Celtic legend Tommy Gemmell who scored in the Hoops’ greatest ever victory – has sadly passed away after a long illness, aged 73.
The club announced the iconic defenders passing on its official website. The statement paid tribute to the Lisbon Lion, who scored Celtic’s first goal in the club’s historic 1967 European Cup final win over Inter Milan.
In the statement released by Celtic Chief Executive, Peter Lawell he said:
“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.
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 will forever hold his rightful place as one of the true Celtic Legends.
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”.
He then added: “Our thoughts are with Mary and Tommy’s family and friends at this very difficult time.
Funeral details will be announced in due course.”
Celtic fans and players both past and present told of their sadness at the Hoops icon’s death on social media.
Supporters also remembered Motherwell-born Tommy, capped 18 times by Scotland, by sharing videos of his strike against Inter Milan.
It was that thunderbolt which set Jock Stein’s Celtic side on the way to becoming the first British club to lift the European Cup.
Gemmell spent a decade at Parkhead, making 418 appearances and scoring 63 goals.
He went onto to play for Dundee and captained the Dens Park side to League Cup glory against Celtic in the final in 1973.
The Bhoys legend then managed the Dark Blues from 1977 to 1980 and later enjoyed two spells as Albion Rovers boss.
Celtic finished its touching tribute with the words: “Tommy Gemmell is a true Celtic legend, part of the greatest side in the club’s history and a man who played a pivotal role in our greatest ever triumph when, in Lisbon’s Estadio Nacional, 11 men all born within a 30-mile radius of Celtic Park, beat Inter Milan to win the European Cup.
The legend of the Lisbon Lions was created that night, and Tommy and his team-mates were assured their place in the pantheon of Celtic greats.
And, like the rest of the Lions, Tommy remained humble about his incredible football achievements.
The whole Celtic Family is mourning his passing, and everyone associated with the club sends their thoughts and prayers to his family, his fellow Lions and his many friends at this desperately sad time.
Our thoughts are with Mary and Tommy’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”
“They never die who live in the hearts they leave behind.”