Abuja – The Former Celtic defender Tommy Gemmell, 73, died on Thursday during a protracted illness.
Celtic have paid tribute to Lisbon Lion Gemmell.
The 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.
Gemmell also scored in the 1970 European Cup final, which Celtic lost 1-2 to Feyenoord.
He spent 10 years at Celtic, between 1961 and 1971, making 418 appearances and scoring 63 goals.
The chief executive of the club, Peter Lawwell, expressed sadness at the loss of “a true Celtic giant’’.
“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,’’ said Lawwell.
Lawwell added that: “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,” Lawwell added
The Former Celtic player Murdo MacLeod said it was “very sad news’’ and described Gemmell as “one of the greats’’.
MacLeod also spent a spell as assistant boss at Celtic. “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. Gemmell will be remembered.
“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,’’ MacLeod said.
SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster said: “Tommy is one of the most significant figures in Scottish football history having scored in two European Cup Finals, including the famous 1967 victory over Inter Milan in Lisbon.
“Today’s news is particularly poignant with this year being the 50th anniversary of Celtic’s achievement in becoming the first British club to win that special trophy,’’ Doncaster said.