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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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  1. traditionalist88 on

    Glen Daly

     

     

    Yes, that(price) is a factor too of course.

     

     

    Bear in mind though for every 10 seats you can have 18-20 standing in the same area using this mechanism.

     

     

    HH

  2. traditionalist88 on

    Question for Tommy

     

     

    Favourite hunskelping as:

     

     

    a) a player?

     

    b) a supporter?

     

     

    HH

  3. Tam

     

     

    Paolo Maldini was a great left back – but only no 2 in the all-time list after yourself.

     

     

    …and he never scored as many goals as you did!

     

     

    HH!!

  4. I'm Neil Lennon (tamrabam) on

    Tommy Gemmell

     

    I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting you in Dubai around 10 years ago along with Billy McNeil. Anyway my questions relates to the rise of the modern “super teams” like barca and madrid with seemingly unlimited finances who can sign the best players from all over the world and who can compete at the highest level year after year by buying the best players from every country.

     

     

    Question 1

     

    In 1967 and 1970 teams were still largely dominated by home based players, how would the Lisbon Lions have fared in the current champions league against these modern teams with unlimited cash to spend and the ability to assemble the worlds best players in one team.

     

     

    Question 2

     

    If not all of them, which of the lions would todays barcas and madrids try to sign?

     

     

    Question 3

     

    Do you think you ever scored a better goal than your brother Archie did against Holland?

     

    (Okay Im chancing my arm with that one! but I know you like a laff!!)

  5. For you Snyde junkies, the news you didn’t hear from Jim Delahunt or Lorraine Herbison-

     

     

    Of the other figures issued by RAJAR, among the standouts is Aberdeen-based Original 106, which saw its Q4 2012 – Q4 2013 reach figure up 57.1 per cent. Meanwhile, Clyde 1′s year-on-year was down 7.1 per cent and the figure for its sister station, Clyde 2, down 27.9 per cent.

     

     

    Ouch!

  6. Q for Tommy

     

     

    You speak of the Lisbon Lions and their different strengths and how the team gelled to make it magic: has there ever been another team you have seen or played against that struck you as having similar qualities to those of the Lions?

  7. Well done CQN on getting the update of The Big Shot.

     

     

    Tommy Gemmell scorer in Lisbon in a European Cup Final for Celtic.

     

     

    Tommy Gemmell scorer in Milan in a European Cup Final for Celtic.

     

     

    humbly put Tam I only dream of dreaming of those heights with Celtic

     

     

    Hail Hail

     

     

    Legend

  8. Q’s for Tommy:

     

     

    Current Celtic players v Lions era

     

     

    Do present day Celtic supporters get better value for money now or in your day?

  9. Big Tam scored 63 goals in 418 games for CFC.

     

     

    That’s a better ratio than the current strikers!

     

     

    HH!!

  10. Glen Daly………..The national federation here in Germany is also first class though,we have the SFA (fecking joke)…the resources at every level of the football chain is an eye opener…..every village has a grass pitch …training lights ,changing rooms with hot water etc…when standing areas come back to Celtic Park it will make a difference though .

     

    It would be a good plan though to get a fan curve ,like at Bayern where they pay as little as 12€ for a game ….we will probably dither though…

  11. traditionalist88 on

    Question for Tommy

     

     

    How do you see the future of Celtic, and Scottish football generally, and what action can be taken to ensure a fairer distribution of TV revenues are received by Scottish clubs?

     

     

    HH

  12. Sadly bedtime and i cant enjoy this q&a with a celtic great.. Sadly didnt see him play. Well before my time.

     

     

    Fair play tommy for giving your time and goodluck with the book.

     

     

    Also well done to all who have downloaded ROH and remember a fellow celt is in jail for singing that song.

     

     

    Keep downloading

     

     

    It is the undauntable thought my friend, that thought that says im right

  13. Uncle Tommy,

     

     

    Do you you care to share with the blog your party piece?

     

     

    The German Song?

     

     

    Adam,Luke,Milly & Chloe

     

     

    HH

  14. Serious question this time.

     

    Wee Deedle Henderson claims you cheated when playing against him.

     

    Is it true you breathed on his contact elms before and during the game to restrict his vision?

  15. Question for Tam:

     

     

    What’s the story with Jinky’s night oot with a young Gordon Strachan while they were both at Dundee, and you were the manager?!

     

     

    I think wee Gordon became tt after that night!

     

     

    HH!!

  16. Question for Tommy

     

     

    What is your opinion of the present team and how does the club get the fans back.

     

     

    KTF

  17. Tommy and the Lions gave the Celts more pleasure than all the tea in China ever could. No need for alcohol, drugs, cigarettes or anything else. Just watch that game. Happy days. How lucky the older generation were.

  18. bobby murdoch’s curled-up winklepickers ………fc not plc

     

     

    12:45 on 12 February, 2014http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mXMwnoAp4kc&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DmXMwnoAp4kcGermany game,apologies for the hun commentator!Btw,Tommy. We all appreciate your efforts over the years,and I for one will make no more reference to the incidents mentioned previously.Otherwise you’d be as well to call the book “Tommy Gemmell Kicks Ass!”

     

    ———————————————–

     

    Afternoon, interesting footage, very historical in that so many Celtic players gained one of their few caps for their country, some big guns in both teams that day.

     

     

    Q for TG

     

     

    Mr Gemmell, what was the feeling of the Celtic team of that era regarding the lack of International recognition of Celtic players, did they care or was it just accepted as typical of the regime and their referees…!

     

     

    Mr Gemmell, also did you know that

     

    Ayrshire is Green and White

     

     

    HH

  19. Question for Tommy

     

     

    Henril Larsson at his peak – would he have got into the starting line up Lisbon 1967?

  20. Neustadt-Braw, Traditionalist 88

     

     

    If we are to copy the German model, what do you think the chances are of us having people wandering up and down the stairs selling beer & wine?!?

  21. Tommy, who were the biggest cheats that you played against? Also, how good was that Benfica side which we demolished 3-0?

  22. Question for Tommy

     

     

    ….straight from the hip….

     

     

    A relative of mine travelled on the team plane to the Feynoord Final.

     

     

    He told me all was not well on the flight over and that he thought you and Jinky at one stage threatened not to play until a bonus dispute was resolved…..is that true?…and if so….could it have affected performances in the final?

  23. One last question,

     

     

    Tommy, do you think that the Lisbon achievement helped the wider Scottish public to accept Celtic and its supporters more than was previously the case?

  24. A Ceiler Gonof Rust Supporting Neil Lennon against brainless thugs and zombies on

    Question for big Tam:

     

     

    Do you have any idea where KevJ goes off ott tae? It’s one of life’s biggest mysteries.

  25. Q’s for Tommy

     

     

    Immediately after the European Cup Final, I took to the streets with my pals to play football. I was doing one of those commentating while I played routines – “And Gemmell shoots” I shouted as I didn’t quite connect with ball, kicked the ground and ripped the sole off my school shoes. My mother blames you to this day.

     

     

    My question is, do you think 47 years is long enough to hold a grudge?

  26. A blog by my favourite Lisbon Lion.

     

     

    A question for Tommy.

     

     

    Do you still think the incident with Haller was the beginning of the end as far as Celtic playing career.

  27. The Honest Cover-up on

    Q for Tommy

     

     

    Tommy, I’m too young to have seen you play in the flesh but when I hear your name the first thing that comes to mind (as well as that goal is Lisbon) is thundering long range shots.

     

    Is that something you could always do or was it a case of mastering the technique?

     

    Also, is there anyone else in your day or the modern game who you think could strike the ball harder?

     

     

    Thanks, looking forward to reading the book!

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

     

     

    12:31 on 12 February, 2014

     

    …………….

     

    I wasn’t aware of that thanks, I drank in the GB howff a few times and had a bohdran made for them to display in the bar area, it was a belter!

     

    HH

  29. Question for The legend who is Big Tam:

     

     

    I wasnt lucky enough to have seen the Lions in the flesh (just a few short years ahead of my time), but it annoys me when I hear talk of Rinus Michels and Ajax being the “founders of Total Football”.

     

     

    I can only speak of the games ive seen on TV, but from the Final in Lisbon alone, I’d have to say Big Jock and you and your team-mates were the originators of Total Football.

     

     

    In the big scheme of things its not a massive headache, but have you any thoughts on this and outside of Scotland do you think that performance in Lisbon has not been given the weight in history that it should have done?

     

     

    HAIL! HAIL!

     

    Token

  30. leftclicktic We are all Neil Lennon on

    Question to Mr Gemmell in my best Jim White voice “how come you’re so good ”

     

     

    Thank you tommy for nearly a full lifetime of pointing to the “big cup” and saying to thems Look what we won :)))).

     

     

    Thank you thank you and thank you again

  31. cliftonville celt from belfast praying for Oscar the wee legend on

    Fin75

     

    12:48 on

     

    12 February, 2014

     

     

     

    Neil also played for Belfast Celtic Boys Club alongside Gerry Taggart & was chased of many’s a pitch in the greater Belfast area by loyalist mobs his credentials as a Celtic man are unquestionable – Neil is still in regular touch with the club and has presented the trophies at their end of year do.

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