Tributes Paid To Lisbon Lion Tommy Gemmell At Funeral Service

10 March 2017, 15:06

Tommy Gemmell Funeral Celtic

Lisbon Lion Tommy Gemmell has been remembered as a hero and ''life and soul of the party'' as almost 1,000 people paid their respects ahead of his funeral.

The former Celtic left-back, who scored in two European Cup finals for the Glasgow club, died aged 73 last week after a long illness.

Gemmell levelled the scores in Celtic's famous 2-1 victory over Inter Milan in Lisbon in 1967, when they became the first British club to win the European Cup.

The Motherwell-born defender also scored in the 1970 European Cup final in Milan when Celtic were defeated 2-1 by Dutch side Feyenoord.

Almost 1,000 people turned out at Celtic Park to pay their respects as the funeral cortege left for Daldowie Crematorium in Uddingston, South Lanarkshire.

Jim Craig, who spoke at the hour-long service at Daldowie, revealed afterwards the confident nature of the ebullient Gemmell during their playing days.

He said: ''He was a nice guy, easy to get on with, good for the dressing room.

''He was confident and that is good because there are other people in the dressing room who are not very confident.

''In fact, when I first arrived at Celtic Park there used to be a little bottle in the corner of the basins in the toilet.

''I used to see some of the older players go in and take a wee swig of it, and I wondered what it was.

''I tried it and it was brandy, because the nerves were fluttering at that time before big occasions and you needed something to settle the nerves.

''Tam didn't need that. He was fine. The life and soul of the party in the dressing room and outside the dressing room as well.''

Football figures from present and past were among the several hundred mourners at Daldowie.

Those attending the service included Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers and chief executive Peter Lawwell.

Craig, fellow Lisbon Lions Bertie Auld, John Clark and Bobby Lennox, along with former Rangers player Willie Henderson, helped carry the coffin into Daldowie's East Chapel.

John Hughes, part of Jock Stein's squad in 1967, was also present.

Former Celtic player and manager Davie Hay and former Celtic captain Tom Boyd, as well as ex-Hoops players Danny McGrain, Dixie Deans, Frank McGarvey, Davie Provan and Andy Walker, also turned up to pay their respects.

Eddie Gray, who played for Leeds United and was a former Scotland team-mate of Gemmell's, was also present.

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson and administration chief Andrew Dickson attended on behalf of the Ibrox club.

Ahead of the service, fans lined the entrance to the Celtic Park ground as the funeral cortege made its way past, allowing them to say their final farewells to the Celtic giant.

Applause rang out as the procession left the Parkhead stadium in the east end of Glasgow for the final time while a number of supporters threw Celtic scarves towards the funeral cars.

Gemmell's death came days after the family of Billy McNeill confirmed the Lisbon Lions skipper had dementia, and shortly before the 50th anniversary of Celtic's greatest triumph.

He left Celtic in 1971 for Nottingham Forest after a 10-year spell at Parkhead, which saw him score 63 goals in 418 appearances, win six league titles, three Scottish Cups and four League Cups.

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