The first time I met Tommy Gemmell was back in the 90s. I made a comment that some recent goal was “a great goal”. Tommy replied, “Every goal is a great goal.
“It didn’t matter who I scored against or how inconsequential the goal was, every time I put the ball in the net was a great moment.”
Tommy couldn’t hide the joy he got from doing what he did.
Some tremendous photos surfaced online yesterday, including this one (above), taken 49 years and 11 months ago, a moment after Celtic’s 0-0 draw away to Dukla Prague in the second leg of the European Cup semi-final, a result that saw Celtic progress to the final 3-1 on aggregate.
This photo took pride of place on Tommy’s memento wall at his Dunblane home. It was framed but had clearly fallen, as there was a crack in the glass. But still, its prominence outranked images from Lisbon.
For Tommy, this image captured some of the things he treasured most. His face displays sheer joy; the team have already achieved more than any other British side in reaching the final of the Continent’s top tournament.
He’s carrying his great pal, Jimmy Johnstone, like a child, on his hip. It defines their achievement, friendship and an unfettered happiness. If you ever had a photo like this of yourself, it would be on your wall too.
I’m pleased our next game is at Celtic Park. Many of us want to be there.