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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. Keith Lasley SPFL Player of the Month….i suppose nothing should surprise you in football anymore…….

  2. hebcelt

     

     

    What’s this nonsence about reviewing your season ticket next year,do you realise the turbulence this would cause throughout the whole support, we would all starve.

     

     

    Stornowayblackpuddingcelticsupportersclub

  3. SFTB @15:24

     

     

    Aye I can just imagine your patter in Babbity Bowser when some blonde stunner walks in…….good evening madam,let me introduce myself,I am Liberating the Carnivore the sage of Cqn,pray tell me your political leanings and any previous employer you may have worked for.

     

    Her answer is not to your political liking

     

    Well get loast ya slapper aww look ower ther there’s a wee comrade ower there in the coarnir wi her grandas jumper doc marten boots and a ring pull fae a can of coke pierced through her nose ohhh and gird ma loins she’s goat oan a wee CND badge as well

     

    Haud me back :- )

  4. Malorbhoy I,ve seen the size of some of you ghuys,starving would be a good idea for some(I include myself in this disparate band) Naw the review goes on each year as Kickinthenakas also pointed out,this year I,m seriously underwhelmed by the matchday experience. Hail Hail Hebcelt

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

    Hebcelt, I had a good week, mainly work and sorting out the aftermath of the crap that happened last time out but did manage a game of sclaffbaw with TET. He was chuffed to bits with his various breakfast goodies. Apart from the Black and White puddings supplied by your good self which he was over the moon about I also took him some pork links, skwer and tattie scones. Yum Yum.

     

     

    I hope he’s not overdosed!!!

  6. Acgr

     

     

    You should take your dog down to the Brazen and find out if it can work TD’s enigma machine.

  7. Hello Mr Gemmell,

     

     

    Great to see you contributing to CQN. I was privileged to meet you with Mr Murdoch several years ago, it was one of the proudest moments of my life.

     

     

    In 1967 as well as the Legendary game in Lisbon, you also played in a historic encounter at Wembley.

     

     

    Q – Although the 70’s and 80’s was successful for the National team do you think that Scotland squad/team you played with in the late sixties ever bettered?

     

     

    Hail Hail

  8. hebcelt

     

     

    BRTH said he was very sad to read that you might not renew your season ticket. He reckoned if we could get the Stornoway Black pudding on the menu you would change your mind. So I asked Celtic today and I need to get some more details from you to give to the chef so he understands the product, its quality and so on. Was going to get BRTH to mail you on this but since you asked…if you could email me any info to david@CQNMagazine.com I can pass to the catering team.

  9. Mickbhoy 1888

     

     

    Aye, BB’s attracts the fashionistas. SFTB would only be interested if she was sporting a CQN badge as well.

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

    winning captains, fantastic!!!

     

     

    See if you can get cheffy to work a good dram into that Stornoway BP dish I’ll place my order right noo.

  11. hebcelt

     

     

     

     

    16:12 on

     

     

    12 February, 2014

     

     

     

     

    Malorbhoy I,ve seen the size of some of you ghuys,starving would be a good idea for some(I include myself in this disparate band) Naw the review goes on each year as Kickinthenakas also pointed out,this year I,m seriously underwhelmed by the matchday experience. Hail Hail Hebcelt

     

     

    Hebcelt

     

     

    Agree this season is hard going,but keep the faith I think there will be better days ahead, hope to see you on Sunday

     

     

    malorbhoy

  12. Malorbhoy – Irish dancers, Celtic’s Irish singer (chap who sings in Kerrydale) and our very special cabaret are all in the plan – plus lots more going on. The problem is there is so much happening struggling to fit it all in so we want to get started asap – 7pm sharp kick off.

  13. winning captains

     

     

    that is a lot of food miles to bring a product all the way from Stornoway to Parkhead.

     

    It would be in my critical opinion better to be Greener and use a pudding from a local Butcher which is also far superior. I can mail you details

  14. Great to see TG getting involved with Cqn.

     

     

    My wee brother and i got our first ever Celtic strips for Christmas in 1966, i was 7 and he was 5. i got a sew on number 3 for my shorts and he got a number 7. Will never forget the excitement of the two of us running up to Springburn park with our new boots and a new ball and our Celtic strips on.(long sleeves-no adverts-no badge) I was Tommy Gemmell and he was wee Jinky.

     

    Great memories indeed. Every shot i ever hit for years was followed by shouting,

     

    “Gemmell ”

     

     

    Great to see Tommy is keeping better these days. All the best Big Man!

     

     

    A question for Tommy,

     

    “What do you recall of Jinky from the De Stefano Trophy when we beat Real 0-1 two weeks after Lisbon,was that his finest game?

  15. Beamishismypint on

    I wish Lenny would forget about prioritising going through the league unbeaten and instead use the time to let the team evolve. Give guys a chance and we will know if they are not up to it when the next window arrives.

  16. Hi Tommy who were some of the older players you trained with when you first arrived at Parkhead ?Any stories or real talents that really impressed you.

     

    Cheers

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

    Vmhan – YNWA Wee Oscar

     

     

     

     

    13:22 on

     

     

    12 February, 2014

     

     

     

     

    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

     

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

     

     

    bad craic with the local gendarmerie mate, big man was left with no choice but to ask the lhads to move on, they spent a few quid up there tidying it up, I gave them some scaffolding to help with the high stuff ass I have the downstairs as a workspace/unit.on the bodhran, there is one behind the bar,maybe that’s it..

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

     

     

    15:36 on 12 February, 2014

     

     

    “cadizzy

     

     

    You up for this Sunday’s game?”

     

     

     

    I am indeed and will be in the pub afterwards before heading down to Greenock for some (sub) culture

  19. Big Tam question

     

    July 12th 2012 Sean Og s Gweedor Donegal. Big Tam, Wee Bertie and Charlie and the Bhoys has he ever been to a better or more drunken “alternative” July 12th “celebration.

  20. anditsthepoleagain on

    Celticmac 15:52

     

     

    I Didnt realised she had opened one of them now – Oh wait a minute a Warehouse !

  21. mickbhoy@16.10

     

     

    Well! That came from a strange place. I didn’t even know that you were a Tory.

     

     

    You can relax about me cramping your style in BBs or any other hunting ground on two grounds.

     

     

    First, it is a pub I go to only to meet other Celts on match days and I manage that on less than 10 occasions each year.

     

     

    Secondly, I am an old married man, with no delusions.

     

     

    So, the ground is clear for you to attempt any political liaison you fancy with any gender or species you wish.

     

     

    But take it from somebody with rubbish patter who should know, you might need to brush up on the humour unless you have stunning looks. And I mean stunning in the good way :-)

  22. ACGR naw not a war not even a skirmish,seen imposters off before. No seriously it’s all about opinions,whitedoghunch , who I respect on foody matters, has his. I just do’nt agree with it. Would’nt life be boring if we all liked the same thing? Hail Hail Hebcelt

  23. As John Hartson says….you walk into CP and the Big Cup just stands there and looks at you.

     

     

    Celtic were first and Tommy Gemmell was a fundamental part of it all.

     

     

    He stands there in the sunshine with Mr Stein and the rest of the “immortals” and will never know what its like to stand in a cold shadow……..his and their place in the history of world football are assured.

     

     

    They have given us the ultimate bragging rights for almost 50 years now…..

     

     

    Thank you Tommy, truly.

  24. !!Bada Bing!!

     

     

    16:57 on 12 February, 2014

     

     

    “Greenock…..so good they named it once….”

     

     

    Aye but folk call it for everything

  25. TOMMY GEMMELL

     

     

    Thanks for taking time to give myself and lymmbhoy an unique tour of Paradise a few years back. Much appreciated.

     

     

    And…just thanks Big Mhan for everything.

     

     

    CelticGreatCSC

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

    Quite right Hebcelt.

     

     

    You are the protector of the pudding:-)

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