Tommy Gemmell on CQN this afternoon


We have Tommy Gemmell on the blog from 13:00 this afternoon.  He will introduce himself in the comments section and be available for a ‘chat’ and questions.

Pat Woods, one of Celtic’s finest historians, sent me this excerpt from his book, Celtic, Pride and Passion:

“Although there was no formal award at the time to mark his performance, Tommy Gemmell, memorably described by Geoffrey Green in The Times (London) as “A big blond cat set among the Italian pigeons ‘, was widely regarded as the man of the match of the 1967 European Cup Final.

The continental journalists were particularly effusive, amazed as they were by the stamina, energy, determination and shooting power he displayed as he continually surged forward into attack.

Jean Cornu of L’Equipe, the most prestigious sports paper of them all, described Tommy as ‘The executioner of Inter, the man who smashed their defensive screen’, while the correspondent of the Swiss newspaper Gazette de Lausanne singled him out as the symbol of his assertion that Celtic’s display had rehabilitated football’s image and its honour.

Noting the delight on Gemmell’s face after the final whistle as the full back, With Sandro Mazzola’s ‘swap’ shirt draped over his shoulders, celebrated on the pitch, the correspondent wrote: ‘His smile was the smile on the face of the whole of football, that of real attacking football in all that world, conquering passion and conviction which we have come to love so much’.”

Tommy was in every sense a modern footballer, capable of playing with either foot, he had the kind of engine players of the 60s just didn’t possess.  This gave him range, which combined with speed and a legendary shooting ability made him one of the genuine world class footballers in Jock Stein’s armoury.  At the very peak of European football, the only occasion when a collection of players from the one local area became champions of Europe, Tommy Gemmell made the stage his own.

Best wishes to Danny McGrain, another of Celtic’s legendary full backs, who is recovering from a minor heart attack.  We don’t know how lucky we are to have Danny on the training ground and in the dressing room with the first team players.

Today, Tommy Gemmell releases his autobiography, ‘All the best’, a fresh work, written with his friend of 50 years, Alex Gordon, which examines his life and times, in particular during that unique period in the history of sport in this country, when Celtic cast an enormous shadow over European football.  It is a fantastic read, full of inspirational recollections and anecdotes.

You can order a copy signed by the man himself below.  Remember to tune in from 13:00 today with questions, comments and stories for Tommy – and if you ask him about his European Cup Final goal, remember to tell him if you’re referring to the Lisbon or Milan Final!

This is what blogs were made for. Fill your boots and wallow in some unabashed Celtic glory.  The stage is yours once more, Tommy.

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  1. Afternoon Celts, que pasa?


    Oh Willie Maley was his name,


    He brought some great names to the game,


    When he was the boss at Celtic Park.


    He taught them how to play football,


    He made the greatest of them all,


    Gallacher and Quinn have left their mark.



    CHORUS: And they gave us James McGrory and Paul McStay,


    They gave us Johnstone, Tully, Murdoch, Auld and Hay,


    And most of the football greats,


    Have passed through Parkhead’s gates,


    All to play football the Glasgow Celtic way.


    In ’38 there was a show,


    And Glasgow was the place to go,


    A model of the Tower was football’s prize.


    England sent four of the best,


    They didn’t meet with much success,


    Because the trophy ended up in Paradise.




    Well Coronation time was here,


    Fifty three, that was the year,


    Another four from England met their doom.


    They said we’ll have to try again,


    But like before it was in vain,


    Because the Cup is in the Parkhead trophy room.




    And then in 1957


    We faced a guy called Georgie Niven


    The game is etched on every Celtic fan,


    Wilson, Mochan and McPhail.


    And Willie Fernie scored as well,


    As Celtic beat the Rangers 7-1.




    All to play football the Glasgow Celtic way.


    Well ten years, they had gone and so,


    To Portugal we had to go,


    To play the team that Italy adored.


    Celtic went out to attack,


    They won the Big Cup and they brought it back,


    The first time it had been on British shores.



    CHORUS And they gave us James McGrory and Paul McStay,


    They gave us Johnstone, Tully, Murdoch, Auld and Hay,

  2. TinyTim



    11:56 on 16 May, 2014



    That’s rubbish.



    Jock Stein was a great figure in Celtic’s history. Posssibly the greatest. Certainly in the top three.



    Going by the sanitised, hagiographic accounts we’re left with he wasn’t a human being. He had no faults. No darkside. Such a version isn’t credible. It’s childish.



    I’m an adult. I want to know about the rounded figure of the man. I want a realistic account. A truthful account. I doubt the unvarnished truth will diminish my admiration of the man.



    Those who knew him knew his faults and it didn’t diminish the respect they had for him.

  3. bournesouprecipe on




    Have you ever forgiven the milk boy for what he used to shout through your letterbox in the mornings?



    Hail Hail

  4. valentinesday on

    Wee Lionel signs a new contract with Barca….another


    dagger in the heart of deluded huns.

  5. CQN does a deal with the devil who in turn runs a snippet focussing on throwing more mud at our greatest boss.



    The war is over and the tabloids have won it seems.

  6. If someone can please re-post my 2 questions for TG when he arrives around 1pm I’d be grateful.



    Offski amigos.



    ps Tommy enjoy the craic big yin (thumbs up)




    pps was that a podium?




  7. leftclicktic We are all Neil Lennon on

    Tommy Gemmell smiled at me as he got up to leave the Kano foundation night,



    I melted like a child ,it was only a smile but I will remember that moment till my last day.



    So today take your chance to speak with a Legend they dont come round very often,



    In case I dont get a chance later


    Tommy it is a simple THANK YOU from me for giving me more memories that will last a lifetime and beyond.


    Hail Hail & Y.N.W.A

  8. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family



    12:00 on 16 May, 2014




    Oh yeah, Mickies the Tally’s – mars & ice – was my favorit.


    I used to get taken into there after mass on a Sunday with my


    late Gran and auntie Alice. Brilliant



  9. minx1888 praying to Wee Oscar on

    Vhman – yes that was a podium and a half!!





    1) – Did you ever suffer from a dead leg? How did you deal with it? Did you just man up and get on with it?



    2) Who was the best player you ever played against?

  10. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    I think Tommy’s ole sparrin’ partner Jim Craig helped write the Pat Woods’ book.

  11. It’s regularly said that Bobby Murdoch and Jimmy Johnstone were the two indisputably world class outfield players in the Lisbon Lions side. I’ve always argued that there were at least two more – Bobby Lennox and Tommy Gemmell. I’ll definitely be buying the book.

  12. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    In the words of Jack Nicholson.


    You can’t handle the truth, people need to know that our greatest manager had his flaws, we wouldn’t expect anything less…

  13. Ernie,



    So when do you call a halt to the “Realistic view”of Big Jock.The man is not here to defend himself.Anything written about him now,could be a made up load of crap.How are we to know?.Would you be comfortable with someone coming out with the hun mantra of BJK?.


    Would that give you a much deeper understanding of the man?.


    Do these people not know of the fans hatred of the SMSM?.Do they all live in another universe from the rest of us?.


    Tommy Gemmell was the greatest left back ever to don the hoops,but he has done himself no favors in my eyes by allowing the DR to further damage the reputation of “The greatest ever Celt.


    God Bless Big Jock.

  14. TBJ says Wee Oscar Knox is in heaven with the angels





    10:59 on



    16 May, 2014



    So obviously I think it’s wrong for any Celt to give them stones to throw at us while making money from gullible Tim’s who buy the rags



    *I think you’ll find it’s gullible huns they are targeting

  15. FFS!



    I have heard a few stories about many x and current players/managers over the years. They are human FFS!



    I’m human. I’ve had my bag. We deal with it. Hardly going to make anyone think any less of me who disentangle already. For them I do not care anyway. Dead or alive I would not care.



    MWD says Aye

  16. Winning Captains



    Seemed fairly accurate to me.



    Your wee partnership with the every thing the blog was set up against stinks to me of hypocrisy.



    To recognise you need them to distribute a book seemed to suggest that 10 years on the tabloid had won on this occasion.



    To see the tabloid rely on the snippet attacking Jock is what you get when you dance with anti Celtic elements.

  17. Turkeybhoy



    Having read the book I am at an advantage here. The book does not damage Jock’s reputation. In fact of the three books we have been involved in – Willie Wallace, John Hughes and Tommy Gemmell – Tommy’s is probably is the most positive re Jock. Willie and Yogi both left on the same day – it was a strange story and neither wished to go. Tommy did want to go at that stage but Jock kept him – he did what he thought was right for Celtic on each occasion. Making those calls was his job.

  18. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on

    I think it is unfair to criticise TG on his decision with guidance from his friend to serialise a book that will appeal to all Scottish people not just Celtic supporters. The decision was made to select a certain daily newspaper. Probably the biggest in Scotland at this minute. TG is selling a book. It’s free publicity. TG has given this football club more than he has taken. To question the methods he goes about punting his book is not on. He is taking advice and he is trying to make himself a few quid.


    I am not old enough to have seen the Lions. People have been living off that team for years. Tommy was a huge part of it. He scored the first goal in the greatest match in this clubs history.


    Still people are trying to have a pop at the way he goes about his business with a publication he has written.


    I personally work in an industry that most people detest. I work for a major bank. I get the usual raised eyebrows and moaning when I am asked what my profession is. It’s not something I can however change quickly. I would love to work in another industry. This is what I do though. I make OK money. I have a family to support. I have to take the devils coin. I have no choice at the minute. My bonus tis year would not have bought a season ticket for Livingston FC and my wage rise would not afford me a glass of beer once a week for the next year. I still get the usual ‘Oh yer one ae they bankers’.


    Give TG a break. He is promoting a book he hopes to make a few quid off. He wants it to sell well. I hope it sells well too. TG deserves a few quid in his pocket and maybe a decent holiday or whatever he hopes to do with the profits.


    Many people and not all of them Celtic minded have made fortunes out of the Lisbon ions through many avenues including books and other things. Do not grudge the man to tell his side of the story. Jock Stein will always be a legend in my eyes. I don;t for one minute believe he didn;t fall out with players though as we have heard from a few recently. He wanted the best for the club and if refusing players a transfer was one way of doing that then I understand why he did it. It was a different game back then. Players did not have the power they exert today. I suspect that somewhere between the 60’s and how it operates now would be a decent stand point for these scenarios but the world is not perfect is it?


    Tommy Gemmell is maybe not perfect but neither is he comitting a sin by publishing a serialisation of his book in a daily newspaper. Cut the guy some slack and give him the respect deserves. He has earned it!




  19. Dj67SupportsTheResignationOfReganDoncasterOgilvie&Co on

    I think its time CQN changed its name to AJN (AntiJockNews). First up we had Yogi on, who just a few days previously was moaning in every newspaper that would give him a platform about how Big Jock ruined his Celtic career. Now we have Tommy Gemmell whining to everyone that will listen about how Jock Stein ruined his dream of playing for Barcelona…….Eh?? I thought playing for Celtic (your home town club) lifting the big cup in Lisbon, getting the opportunity to play for the World Club Championship, winning numerous domestic titles & cups was your dream…but what de I know eh?



    I guess Big Jock should feel blessed that he was ever offered the Celtic pools with the kind of sentiment we’ve had to endure recently from his former playing staff, it would be easy to assume that he needed locking up.




  20. Must admit though. There is a bit of irony in having the CQN pamphlet one week advocating that we get our Celtic news via CQN and slating the MSM for the Griffiths story and the CQN book being serialised in the record.



    I understand the need for serialisation to help an x legend make a bit of cash but the timing of pamphlet in all likelihood knowing the serialisation was in the offing was at best Ill prepared and advised.




  21. traditionalist88 on

    As soon as the DR paid their money they were always going to search for an angle/any form of negative slant or something they could promote as controversy, its what they do.



    But they had permission, so…



    Read the book in its entirety and I’m sure opinions will change.




  22. minx1888 praying to Wee Oscar on

    BT – the issue is with giving the headlines to the DR.



    Those that want to buy the book still will as they want to know the inside story. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  23. MHARK67 prayin for OSCAR KNOX on

    V busy day ahead for me but I’m looking forward to reading the Q&A after work later


    I’m sure there will be some great questions from many of the esteemed posters on this great site and we should be very greatful that we have the likes of Tommy , Willie etc who are happy to spend their time on this blog and answer our questions


    That is all


    hail hail

  24. Jim White question


    Tommy why were you so good?


    Thanks for the memories big mhan and remember they died trying to emulate the Lions achievements.

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