LEIGH GRIFFITHS has now missed more penalty-kicks in a season than Tommy Gemmell did in a lifetime at Celtic.

The Hoops hitman’s awful effort against Motherwell was the fourth spot-kick he has squandered during this campaign.

Lisbon Lion Gemmell took 37 awards in his 10 years at Parkhead – and missed only three.

He joked: “Two of those kicks didn’t go into the net because the keepers couldn’t get out of the way.

“I used to blast my penalties. I walloped them with as much power as I could muster and my sole aim was to hit the target.

“After that, it was up to the goalie. There was little point in him trying to psych me out or any of that nonsense.

“I hadn’t a clue where the ball was going, so there was no chance of him trying to read my intentions or anticipating where I might place the ball.

“It back-fired twice, though. I recall a game against Dundee United at Tannadice where I gave the ball an almighty dunt.

“Donald Mackay was their keeper at the time and he wasn’t quick enough to get down to a corner, as most shotstoppers did those days.

“The ball simply flew straight from my boot down the middle and clattered off Mackay and bounced to safety.

“The same thing happened against Rangers’ Norrie Martin. I thumped it, as usual, and he was right in line to block the effort.

“I’m not sure who we were playing when I missed the third. Well, I was always more likely to remember the ones that went in!”

Gemmell added: “Jock Stein was such a perfectionist that I knew I would be relieved of the penalty-taking duties if I regularly failed.

“I’m not sure I would have been allowed to take a fourth if I had already missed three in one season. I doubt it.

“I had waited in a long queue before I got my chance to show my prowess from the spot.

“Before me, the players who took the pens were Dunky Mackay, Bobby Murdoch, Bertie Auld, Charlie Gallagher, Ian Young, Joe McBride and John Hughes.

“Big Jock gave me the nod in the second leg of our European Cup First Round tie against Zurich in Switzerland in October 1966.

“I had scored in Glasgow – our first-ever European Cup goal, by the way – as we won 2-0 and I had already netted in Zurich when we were awarded a spot-kick.
“We were already two goals ahead and 4-0 up on aggregate, so there was little pressure on me.

“Big Jock had told me before the game that I would take the kick if we were given an award and so it proved.

“I simply hit it with power, the ball flew into the net and the rest, as they say, is history.”

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