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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. twists n turns

     

     

    19:18 on 12 February, 2014

     

    Q for big TamWhich referee was the most anti Celtic , and , did you ever get the feeling any ref favoured the hoops?

     

    ———————————————

     

    Sorry only piping up with a bit of local knowledge.

     

    Wee Bert Padden, former ref, who passed away a few years ago, was a right wee Celtic man, I knew him personally, a gentleman.

     

     

    HH

  2. justafan-Telfer was a convenient whipping bhoy for some,a 7/10 guy every week.Ask Naka if he was any good?

  3. Neustadt-Braw

     

    19:19 on

     

    12 February, 2014

     

    Dontbrattbakkinanger

     

    18:37 on

     

    12 February, 2014

     

    I think AJCronin went to St Joe’s in Dumfries.

     

     

    Robert the Bruce died in Cardross, of leprosy.

     

    …………………………….

     

    could the good wee Dr Findlay do nothing for him? ……braw

     

     

    Cronin certainly attended Dumbarton Academy.

     

    Don’t confuse village of Cardross with Parish of Cardross which took in parts of Dumbarton on the south west side of River Leven.

     

     

    Although there is some dispute about it Bruce is thought to have died at what is currently the site of S. Michael’s Primary School Dumbarton.

  4. Question for TG:

     

     

    Tommy,

     

     

    For my 18th birthday I was given sparrows wings and a crow’s backside. I had endless fun with those and still use them to this day.

     

     

    So what’s the best present you have ever been given?

  5. micktt…

     

     

    Just checked wikki…

     

     

    Apparently Bert sent off John Greig, Rangers & Alex Ferguson, Falkirk in the same match!

     

     

    Obviously he was a great and perceptive and brave referee!!!

     

     

    HH

  6. Micktt

     

    Thanks for that info. To be honest, not a name that rings a bell at all, but my memory is as bad as the Sevco employee responsible for paying the bills…..

  7. Good to hear Paul Telfer happily reminiscing of his times at Celtic Park. As I’ve said more than once on here, he was a true professional who gave his all for the Jerseys. I thought too that he could cross the ball very well.

     

     

    I wonder if those who gave him a hard time were the same as those who booed WGS and were calling for a change of manager earlier this week……Hmmmmm.

  8. weet weet weet(GBWO) on

    Wonder what English viewers think of arsenal watering the pitch just before kickoff

     

     

    Gawd luv a duck

     

     

    HH

  9. Question for Tommy;

     

     

    Denis Law makes reference to you in his own books largely around your comments about his tea drinking capacity! I realise that there will be lots of players that you played alongside for Scotland – who was your favourite and why? Is there anyone that you would have liked to play alongside but didn’t get the chance? (either for Scotland or Celtic).

     

     

    Looking forward to the book!

  10. Tommy,

     

     

    Thanks for all the wonderful memories.

     

     

    Your goal against Benfica at Celtic Park is one of my all time favourites..

     

     

    Another, a diving header no less, against Rangers (1872-2012) in the league cup at Celtic Park is also highly cherished.

     

     

    With all the recent headlines concerning Fraser Forster’s clean sheet record, you of course have one of your own don’t you?

     

     

    1969 – v Clyde (Scottish Cup) and v Airdrie in the league cup you and took over in goal from Ronnie Simpson who dislocatd his shoulder on each occasion.

     

     

    You kept a clean sheet each time!

     

     

    Did you “volunteer” or were there simply no other candidates for the job?

     

     

    “all the best”

  11. twists n turns

     

     

    19:39 on 12 February, 2014

     

     

    justafan

     

     

    19:38 on 12 February, 2014

     

     

    Bert was a lovely man and not that it matters, not an RC, was a Mason, but Celtic to the core, I’m sure TG will remember him, he was of that era.

     

    He was everything that our club epitomises, just a Celtic supporter.

     

     

    HH

  12. justafan

     

     

    Glad to hear Paul Telfer is still active in the game, players young and older could learn a whole lot from his professionalism. Had a wee weakness, like Izzy, from the deep cross ball, (unlike Tommy Gemmell who was good in the air), but good solid player, and terrific support for Naka on the right.

  13. All these Qs to big TG about Montevideo and W. Germany……………

     

     

    am sure it’s a sign for ArseN tonight v Man Utd.

     

     

    :-)

  14. Micktt

     

    Just been reading about Bert, in an excerpt from John Greig’s book. Can’t cut and paste it, but basically John Greig telling how Bert had sent him off, so the next time he encountered him was when Bert came in to the Rangers dressing room to check the boots and Greig wouldn’t help him, saying he had been out of order in sending him off previously.

     

     

    Bert collapsed during that game and Greig thought he was injured and made a smart remark as he was stretchered past him. He later found out Bert had suffered a heart attack. Greig states he met Bert’s daughter some time later and thankfully Bert was ok.

  15. The Honest Mistake loves being first on

    Tommy,

     

    Pleased to meet you.

     

    How hard did you find the transition to civy street, going from playing professional football at the highest level in front of crowds of thousands to being part of that crowd yourself?

     

    Hail hail

  16. celtic Mac…

     

     

    Nicely put and agree wholeheartedly.

     

     

    Thought his second season was excellent.

     

     

    What a thrill for him right at the end of his top flight career. I guess it was his long experience which helped him manage the initial poor reaction from some fans AND the smsm’s usual reaction to a Celtic signing!

  17. twists n turns

     

     

    19:58 on 12 February, 2014

     

     

    I’ll find out what the remark was! I know Berts son and grandson, both very much Celtic men.

     

     

    HH

  18. The Honest Mistake loves being first on

    Paul telfer seems to have improved a hundred times over since being the target of the boo bhoys.

     

    15 years from now on CQN, big Sammi will be the best player we ever had.

  19. Murdoch McGrain Larsson on

    A few comments about TG scoring in 2 European Cup Finals. If memory serves, he also scored in the World Club Championship in the away leg.

  20. the honest…

     

     

    Don’t think think there was any suggestion of that!!! ;-)

     

     

    A good professional who did a good job.

     

     

    The important thing was his lasting respect for Celtic and the joy he derived from the association.

  21. The Honest Mistake loves being first on

    Justafan.

     

    Can’t agree more, but I can remember the sighs when he picked up possession. Nowhere near Baylor level though.

  22. Celticrollercoaster supports the Dambhoys on

    ***********CQteN Dream team*****************

     

     

    To assist you as promised, today and tomorrow we will look at the Goalkeepers available to you

     

     

    Artur Boruc

     

    Appearances 220; Clean sheets 82. Clean sheet every 2.7 games

     

     

    David Marshall

     

    Appearances 30; Clean sheets 9. Clean sheet every 3.3 games

     

     

    Fraser Forster

     

    Appearances 177; Clean sheets 88 . Clean sheet every 2 games

     

     

    Lukasz Zaluska (G)

     

    Appearances 40; Clean sheets 20 . Clean sheet every 2 games

     

     

    Mark Brown (G)

     

    Appearances 14; Clean sheets 6. Clean sheet every 2.3 games

     

     

    Rab Douglas (G)

     

    Appearances 19; Clean sheets 11 . Clean sheet every 1.7 games

     

     

     

    The stats include all games from the start of CQteN up to last Saturday

     

     

    Clear to see that Rab Douglas is the clean sheet expert during the period of CQteN :-)

     

     

    HH

     

     

    CRC

  23. Mr Gemmell

     

     

    One question if I may…before I go buying your book and you consider signing it,

     

    are you dyslexic like your ole team mate Wispy Wallace ?

     

     

    Best regards Boguepunter :O(

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