Lisbon Lion Gemmell dies aged 73 – tributes to European Cup final scorer

Lisbon Lion Tommy Gemmell (centre) has passed away

Gemmell has passed away following a long illness

Celtic have paid tribute to Lisbon Lion Tommy Gemmell, who has died aged 73 following a long illness.

Former defender Gemmell scored in the 2-1 victory against Inter Milan in 1967 when Celtic became the first British club to win the European Cup.

“Our thoughts are with Mary and Tommy’s family and friends at this very difficult time,” Celtic said.

Club chief executive Peter Lawwell expressed sadness at the loss of “a true Celtic giant”.

Gemmell also scored in the 1970 European Cup final, which Celtic lost 2-1 to Feyenoord. He spent 10 years at Celtic, between 1961 and 1971, making 418 appearances and scoring 63 goals.

‘Tommy was a Celtic great’

“Everyone at Celtic is deeply saddened by the loss of Tommy, a true Celtic giant and a man who gave the club so many years of his life in an illustrious football career,” said Lawwell.

“Tommy was a Celtic great, one of football’s greats and I know he will be so sadly missed by everyone who knew him.

“He was a man of huge stature in the game and someone who made such an important mark on Celtic Football Club.”

Tommy Gemmell (left) and Billy McNeill hold aloft the European Cup<!–

Gemmell (left) was part of the European Cup-winning Celtic side of 1967 that became known as the Lisbon Lions

Former Celtic player Murdo MacLeod said it was “very sad news” and described Gemmell as “one of the greats”.

MacLeod, who also spent a spell as assistant boss at Celtic, told BBC Scotland: “I know he had been struggling over the last few months. Just really sad news.

“He’s obviously been one of the greats at Celtic Park to be part of the European Cup-winning side.

“A top player, one of the first defenders getting forward all the time. [It’s] just so sad. We heard Billy McNeill’s news [about suffering from dementia] over the last few days and now this. It’s just very sad.”

Asked how Gemmell would be remembered, MacLeod said: “Scoring a goal in the European Cup final. To be part of that was just fantastic. The Celtic Lisbon Lions – anywhere they went over the years everybody knew who they were.

“And for Tommy Gemmell to score a goal in that [1967] European final was just wonderful.”

John Hartson tweet<!–

Former Celtic player John Hartson has paid tribute to the late Lisbon Lion

Lawwell added: “In this particular year it is so very sad to lose such an important figure – while we mourn his loss, I am sure all our supporters will also celebrate the life and the wonderful achievements of the great Tommy Gemmell.

“Our thoughts are with Mary and Tommy’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”

Gemmell scores in Celtic's 1970 European Cup final defeat by Feyenoord<!–

Gemmell also scored in Celtic’s 1970 European Cup final defeat by Feyenoord

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