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. Acgr



    Loved that crack about TD and the enigma machine.


    You got over the hots for Annabel Goldie yet?

  2. Dietary requirements ??????



    Can you just no ask how do you like your black pudding sir…….rare medium or well done ?

  3. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on

    Mr Gemmell



    Thank you. You reperesent the pinacle of what Celtic achieved as a football team. It was never better before and it will never be bettered in the future.



    The faithful are forever in your debt.

  4. ‘Oh well you may have heard or even read somewhere,


    That a Racing player was attacked, (From the Back..)


    By big Tam Gemmell, The gentle Giant,


    The Glasgow Celtics full back.


    Well I asked Big Tam who’s as gentle as a Lamb,


    Is there anything that he would like to say,


    He said, I seen it on TV, and I know it looks like me,


    But I swear it was was Danny Kaye…….’




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

    ger57 15:04 on 12 February, 2014.



    Naw, I’m afraid I’ll never get over the hots for Annabel G, how dare you suggest such a thing!!!



    Having said that Johann Lamont wiz lookin a bit foxy last time I saw her on QT……:_)





    Are you going to the CQ10 gig?

  6. Question for Tommy



    The answer is probably in your earlier book, (you know the one from forty five years back), but haven’t got that to hand so here goes.



    I notice on CelticWiki that you played two league games, and one Scottish Cup game in season 1962-63, (wee Jimmy played in the final), can you remember those first games, and were any of them at Celtic Park?



    Cheers in advance

  7. Acgr



    Not looking like it at the minute, mate.


    Johann Lamont?? Have you started drinking Bacardi or something?

  8. Istanbulcelt Oscar's Green & White Army on

    Tommy Hail Hail,



    Who were the international players at the time of Lisbon, that you thought could do a right good job for Celtic, if only they had been Scottish?



    Which Celtic players do you wish you had gotten


    the chance to play with from the last 30 years.



    Hail Hail to a real legend.

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

    ger57 15:14 on 12 February, 2014



    Acgr Have you started drinking Bacardi or something?






    Naw, I’m just a bit oota kilter since I lost ma guide dug.

  10. Whitedoghunch Jimbo67


    Anton while ,recognising his limitations ,was a true Celtic mhan and give of his all. I remember he used to travel as a kid on our supporters bus from Belfast to Glasgow at a time when the boats weren’t segregated. Dangerous times indeed. When we outnumbered the deid club supporters there was never a bit of bother when they outnumbered us all hell would break loose with us on the receiving end but we more than held our own.


    I remember the time he missed the penalty against Aberdeen which cost us the Cup a group of “fans” left a club close to his house and smashed the windows.


    He did a presentation for me to a group of young people from a community workshop for recognition of their academic and sporting achievements and would not hear tell of accepting anything for it. He spent a couple of hours with the young people chatting, talking to parents, signing autographs et al. All hail big Anton.

  11. Phyllis Dietrichson on

    Winning Captains – was that wise, asking for dietary requirements, given some of the threads on here? (Cheese on toast, Stornoway black pudding etc. etc.)

  12. Istanbulcelt Oscar's Green & White Army on

    Just re read my second question to TG…



    This Efes is mind bending!

  13. leftclicktic We are all Neil Lennon on

    Auldheid,Anyone ,what do you make of this


    Seen on TSFM




    Make of this what you will!



    @LawTop20: Have Rangers filed an Extraordinary Application to have an exception to the 3-year prohibition rule with regards to European Games?



    @LawTop20: Of course any exceptions for a European license are conditional upon proper financial accounts.



    @LawTop20: Who is the licence applicant? The football company or the registered member?



    @LawTop20: If the licence applicant is a football company, it must provide a written contract of assignment with a registered member. Contract?






  14. Congrats Paul67 on getting Tommy Gemmell signed up. Who would have thought that was possible 10years ago?



    Q for TG – Assuming you take a close interest in the current team, how do you think the players are feeling now with the league won and nothing else to play for? How do they motivate themselves for the remainder of the games and finally, how do you think Neil Lennon should approach the remainder of the season?

  15. setting free the bears supports Res. 12 & Oscar Knox



    15:24 on 12 February, 2014






    Taking the clothes off her own back is nothing of which to be ashamed.



    Being IDS’s number 2 at the DWP and taking the clothes of other people’s back, well……”



    Spot on…working for In Deep S***t is nothing to be proud of regardless of the role. Any chance we get to see you in BB’s on Sunday?

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

    sffb15:24 on 12 February, 2014



    ha ha, now that was very funny:-)

  17. Phyllis Dietrichson



    Celtic asked if we wanted the usual jelly and ice cream. Said that the CQN crew are more likely to want Stornoway Black Pudding on the menu – got a bemused look!

  18. Gearoid 1998



    Anton was a true Celt – if you came into the ground at the final whistle and wanted to know if we won you just looked at Anton. He cared.



    Mike in Toronto



    Thanks for the Satie Piece. It is to my eternal shame that since my mum passed away I have investigated mainly the jazz records she and my dad bought and virtually ignored the classical stuff beyond Verdi, Beethoven and Bach. But there nestling in the CDs is a version of that Satie piece.




    Jimbo67 supporting Oscar Knox

  19. Tommy



    Would I be correct in saying I saw you playing with Coltness United at Craighead Park home of the Famous Blantyre Celtic in the early 60’s, and also a wee red head from Uddingston was playing for the home team?

  20. Paul67 et al



    I see in the news that Michelle Mone has had £100,000 worth of underwear stolen from her warehouse. Only one thing I can say about that…


    I hope Bournesouprecipe has an alibi!

  21. Winning captains any news on my proposal? ACGR hope you had a good break,did TET enjoy his little treat? Nice dram btw,no wonder you lost your guide dog.probably got a swatch of old Joanne and bolted!!! Hail Hail Hebcelt

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