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Celtic great Gemmell dies aged 73

Former Celtic defender Tommy Gemmell has died at the age of 73.

The Scottish champions announced on Thursday that Gemmell had passed away following a long battle against illness.

A Scotland international, Gemmell was best remembered for scoring the equalising goal in the 1967 European Cup final, in which Celtic became the first British side to win the trophy after a 2-1 victory over Inter.

He also scored in the final three years later, in which Celtic were beaten 2-1 by Feyenoord.

A number of past and present players expressed their sympathy at the news, including striker Moussa Dembele and retired forwards John Hartson and Chris Sutton.

"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 to win the European Cup," Celtic said in a statement.

"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."

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Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell added: "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.

"Firstly, I would like to send our sincere condolences to Tommy's family, our thoughts and prayers are with them all. They will have every support from the club at this most difficult of times.

"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."

Gemmell also played for Nottingham Forest, Miami Toros and Dundee in a career spanning 16 years. He was later manager of Dundee and Albion Rovers.

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