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. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan on

    A very very quick story about Tommy Gemmell which is not borne out on this video clip.



    Watch this — it is the game in Montevideo against Racing.



    Listen to the tone of the commentary and compare it to the words and tone of the players.



    I was speaking to my 84 year old mother yesterday who reminded me what happened when Big Tam kicked the racing player in the nuts.



    That particular player had been filthy. Kicking, punching and spitting throughout the match.



    So when big Tommy blootered the guy in the haw maws what the film doesn’t show you is that all the Celtic fans got to their feet and cheered as if he had scored.



    Celtic — on the pitch and off it — one and the same!

  2. Celticrollercoaster supporting @WalkWithShay on

    Sad to hear the news about El Diego Bhoy. We all think we have troubles in life at time, but we have life!



    I hope he is now at peace and enjoying the re-kindling with Mrs EDB.



    Thoughts to his family tonight.



    Big thanks also to Minxy and indeed Smashing Milk Bottles for just being who they are.







  3. El Diego Bhoy



    Thank you Lennybhoy. And BRTH for your recollections.I was pleasured to be in his company a few times.


    A great family man now in the company of his late wife again.


    A sumple prayer offered to his girls.


    I hope they know how much he will be missed and that he was loved here.


    God bless you and may you rest in peace.





    A great Celtic man

  4. thetimreaper on

    STARRY PLOUGH on 3RD MARCH 2017 7:54 PM



    I know, had to laugh at the commentator saying the keeper seemed to lose it, ye don’t say!

  5. Very sad news of ElDiegoBhoy’s passing, had the pleasure of being in his company on a couple of occasions…a lovely mhan.


    Thoughts with his lovely daughters and the rest of the family and friends.


    God bless.

  6. A people and a cause on

    Terrible news about El Diegobhoy a stalwart of the blog and a lovely man


    Parabhoy great post you’ve seen some talent in the hoops over the years

  7. Delaneys Dunky on

    Very sad to read about Jim (ElDiegoBhoy).


    I have the pleasure of being in his company a few times. Lovely gentleman and a great character. Jim Devine RIP

  8. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    I asked malorbhoy last week about Jim not knowing it was his ghirls who he was with at the table


    Jim was an opinionated staunch man who never hid his love for his family and his football team


    Miss you Jim (EDB)

  9. Half-time in the Hampden dressing room 1971. Celtic were trailing Patrick Thistle by 4 goals to nil. Enter a furious Jock Stein as the players sat silently with heads bowed.



    “What’s the f****n score here?” was his plaintiff cry.



    “Four nothin tae Thistle,” said Tommy Gemmell quick as a flash.



    Big Jock didn’t see the funny side at all.

  10. cliftonville celt from belfast on

    Haven’t posted in a long time but always lurking but was really sad to hear the news of El Diego boys passing I never knew the man but always remember the love he had for his late wife and his daughters



    Thoughts and prayers with his girls tonight




  11. Tomthetim, lovely piece by your son. It is always nice to know that there are some in the Irish media that are proud to share their Celtic and Donegal support. That said, RTE made a fine tribute to Tommy G, showing the Lisbon goals. Did you know Neilly Dougan, who would have watched the Celts in Sean Ogs?


    Sad to hear of his passing last week. A really nice man and an excellent footballer..


    Lenny Bhoy, I believe you introduced me to El Diego Bhoy, who I knew through his positive posts about Celtic, so was delighted to meet him. Sad to hear of his passing. May he rest in peace. Cathach

  12. kevinlasvegas on

    Not posted in ages, Sad news about ElDiegoBhoy, May he rest in Peace.



    Big Tommy as well, Sad week for our Family.



    Hail Hail Bhoys and I hope you find your Paradise.



    Paul67, You r articles in the past two days, have been from the heart.




  13. I’m very, very saddened to hear of Jim (ElDiegoBhoy) passing. When me and my friends decided to go for the game nine years back he was one of the first who we met. Jim, Pablophanque and Oldtim67 booked into the same hotel. Since that time we exchaned emails and met whenever I was in Glasgow again. Always true gentleman,family man and on the other hand addicted to the club. Kerri and Meghan,if you will read this, you are in my thoughts and prayers. It must be very difficult time for you.

  14. viewfaethewindae on

    Haven’t posted for many a day but just had to pass on my condolences to the family of EDB. For a few years we exchanged many words on all things Celtic.


    I never met the man but his posts on here suggested he had his priorities in life spot on, family first, then a fanatical support for all things Celtic.



    RIP Jim, thoughts and prayers with his family

  15. midfield maestro on



    Terrible news to read on my log in for a long long time.



    A good few years ago, plane delayed on runway at Prestwick for an hour, going to Portugal, passed the time by reading through cqn. Sitting reading comments etc, could feel the presence of a twenty something female behind reading my phone too. She asked, do you post on cqn , yes occasionally, I replied. My dad posts too, he is El Diegobhoy.



  16. i'vehadtochangemyname on

    i ‘d like to echo ccelt’s post about edb’s sharing on the blog. it helped me alot

  17. So sorry to here of the passing of El Diego Bhoy, I’m sure I was in his company in the BV a while back. He was a sharp as a tack poster.



    Thoughts with his family at this sad time. Hail Hail EDB.

  18. I wish both Kitalba and Awe_Naw are back in here. I’m sure they deserve to have an oportunity to say a word today .

  19. When TTTT sent me the news of Jims death earlier today I had just parked the car to go into the shops.. I sat for a couple of minutes and said a wee prayer for him and thought a lot about him. He will be happy to be back with Moira but be heartbroken to leave behind the girls. I hope Kerri and Meghan are ok and my thoughts are with them.


    After a wee while i started to have a giggle to myself thinking of Jim. We spoke on here for a good while before we first met and due to my driving the cubs around all the time he told me that he actuall ythought I was ataxi driver. We used to have a go at each other about what side of the Clude was the best.. I said the only good thing about his hometown was that his view was looking onto Ghods town. And the biggest laugh was the daywhen a few of us from the blog were hosted by Burnley78 at Celtic park and poor Peter Lawwell couldnt get a word in for Jim asking/demanding him to buy a left back…


    Jim I will raise a glass to you … cheers mate.

  20. minx1888 praying to Wee Oscar on

    Evening All



    I was on the train from Haymarket sneaking out of work early today when HT called me to say about EDB’s passing. I genuinely had to cut our call short as I honestly was so, so sad for his gorgeous girls!



    I met EDB many years ago at the first gathering of CQN contributors. We remained in contact throughout the years. He was over the moon for me when HT and I got engaged … didn’t stop a right good few debates between them but you always left EDB’s company with a smile.



    I have had the absolute pleasure of meeting many many food friends through this blog … tonight heaven has gained another of one of our good ghuys.



    Rest in peace pal

  21. ZBYSZEK on 3RD MARCH 2017 9:51 PM


    Awe_Naw has heard of Jim’s loss, he recorded his sadness on my FB page where I posted my post that I put up earlier on CQN.


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  22. Tell you what.



    When people you never met, are celebrated by people you nearly know, given tributes by people you really respect, then given love by other people you admire and want to emulate-



    That’s Celtic.

  23. In a split second in Lisbon 50 years ago big Tommy Gemmell received a pass from Jim Craig and he changed all our life’s forever. HH big mhan.

  24. Although under these sad circumstances, it’s heart warming to see so many old monikers posting tonight and yesterday and to see that they are still around and lurking or not, still part of the CQN world…



    What a place:))




  25. minx1888 praying to Wee Oscar on 3rd March 2017 10:00 pm



    Not that I hold a grudge but I never got invited…

  26. Cosy Corner Bhoy on

    RIP ElDiegoBhoy. I had the pleasure of Jim’s company a few times and once his two daughters were there also and he was always great company.


    He never let his health deflate his love for his girls or Celtic. As all have said a true gentleman in every sense of the word.


    Will visit St Winin’s tomorrow and say a few prayers for his soul and for his daughters.

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