Final Whistle Blown

Bertie Auld with Tomás and Tommy Gemmell at a fundraiser for Motor Neuron Disease held in Tullamore by the Jimmy Johnstone CSC
Bertie Auld with Tomás and Tommy Gemmell at a fundraiser for Motor Neuron Disease held in Tullamore by the Jimmy Johnstone CSC

The match is over, over early, the final whistle has blown
Its back to the dressing room, where he is among his own
Legends of the past that gave us the history we talk of today
Who played with a pride from deep inside that few who wear the jersey now play.

Played as a child in wellies,then in boots too big by a size or two
It never stopped him as he showed he would become the player we knew
Motherwell was his childhood club that he supported as a boy
But it was Celtic who came calling who gave the world the player we did enjoy.

The character of a David is seen in facing giants in the fight
Not the non contests against the smaller teams in which so many bask in the light
Our Tommy, he rose against the word of Stein, and proved himself as David, as the Man
Not against small clubs like Kilmarnock, but the Goliaths of Milan!

Time took him to other clubs, he was to his Paradise to return once more
To score against the club he have so much to before
Some, shame on them for shaming our club, heaped abuse from the stands
A true player gives his all for the club of the day, every real fan understands.

But him, he was not bitter, loved the club, more than money it was worth
Anything was possible, as a player he felt he said, with the fans support
Met hostility on arrival from a few who did not like his faith
Won them over as the man he was, and thats what makes him great!

When time came to hand up the boots, he did the circuit the fans to meet
I met him and drank with him in a pub on a Tullamore street
A story for the grandchildren, should I ever grandchildren have some day
That I met,drank and lived to tell of Gemmell who for the great Glasgow Celtic did play!

Background –

Like many Celtic fans I met Tommy a couple of times, when my Celtic Supporters Club the Jimmy Johnstone CSC brought them over for a couple of fundraisers for the Motor Neuron charities supported by the then dying Jimmy “Jinky” Johnstone. I met him a gentleman, and on reading his life story was saddened to see the abuse he got from some players when he joined Celtic, and from some fans when he returned playing for another club.

But he rose against all that, and above it, saw and remembered the majority of the decent players and fans, and held Celtic as a club dear to his heart until the day he died.

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