Tommy Gemmell: “They’re all great goals”


Tommy Jinky Dukla

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.

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  1. So who wants the Accies to win tomorrow? I’m kinda in 2 minds. On the one hand I enjoy them getting gubbed, but I’d like revenge for last year’s semi if we draw them. Provided we win on Sunday of course

  2. Paul67 et al



    Not the greatest week for the Celtic Brother and Sisterhood.


    Condolences to the family and friends of El Diego Bhoy



    He’ll be halfway to Paradise by now


    RIP Jim

  3. As others have said this has been a sad week with the news about big Billy, the passing of Tommy and now the news about EDB!


    My deepest and sincerest condolences to his friends and family on their sad loss!



    As a wee bhoy growing up in the 1960s big Billy was just a huge figure, striding out of the tunnel leading the team out. He was every inch a captain and our leader. Not for nothing was the chant “there’s only one King Billy!” To a wee lad he epitomised everything that was good about CFC. He seemed to tower over most of his direct opponents and win every ball in the air, while every corner seemed to provide a chance of one of those dramatic headers!


    The first SCF I was taken to was 1967, I was 9 and my dad and older brothers were going with uncles or pals and didn’t want a kid getting in the way. So my mum took me in to the big enclosure in a crowd of 120k! So there I was watching Billy lifting the cup and that just seemed to be the way things were.


    With TG it was the sense of anticipation any time we got a free kick within range or better still a penalty ! Never have seen a ball struck harder! I’m sure a few goalies got themselves out of the way PDQ!


    Great memories of great men!





  4. Gerryfaethebrig on

    It’s been a sad few days for Celtic fans and people who knew both or either Tommy Gemmell or El Diego Bhoy, both of their families will get through this sad time with loads of great memories, CQN has been sad, humbling and much appreciated…… I knew neither but reading some great posts you learn a wee tiny bit more and both will be sadly missed

  5. Saddened to hear of the passing of Jim Devine (Eldiegobhoy). He was and always will be my friend. We shared a beer or two at CQN gatherings. We would talk on the telephone on occasion about Celtic and life.


    I recall a pre-hootenanny in the Beer Cafe with St. John Doyle, paddybhoy1888, Kickinthenakas and one of the latter’s mates.


    We would send each other a Christmas Card, last year was the last time I heard from him, he thanked me for the lovely Christmas Card and that he had lost my address, I think it was more that he had more on his mind. I reminded him of my address and I received a lovely Christmas Card from Jim, I thought that will be the last card I will get from Jim.


    Kerri and Meghan you will be heartbroken, especially after the loss of your Mum Moira. I remember Your Dad telling me of a designer handbag (cannot recall the particular designer) that your Mum bought after she was diagnosed with the health issue that she lost her battle to. He told me that you both found the price tag in the handbag when you were sorting through her stuff, made me laugh at the price…:)


    Jim Devine, Eldiegobhoy, a loving Husband, proud and doting Father, one of life’s good guys, my friend and a Celtic Fan, what more do you want.


    Say Hail Hail Eldiegobhoy to St. John Doyle and all our other Celtic Family.


    May God Bless your Soul.


    Until we meet again…


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  6. Neustadt-Braw on

    Things are no sae braw at this time…



    El Diego Bhoy. Rest in peace…and condolences to all you held dear….




  7. Neustadt-Braw on

    Parabhoy….a braw post….



    The support today…stands on the shoulders of giants….take a bow


    And hail hail





  8. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Very sad to learn of Jim Devine’s passing. I met Jim a a few cqn gatherings and he was a real nice guy who was easy to have a chat with.



    Condolences to Jim’s family and friends.



    A sad end to a sad week for the Celtic family.



    Rest in peace El Diego Bhoy.

  9. North Cyprus (formerly Baku) Bhoy on

    PARABHOY on 3RD MARCH 2017 5:59 PM


    Don’t be a stranger – please share more of your memories on CQN.



    Sincere condolences to all of those who have suffered loss in this sad week.




  10. Jimmynotpaul on

    Lennybhoy 6.12.


    I never had the pleasure of meeting Jim, I conversed with him on the blog a few times and always found him to be a gent.


    Your post is just beautiful. Clearly from the heart and the positivity about Jim that you feel shone through, it made me shed a tear.


    Thank you and Hail Hail

  11. 50 shades of green on

    Just catching up with the blog.



    Condolences to the family and friends of El Diego Bhoy , you will be missed on here mate.



    Rest in peace.




    P.s lovely post Lennybhoy.




  12. Jimmynotpaul on



    I agree with North Cyprus Bhoy.


    Don’t be a stranger. I love the memories from the ghuys who attended in the 50s.


    My father loved Faith of our Fathers, Erins Green Valley, and of course his all time favourite Charles Patrick Tully.

  13. RIP Jim Devine, EDB.


    Just been next door to the Church to light some candles. I never met EDB but you knew he was one of life’s Ghood Ghuys. God bless him he’ll be able to watch the Lisbon Lions when they assemble to win the Big Cup in Paradise.

  14. Just logged in and read the sad news of Jim Devine (EDB) passing away .


    I only shared Jim’s company twice in the BV , and he was one of a few CQN’rs at the table.


    He came across as a genuine and polite guy who shared our love of Celtic .


    News of his illness came as a shock . His bravery and positivity when posting , while fighting illness was inspirational .


    I wish I had got to know him better . Thoughts and prayers with his family and many close friends . May he rest in peace .


    YORK CITY play EASTLEIGH tomorrow.met the team tonight at TESCO TADCASTER RD.they all look very small to me and really young.told them “sorry can’t wish you good luck.”they all laughed.

  16. Jimmynotpaul on

    Tommy Gemmill.


    It has been a lovely education reading the great posts about Tommy Gemmill. Not only a great player but a lovely man too.


    I only saw Tommy at the end of his career, although always aware what a special talent he was, I don’t think I realised just how he was perceived in other parts of the world. That to me is always an indication of how good/great a player was.


    Winning Captains.


    Your work has been greatly enjoyed by me. Thank you.


    South of Tunis.


    The posts from an Italian perspective were educational.


    Thank you.


    Hail Hail

  17. Marrakesh Express on

    I was up getting tickets today and had a look at numerous scarves tied to the rail at the statues in honour of TG.


    As is usually the case I spotted five or six Rangers ones and a Rfc strip with Tommy Gemmell rip written on it. A couple of Inter and Milan scarves too.


    Call me romantic, deluded dreamer whatever, but every time I see this I wonder if one day in the distant future, the hatred and those who drive it will be history. I remember standing at the same spot the TB shrine in 2008, when four guys decked out in blue jerseys jumped out of car and laid scarves and flowers. My mate and I spoke to them. They said they heard while down in Manchester and immediately decided to pay tribute to Tommy :a great man’ as soon as they got back up the road. One actually said ‘at times like there is no rivalry’.


    Got a feeling most will get what I’m saying, such is the level of intelligence on here, but tin hat on just in case.

  18. Thank you Tommy for your life you will never be forgotten ….Living down in england most of my life the passing of our great man has gone by with predictable small news.


    Indeed they have been obsessing today on ‘talksport’ about the travesty of our premier league with Celtic getting no credit whatsoever for their incredible unbeaten run.One story even talks about a recent ‘football manager’ simulation putting us in the premier league and celtic ending the season with just 3 wins and in 20th position.


    Why does nobody ever talk FACTS?…they do exist.Celtic have played 20 matches against english clubs in european competition over the years.Now this is not mid table or bottom of the table english opposition but infact champions or european qualifying teams….overall we have WON 7 , DRAWN 7 and LOST 6…….that is official facts not english ignorance theory.

  19. Park Road 67 on



    Only met him once in Blane Valley a week after he told us on here about his illness , a really nice guy !

  20. PARABHOY @ 3RD MARCH 2017 5:59 PM



    No more lurking. You must have great memories of the worst of times and the best of times.


    Share both.

  21. huntlybhoy86 on




    Thanks for that. I’d forgotten about that St.Johnstone game.

  22. tommytwiststommyturns on

    P67 (and Minx on the FB page) – thanks for passing on the sad news about Jim. He had previously mentioned on here that his condition was terminal, but we all live in hope about new treatments and I hadn’t heard any updates in a while.



    Lenny – lovely words, me old mucker. I hope EDB’s two lovely daughters can take some solace from posts like that. Life has not been kind to them over the last couple of years and my thoughts are with them just now.



    As SFTB said, Jim was fiercely protective of Celtic’s name, but also of Paul and the blog. He crossed swords with a few on here, but if you ever had the pleasure of his company then you would know he was a lovely man and a bit of a character. Another CQN & Celtic stalwart taken from us. Rest in peace, Jim.



    An awful end to an awful week, following on from the news about Billy’s health and then Big Tam’s sad passing. As ever, the Celtic community will come together to bring comfort to the families.






  23. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan on

    Just arrived in St Andrews for the weekend and tuned in to find out about Jim Divine (Eldiegobhoy).



    My thoughts and prayers are with Jim and his beautiful and lovely girls.



    Over the last few years, I found myself sitting next to or close to Jim at Celtic Park on several occasions. He was never slow to voice his opinion on the performance of our team, the opposition, or the officials and frequently when he was annoyed or shocked at something taking place on the field he would let out one of two stock phrases that came to him automatically.



    “Oh, for goodness sake!” he would shout.






    “That’s ridiculous!” he would exclaim.



    These phrases could be directed at either team or the officials.



    There are others on here who knew Jim far better than me. He worked with Malorbhoy for many years and I have thoroughly enjoyed their joint company at Celtic Park on many occasions.



    However, there are two wee stories I want to share about Jim which sum him up in my eyes.



    Not long after he lost his beloved wife to illness, he was sitting at Celtic park and I ended up sitting beside him. At the time, we didn’t know one another that well yet he didn’t seek to hide the fact that he was grieving for his lost partner.



    I was on my own at the game and Jim started to ask me some pretty personal questions.



    “Are you married?”



    “Yes, but we have been separated for many years.”



    “That’s very sad!” said Jim “Do you have kids?”



    “Yes 4 — 3 boys and a boss!”



    “And do they sometimes come to the games with you?”






    “And you still get on with your wife?”



    “Yes, very well. We are very close.”



    ” But you don’t live together and there is no hope of reconciling?”






    “That is very sad” says Jim and then after a long pause ” So, you have no one special in your life?”



    “No, not in the sense that you mean, Jim”



    “That’s very sad. Everyone should have someone special. Someone to call their own who can keep them right and be their partner. You should do something about that.”



    Here was Jim, who had recently lost his partner of many years being very concerned for me and my wellbeing. He was very nice, very fatherly and very caring.



    After he was diagnosed with cancer many people were concerned for him and he knew it.



    One day, I had been to see my mother in hospital at Gartnaval and I had parked my car in the car park at the Pond hotel. I had had to get to the hospital in a hurry and as I left I was coming down in the lift when I realised I had come out without any money, credit cards, wallet or anything and so I couldn’t pay for the car park. I felt stupid, but for whatever reason, I had a sudden feeling that something would turn up and that I would be able to sort something out with the car park attendant. God is good after all. Maybe I had money in the car?



    I got all the way to the car park and still hadn’t figured out what the hell to do when all of a sudden, there, sitting in a car waiting to come out was Jim and Meghan. The window came down for a greeting and very quickly I asked “Have you got two quid? I have come out without any money.”



    And of course he did and he gave it to me without hesitation. Jim — sent by God or whoever to help me out.



    The following Saturday I gave him the money back at Celtic Park. Once again he was not interested in himself or the money (he had by this time been diagnosed) and his only concern was “How’s your mum?”.



    That was Jim.



    Some time ago, there were a few posts on here about him and I chipped in with my tuppence worth and said what a lovely fella he was etc.



    A few minutes later he sent me a text (I am looking at it now) and it simply read:



    “Just spotted your post. You’ve got me greetin!” and he added a wee smiley.



    I replied “Naw, its my jokes that get you greetin – and my singing, and my dress sense, and of course my boots!”



    He very quickly agreed.



    Well, James, wherever you are tonight, rest easy my friend — but you should know — you’ve got me greetin!

  24. Havent been on for a wee bit.


    Really sad news to hear of the passing of one of our own. EDB. I would just like to pass on my condolences to his family and friends.


    Coming so soon after we hear of Billys problems and then the feath of Big Tam. Its been a bad week

  25. fairhill bhoy on

    Is there anyone who can remember the lions sitting around a table chewing the fat,and I’m sure it was bertie who said football goes in cycles,it was a few years ago mind.welcome PARABHOY:-))



    I burst out laughing at the bits below as I could actually hear Jim say them, thank you


    …“Oh, for goodness sake!” he would shout.




    “That’s ridiculous!” he would exclaim…


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  27. What a sad week it’s been.


    Although I never met Jim Devine , I was always impressed by his contributions on here.


    As others have testified he was a real Celtic man.


    Maybe the greatest thing about this blog is the friendships it has been responsible for .


    I look upon everyone here as pals.


    I feel so sad for Jim’s family and they will be in my prayers.







  28. FourGreenFields on

    Just on for a quick catch up and saw the sad news about El Diego Bhoy ( Jim ) .


    Would just like to pass on my thoughts and prayers to all his family and friends.


    Jim Rest in Peace.

  29. JimmyQuinnsBits on

    Haven’t posted for a while



    Tommy… what a smile



    And EDB, a true Celt… can’t think of a higher accolade



    Condolences to both families



    As others have said, a bad week




  30. tommytwiststommyturns on

    FGF – that says a lot about you mate, with your own recent loss. Deepest condolences to you & yours.




  31. Parabhoy



    I am trying to help the family of John Jack, the Celtic centre half from the 1950s. Trying to get some memories,stories etc of him. If you remember the player I would be grateful if you could share.

  32. fairhill bhoy on

    Sorry about that was still catching up,so didn’t know about the sad passing of EDB,its been a hard week for the Celtic family

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