urquhart

     

     

     

     

    Scotland after the Crash: The Collapse of RBS

     

     

    Ian Fraser, author, forthcoming ‘Shredded: The Rise and Fall of RBS’

     

     

     

     

    Saturday March 29th

     

     

    10.00-11.15am

     

     

    What would imagining a different Scotland look like?

     

     

    Creative activism, imagination and change facilitated by Joe Lafferty

     

     

     

     

    11.30-12.45am

     

     

    Social Class, Social Justice and the Issue of Education

     

     

    Gerry Hassan, author, forthcoming ‘Caledonian Dreaming: The Quest for a Different Scotland’ and Eileen Reid, commentator and writer

     

     

     

     

    12.45-2.00 Lunch

     

     

     

     

    2.00-3.30pm

     

     

    The Shape of Inequality, Housing, Place and Power

     

     

    Ailsa McKay, Glasgow Caledonian University and Douglas Robertson, Stirling University

     

     

     

     

    4.00-4.30pm

     

     

    What is Missing from the Scottish Debate?

     

     

    David Donnison, former Professor of Urban Studies, Glasgow University; author of ‘The Politics of Poverty’ and ‘Speaking to Power’

     

     

     

     

    4.30-6.00pm

     

     

    Radical Scotland? Common Weal and the New Radicals

     

     

    Cat Boyd, trade union activist, Robin McAlpine, Reid Foundation, Bronagh Gallagher, member, Reid Foundation Commission on Democracy, Jean Urquhart, MSP, Jamie Maxwell, writer and journalist, ‘New Statesman’

     

     

     

     

    Sunday

     

     

    10.00-10.45am

     

     

    The Power of Business Interest Scotland

     

     

    Craig Harrow, MHP Scotland

     

     

     

     

    10.45-12.00am:

     

     

    What do we do about ideology and Britain?

     

     

    James Foley, Radical Independence Conference and Jamie Maxwell

     

     

     

     

    12.15-1.00pm:

     

     

    What do we do about the Media?

     

     

    Paul Holleran, NUJ Scottish Organiser

     

     

     

     

    For Bookings, Tickets and Accomodation:

     

    Please Phone The Ceilidh Place Reception: 01854-612103

     

     

    Cite ‘Changin Scotland’

     

     

    Weekend Prices: £60 for all weekend events.

     

     

    Accomodation Booking available from The Ceilidh Place Reception

  10. BRTH

     

     

    I’d always been curious about McMahon because I found his brief but successful Celtic career more than a bit curious.

     

    From the scraps I gathered: he was from Croy, then a seminarian at the Gregorian in Rome. When he returned to Scotland he played Junior football before joining Celtic. After leaving Aston Villa he emigrated to Canada where he had some success as a folk singer.

  11. Watched the BBC documentary about shipbuilding on the Clyde.

     

     

    Thought I knew about my hometown.

     

     

    Thought I knew about my grandfather, from his fight in Donegal to his fight with the shipyard winter in Clydebank.

     

     

    I watched, and learned, 41 years old, about my town.

     

     

    Why is this not taught in school?

  12. eddieinkirkmichael on

    BTW, the reason I posted the changing Scotland thing was because Ian Frazer is a speaker at the weekend and I happen to know that on the weekend he will be approached to do a book on the Murray years and the finanial demise of RFC(IL). So I was thinking it would be good to have a few Tims in attendance that could help persuade him to take on the commission. It’s also in a great part of Scotland and is always a great weekend. I know, I’ve been on a few up there.

  13. BRTH –

     

     

    This…

     

     

    =====================

     

    THE EXILED TIM

     

     

    00:23 on 13 February, 2014

     

     

    Sadly CQN doesn’t represent the Celtic support in the main.

     

     

    We blog on here to like mined, we have a few interlopers, who are quickly sussed, bit in general we are like minded.

     

     

    The vast majority of the support still read the rags, fact, thay phone the the radio stations and vent their spleen, they are getting taken in by the bullshit, shug and his like are their baromiter, what a sad state of affairs

     

     

    HH

     

    =========================================

     

     

    The board have made classic PR mistakes. Criminal, in a PLC sense.

     

     

    They lost the trust and goodwill of their customer base by noticeably adopting the tabloid stance. They allowed obsequious lice such as Jackson (a known vociferous Hun with a Gazza crush) to dictate the party line.

     

     

    It appears an astonishing error of judgement when viewed objectively – being unable to recognise the historical distrust of the SMSM by the support and then completely fail to see the media reporting of the issue as the fanbase did – as an attack on us, on Celtic.

     

     

    ‘Betrayal’ is the one word PL needs emailed.

     

     

    Before Fergus, and during Fergus’ reign, we saw the club pilloried daily. He sorted them out, won their grudging respect, put them in their place.

     

     

    Now, with the Evil Empire marinatijg in their own self-loathing and malice, we are given the impression this Celtic board will not stand in defiance of scurrilous reporting, will not have the strength of character or moral fortitude to denounce ridiculous Orwellian laws put in place ONLY to criminalise large sections of their own customer base.

     

     

    It is beyond dialogue. The support need positive action – a sign that the board in all their sparkling finery actually understand the plight of the people who create the special ingedient that sells their product, that allows them to market and expand and seek top dollar.

     

     

    They, the board, allowed the ‘club’ to become divided. It’s about high time some of the strategical corporate minds on there put their arses in gear before they find themselves conquered. By apathy.

     

     

    Personally, I find it alarming that a group of incumbents able to do such a fine fiscal job, cannot see what is blatantly obvious when it comes to the cultural balance of Celtic.

  14. Margaret McGill on

    Rascar Capac

     

     

    00:43 on 13 February, 2014

     

     

    Hi Rascar

     

    Yes. Good question.Maybe it will be taught one day when it is no longer polemic.

  15. Sandman

     

     

    Your last few lines say it all.

     

     

    What are they there for ?

     

     

    Are they looking out for us ? that is a no….

     

     

    What is the end game ?

     

     

    Jeezo, I could goon all day long.

     

     

    Sleep well Timland, had enough for now.

     

     

    HH

     

    KTF

  16. Mags

     

     

    I couldn’t believe I didn’t know the outcome.

     

     

    I knew about the work in, and “the no bevying”

     

     

    But the government climbdown, the donations from everywhere, the worldwide focus…

     

     

    And me, born in the prefab Clydebank with ma granda deid.

     

     

    Well, I knew nothing.

  17. Margaret McGill on

    Rascar Capac

     

     

    01:25 on 13 February, 2014

     

    I loved Jimmy Reid. Of course there are Green huns around :)

  18. I see Lierse want to buy Tony Watt.

     

     

    If we let him go it proves a few things…….

     

     

    Lawell is after his bonus (again)

     

    NFL/His staff don’t recognise a goal scorer when its right in front of them

     

    John Parks is no talent spotter

     

    We are truly just a PLC company of products for sale

     

    We as a football club have zero ambitions beyond the domestic championship and a possible cameo appearance in the CL group stages.

     

     

    To repeat myself………Tony Watt with the right coaching, mindset, diet, training etc will be a world class number 9 by the time he is 25………

     

     

    Where will Celtic be?

  19. The Bottom Line is ............. on

    Tam, a real honour to address you, sir. You brought us so much pleasure over the years it’s not really possible to thank you enough. Yes, I was one of those lucky enough to witness that great team from it’s very start. Hard act to follow ? No one could; no one did. No one will.

     

     

    Not got a question for you but do have a great memory of you in Milan Airport after That game. It was chaotic. There was a flight controllers’ strike and there was no info about flights so every time one landed there was a rush on to the tarmac to try and get on it. Some guys ended up in Rotterdam and some Dutch guys in Prestwick. Anyway, you appeared, striding through the concourse swinging an umbrella. Seriously. It wasn’t even raining outside ! Even the Dutch recognised you – you were pretty famous, Tam – and the clamour died down. You strode up to the automatic doors and pointed the brolly at the sensor like Steed off the Avengers. The doors parted. We all fell apart. The Dutch guys too. You grinned and disappeared into the night. OK, we’d lost but, somehow it wasn’t the end of the world.

     

     

    Thanks, Tommy.

  20. EddieinCarmichael,

     

     

    Thanks for your post last night. Regards also to JungleJim, HamiltonTim and Bobby M for their thoughts. It is very early for you guys over there but not so early for me, hence I can respond to Eddie.

     

    I did not say that JF praised Stalin. I am happy to clarify that. Nor do I believe that she wishes to enslave us Capitalist pigs in Gulags. The podcast with her was enjoyable enough. My point about her was to question whether or not herself and friends have sought to communicate with those Celtic supporters who are not happy with certain politics being a part of Celtic FC.

     

    My point remains about her admiration for Trotsky. Your history facts were appreciated but were not revelations. Being out here in Russia means that it is difficult not to be entangled in such history. Near to me is a factory with a huge painting of Fidel Castro smoking a cigar! Another factory nearby has Lenin’s statue in front of it. The Singing Detective would be furious if he saw all the relics from the Communist past here.

     

    It is pleasing to know that you confirmed what JF said about Trotsky. She admires a man who hated priests and believers. His own quotes confirm this. His own actions confirm this. Had he not hated priests and believers then he would have condoned the brutal acts of Lenin and friends. I invite you to have a look at some of his quotes which confirm that he was a cold lunatic who believed in using terror towards enemies. Now, of course one can ‘admire’ some evil people but not be a supporter of them. For example, one could admire Hitler’s speeches which were technically electrifying affairs. The problem is that some people can rightly mistake such admiration for being a form of support. It is dangerous territory. Perhaps Jeanette could have also mentioned the rather enormous negatives associated with that particular man. I’ll try not to bog the blog down with much more of this but my point remains about the CT, JF and others. Much as I respect many of their motives, some of their criticism towards the Celtic board could be interpreted as hypocritical. Hail Hail to you Eddie.

     

     

    JungleJim, a thoughtful contribution from yourself as usual. In no way would I wish to try to speak for Brother Walfrid. I had hoped to convey that but probably failed. Have a good day.

  21. Good morning friends from a very wet, very windy and generally pretty miserable looking East Kilbride.

  22. Mr. Gemmell (Tommy), two questions. In various books it is recorded that certain players in the Lions era, and team, were not of the Catholic faith and were subject to ‘Catholic’ banter… for the record, did you ever perceive this banter to be threatening with a sectarian bias (in any way)?

     

     

    Secondly. I was lucky, I started watching Celtic back in ’63, I’ve always been of the mind that the players then were not as tough and hardy as the players in the 40’s and 50’s (although I based that on my dad’s and his friends reports and memories) and the players of the modern era, let’s say are a wee bit plasticine-ie compared to the players of your era… would you agree with that?

     

     

    Also, playing in a team full of such talent and confidence and bravery, were there many, if any, training ground punch –ups?

     

     

    Also, the club always gave you a club blazer with crest, and grey trousers, were they really too tight back then to buy you an overcoat or a army surplus parka, after all, it was Baltic Glasgow not Corfu?

  23. I’ve read quite a few people tell us all about Jeanette Findlay and her beliefs and politics, could they please supply the unequivocal links on which they formed their opinions on her so that the label of ignorant bigot cannot be stapled to their breast?

  24. greendreamz

     

    02:41 on

     

    13 February, 2014

     

    I see Lierse want to buy Tony Watt.

     

     

    If we let him go it proves a few things…….

     

     

    Lawell is after his bonus (again)

     

    NFL/His staff don’t recognise a goal scorer when its right in front of them

     

    John Parks is no talent spotter

     

    We are truly just a PLC company of products for sale

     

    We as a football club have zero ambitions beyond the domestic championship and a possible cameo appearance in the CL group stages.

     

     

    To repeat myself………Tony Watt with the right coaching, mindset, diet, training etc will be a world class number 9 by the time he is 25………

     

     

    Where will Celtic be?

     

     

    Lierse to buy Tony Watt??

     

     

    As I posted on Saturday, during the post-mortem, we should be bringing Tony back ASAP, along with his Lierse striking partner, Mario Diagne, of Senegal. I’d love to see that partnership run amok in the SPHell, and CL Qualifiers!

  25. Bakubhoy, which language do you speak out there? Can you speak Russian?

     

    It would be highly unlikely that Celtic would sell Tony Watt. No need to panic about that.

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

    Sandman,

     

     

    Quick Post — running out to a meeting with the dreaded bankers who mis-sold a client an interest rate swap, then hid the debt by taking it off the “official” books of the bank and who now want to “talk” about what apparently does not exist!!!

     

     

    Anyway, as Burnley 78 said the other day, Pater Lawell is a very very good business manager — really very good. He is there every day, first in and last out according to Gordon Strachan.

     

     

    However, “business” — especially the business of a club — cannot just be measured by the balance sheet, or figures of any kind. There has to be management of the social function of the club– quite separate to the fiscal function, the footballing function, the retail function and so on.

     

     

    The business side can always be improved — it is not radical enough or entrepreneurial enough ( Celtic triangle aside ) and there are retail, broadcasting, and other strategies that should be examined and researched in my opinion.

     

     

    However, the social side– social management, club member and customer integration, and all that sort of thing is not the forte of a business manager or accountant — yet by actually addressing that side of things you have a happier membership, a more satisfied customer base who are likley to spend more and increase revenues.

     

     

    Celtic have a database which I suspect they do not use properly and most importantly, they ( as a club and company ) face daily interaction with a variety of public authorities ( Councils, Police, Health and Safety Exec etc etc ) where they again (IMO) do not go about it the right way from what I can gather and do go about it with the wrong personnel with the wrong skill set.

     

     

    Again– this is not the Accountants forte but the business manager should recognise when all is not right.

     

     

    Lastly — PR — stands for Public Relations. In any other organisation that might be defined as broadcast news with messages coming from on high. In a club, it just could be defined– at least in part — as constantly taking a sounding as to what your members might want or aspire to.

     

     

    However, in pure business terms, PR should be re-written as pR with the emphasis on relations between you, the business, and those who in the main provide the vast majority of your income.

     

     

    If the R breaks down — or even if it is not maximised to the full — then inevitably the bottom line will suffer — and I know it has for the moment.

     

     

    The Celtic figures look superb — but that comes from spectacular player sales and two years of Champions league money.

     

     

    However, if within those figures catering is down, hospitality is down, retail is down, corporate events income is down, growth and expansion into new markets

     

    is stagnant, attendances through the year are down, visitors are down and various other key markers are not improving as they could ……… then the business manager should notice……. and this business manager will notice!

     

     

    As I said to Neganon last night, get your pen out —- ask the questions —- ask the questions en masse, don’t post on here about it, flood the mail room!

     

     

    Hamiltontim

     

     

     

    Yea Maire told me all about it — and for reasons I won’t go into on here I am not surprised at what she said and have my own views as to who and why what was disclosed actually occurred.

     

     

    I believe the company simply employs the wrong people in the wrong positions and when that happens the outcome is utterly predictable.

  27. 16 roads - Wee Oscar the Celtic warrior. on

    I do not believe for a second that the club is even contemplating the sale of Tony Watt.

     

     

    Why?

     

     

    Because the Daily Reprobate is responsible for publishing this tripe, as per usual,that’s why.

     

     

    They are living in a land of make believe, some kind of hun utopia in their own zombie minds.

     

     

    The idiotic clowns.

  28. 16 Roads,

     

     

    Now it makes sense. The Retard printed it. Bless them. They have been loyal for many years and look where it got them. I will eat Kev Jungle’s copy of the Retard if Tony Watt is sold by Celtic this summer.

  29. An article in today’s ET claims Biton is going to benefit from changes Lenny intends to make following the Aberdeen defeat.

     

     

    That’s fine, but I hope we see him play at CDM rather than Brown, who’s better on the right of the diamond.

     

     

    I’d also like to see Pukki at the head of the diamond. He’s on record as saying his typical position is behind the striker/s – wouldn’t do any harm to see how he does there.

  30. 16 roads - Wee Oscar the Celtic warrior. on

    john o’neil

     

     

    08:11 on 13 February, 2014

     

     

    ————————————————

     

     

    I just seen the headline there on the Newsnow site.

     

     

    Don’t even need to click on their page, or read any of it anymore which is a good thing.

     

     

    Just the normal, everyday anti-Celtic diatribe.

     

     

    They are relentless though, I will grant them that much.

  31. 16 Roads,

     

     

    Did they not play a part in the death of the old Rangers? Their hun fairy tales and relentless anti-Celtic articles fooled the loyal – and some Tims – for years. Had they subjected Minty, the Dick and others to proper scrutiny, we may not have been enjoying copious amounts of ice cream in recent years.

  32. There was a guy called Ewing Grahame who was on the Retard/ Mail staff for some time. During that time, he wrote numerous anti-Celtic stories and had conflicts with Jock Brown and others. Yet he is apparently a Celtic man. Nowadays he writes for a London based paper and writes articles which confirm the death of Oldco Rangers. Quite a transformation. I guess life at the Retard has certain pressures for its staff.