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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. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS .........FC not PLC on

    79 CAPS

     

     

    Thankfully Ringwood aren’t in charge of marketing Scotland as a holiday destination!

  2. eddieinkirkmichael on

    John O’Neil

     

     

    07:04 on

     

     

    Thanks for the reply, we’ll have to dissagree on Trotsy being a lunatic, although he was responsible for the “Red Terror” campaign, it was a civil war and as in many, if not all, atrocities are commited by both sides. To hold one individual responsible for these is a bit too easy and simply doesn’t convince me but anyway this is a football blog so we’ll just agree to disagree on that one.

     

     

     

     

    Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon

     

     

    10:18 on

     

     

    Can’t be there Gordon but hope your novel gets some good reviews and is a success.

  3. eddieinkirkmichael on

    BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS ………FC not PLC

     

     

    10:51 on

     

     

     

    I’ve been thinking about writing a mystery novel

     

     

    Or have I?

  4. Marrakesh Express on

    Kev Jungle

     

     

    I will never understand how any celtic fan can buy the DR. That newspaper is the single most anti-Celtic organ in the msm world. I could go on all day about the ‘thugs and thieves’, the demonisation of NL, the lampooning of Venglos and Janssen, the patronising of TB (‘learn from Walter’), the lies and sensationalism of the ‘Dundee boxing day riots’, the mega spin on ‘Rory Bremner’, the frenzy whipping of poppygate, Motherwell and Amsterdam. The cover-up and misinformation of the biggest sporting scandal in British history, where the order of the day is not to ask questions.

     

    Meantime a love affair with McCoist grows stronger, the more dangerous and irresponsible he gets.

     

    The Daily Record doesn’t even attempt to hide its blatant bias these days, and that tells me that very few Celtic people buy it.

  5. The Honest Mistake loves being first on

    Gordon J.

     

    Good news. Congratulations. Hope you post a link to the book when it’s on sale.

     

    Hail hail

  6. kitalba

     

     

    I am not going to get drawn into any replies on this matter as your current mood has been just belligerent with anyone with whom you have a disagreement.

     

     

    I will restrict myself to one observation.

     

     

    When KevJ has just called our manager a coward, a board lackey, ignorant of Celtic tradition and in cahoots with the Daily Record, you praise him for his guts.

     

     

    But when his account of the Janefield Street riot does not tie in with your recall, he is delusional.

     

     

    I say, thank God there are people with guts to address KevJ’s bile, even at the risk of receiving the title of “prick” from you.

  7. A late Good Morning Folks.

     

     

    I am bumping this up from early morning because with so much talk about the CST/JF the GB, THE OBB etc etc etc, I thought folk might be interested in Celtic’s stance on the issues and the OM’s response to that stance.

     

     

    I understand it is easier to bump gums on the DR and the state of Kevjungle’s mind than wade through what was actually said on various issues but communication is a two way deal, so when the club decide to do so the least that can be done is to consider the responses.

     

     

    In the report on the meeting I saw no mention of the Supporters Forum that Celtic are setting up in an attempt to address some of the communication issue that are rightly spoken about on CQN but more on that in due course. In the meantime……

     

     

     

    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.

  8. Shieldmuir Celtic on

    Marrakesh re. D.R.

     

    I agree wholeheartedly with your views. Perhaps the worst of all was back in Martin’s time when they warned the Rangers players not to go to Newcastle for their Christmas party as there was going to be trouble and then they set a trap for the Celtic players and splashed the resulting bad news all over their front page. Like you,I can’t undestand how a Celtic supporter could buy the rag,

  9. corkcelt- SUPPORTING THE DAM 5 on

    Kev J does make some relevant points from time to time but he also spouts a lot of pish. Guys who met him say he is nothing like his on-line persona and is a genuine decent Tim. Its probably too late now as he is hardly likely to change his ways, but its a pity that his genuine concerns are not getting a fair reception because of the way he carries on.

  10. Mr Tommy Gemmell……

     

     

    Just wanted to pass on the good wishes of all at the Ottawa Celtic Supporters Club, Tommy. We have great memories of your time here. Wishing you and yours all the very best. Can’t wait to read the book.

     

     

    Hail Hail,

     

    Ronnie

  11. Marrakesh Express on

    Btw all the best TG. You scored possibly the most important goal in Celtic”s history.

     

     

    HH

  12. The ‘thugs and thieves’ episode?

     

     

    Memory not what it was, but I have a vague recollection of the Celtic and hun players both organising their Xmas night out in Newcastle on the same day.

     

     

    As they were heading south one of the Celtic party received a text/call from one of ‘thems’ players, stating that they were no longer going to Newcastle because they had been tipped off that there could be trouble.

     

     

    The Celtic players continued on their journey, and the rest is history.

     

     

    HH!!

  13. Thanks to everyone who has commented. Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat recently – but the next one will cover the book launch and include links for both physical and electronic editions.

     

     

    Only because a few posters have asked of course.

  14. Auldheid I agree with a lot of what the club has said in response to the Trust. However they do not adequately explain their knee jerk reactions to events like Motherwell. Its all well and good overeacting to prove a point (which is what I read from the response) but they are overeacting.

     

     

    Also, and perhaps most importantly, its good to know that the club are engaging the scottish government on the OB act (however Big Nan has pointed out we were complicit in it). But tell me why arent the club going public with their thoughts? That would put a great deal more pressure on the government? Is it simply cowardice or a desire to toady to the government. I cant think of any other explanation?

  15. eddieinkirkmichael on

    St Patrick’s church hall, Dumbarton

     

    NEW PROJECT

     

    To help people in the area who are struggling financially and finding the cost of living very difficult a new project is now happening in our parish hall supported by the Dumbarton food share scheme. Meals are being prepared under the guidance of experienced cooks to provide food and a little comfort when people may be at a very low point in their life. Food is served on Monday lunch time by volunteers from the parishes of St Patrick’s and St Augustines.

     

    An open invitation is extended to anyone who needs this type of support and you are most welcome to come along and enjoy the food being prepared.

  16. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS .........FC not PLC on

    Ironport filter successfully negotiated on my office computer.

     

     

    Congrats to St Patrick’s on a fine initiative.

     

     

    Sad that such things are required today.

  17. Marrakesh Express on

    Tallybhoy

     

     

    The DR sports editor actually got the bullet for that story. I spoke to the new editor who told me one of his first remits on the job was to make peace with Martin O’Neil. The guy said he took the Celtic boss for lunch and told him that his paper could not afford to lose the Celtic readership. I suppose all thats out the window now anyway.

  18. NegAnon2

     

     

     

     

    11:58 on

     

     

    13 February, 2014

     

     

     

     

    Auldheid I agree with a lot of what the club has said in response to the Trust. However they do not adequately explain their knee jerk reactions to events like Motherwell. Its all well and good overeacting to prove a point (which is what I read from the response) but they are overeacting.

     

     

    Also, and perhaps most importantly, its good to know that the club are engaging the scottish government on the OB act (however Big Nan has pointed out we were complicit in it). But tell me why arent the club going public with their thoughts? That would put a great deal more pressure on the government? Is it simply cowardice or a desire to toady to the government. I cant think of any other explanation?

     

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

     

    Thanks for taking the time to read that and seeing what I did as soon as I read it last week when it was distributed.

     

     

    I am not buying into the complicit narrative yet. I mentioned an alternative narrative the other day where it is possible Celtic and the police were in discussions on how to improve policing under the then legislation without Celtic wanting new legislation.

     

     

    I have no idea if that is the case but I try to be open minded until I hear all sides.

     

     

    In that respect I would hope Celtic do come out with a fuller explanation. What I find hard to accept that the Celtic would spend so much time on trying to eliminate the GB and alienate the support in the process.

     

     

    That would hit profits and as they are accused of only having profit as their goal then how does it all make sense?

     

     

    The report did not mention (as far as I could see) the Supporters Forum that is an attempt by Celtic to reach a much wider support base than is possible under existing arrangements.

     

     

    More on that this week.

  19. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS .........FC not PLC on

    AULDHEID

     

     

    It doesn’t make senxe-and no-one has argued that it does.

     

     

    I think the board took their eye off the ball,made a serious miscalculation about the feelings of the support.

     

     

    They are not infallible in that regard,and have done it before.

     

     

    Anyway,duty calls.

     

     

    Offski. Have fun.

  20. corkcelt- SUPPORTING THE DAM 5

     

     

     

     

    11:36 on

     

     

    13 February, 2014

     

     

     

     

    Kev J does make some relevant points from time to time but he also spouts a lot of pish. Guys who met him say he is nothing like his on-line persona and is a genuine decent Tim. Its probably too late now as he is hardly likely to change his ways, but its a pity that his genuine concerns are not getting a fair reception because of the way he carries on.

     

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

     

    An important thing in communicating is the tone and no matter how right a point might be, if the tone in which it is delivered is wrong it gets rejected it.

     

     

    Think of it as a £100 note handed over in a filthy envelope, I mean honking, not many will open it to check the content.

     

     

    Of course if the intention is only to irritate then KJ’s tone is spot on but I think there is more to it than that.

     

     

    He obviously misses the ideal he remembers and some of it would be worth recapturing if possible but some just aint.

     

     

    I wrote this about communication after observing the exchanges at the last Open Meeting:

     

     

    A Guide to Serene Communication (based on The Serenity Prayer)

     

     

    God grant me the serenity

     

    to accept the things I cannot change;

     

    courage to change the things I can;

     

    and the wisdom to know the difference.

     

     

    Let us distinguish between the things that are in Celtic’s sole power to fix

     

     

    From

     

     

    Those that require co-operation with others outside the Celtic family to fix.

     

     

    Let us distinguish between what cannot be fixed because of non cooperation by those outside the Celtic family

     

     

    From

     

     

    What requires campaigning to fix.

     

     

    Let us distinguish between what Celtic are able to campaign about

     

     

    From

     

     

    What they are unwilling or unable to get involved in

     

     

    And

     

     

    Engage in dialogue on as to why

     

     

    And either

     

     

    Agree to disagree

     

     

    Or

     

     

    Reach agreement on who should be party to

     

     

    And

     

     

    Who should take the lead in any campaign for change.

     

     

    AND

     

     

    Give us the wisdom and understanding to know the difference.

  21. Auldheid you post some great stuff, wish I had your wisdom and way with words.Power to your keyboard. Hail Hail Hebcelt

  22. Was looking forward to celtic trust publishing celtics reply..

     

     

    Just Read it.. Really can’t see celtic coming out with anything worthwile other than copying from previous statements and rule books.

     

     

    The facts are simple .. People are fed up big time with steward/police haressment.

     

     

    Celtic time and time again refusing to back their fans.. Allowing media to run us and our club down yet get more of a welcome to celtic park than our own fans.

     

     

    Club begging us for support yet lacking ambition when transfer window appears

     

     

    Allowing games to be moved without speaking out much about it.

     

     

    Living wage

     

     

    Refusing to speak out during the whole huns saga

     

     

    The famous cup game where it was the huns lost the plot but we get tarnished with them.

     

     

    Im sure theres more but this is a slice of what alot of us are fed up with.

     

     

    A club like no other ? Sadly not at the moment.

  23. Hi Tommy,

     

     

    When popular musical combo The Who released a rock opera to commemorate your achievements in 1969, how did you feel and what was your favourite song?