Lisbon Lion Tommy Gemmell dies at the age of 73

Tommy Gemmell, pictured in Dunblane last year
Tommy Gemmell, pictured in Dunblane last year

Celtic great Tommy Gemmell, a member of the famed Lisbon Lions, has died at the age of 73.

Motherwell-born Tommy gained legendary status with the Hoops 50 years ago by scoring in the European Cup final win over Inter Milan.

Tommy Gemmell,  Ronnie Simpson and Steve Chalmers leave the pitch after their victory over Aberdeen in the 1967 Scottish Cup final at Hampden.

Tommy Gemmell, Ronnie Simpson and Steve Chalmers leave the pitch after their victory over Aberdeen in the 1967 Scottish Cup final at Hampden.

The 2-1 victory at the Estádio Nacional saw Jock Stein’s side — who were all born within 30 miles of Parkhead — become the first British team to lift the trophy.

The left-back is one of only two Brits to have scored in more than one European Cup final, hitting the target three years later in the 1970 final against Feyenoord.

Mr Gemmell made more than 400 appearances for the Parkhead side between 1961 and 1971, scoring 64 goals in the process.

He scored the equalising goal against Inter Milan in the 1967 European Cup final, ignoring team orders for one full back to remain in defence at all times.

He later moved onto Nottingham Forest, Miami Toros and latterly Dundee, whom he later managed and led to victory in the Scottish League Cup final over former club Celtic.

Mr Gemmell returned to Lanarkshire for two spells as manager of Albion Rovers.

A Scotland international between 1966 and 1971, Mr Gemmell also played in the famous 3-2 victory over England at Wembley in 1967.

A statement on celticfc.net read: “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.”

The death of Mr Gemmell comes just days after it emerged that Billy McNeill — captain of that Lisbon Lions side — is living with dementia.