The Goal That Changed The Game (A Poem In Memory Of Tommy Gemmell Celtic And Scotland 16-10-1943- 02-03-2017)

As regular readers will know I am football girl who wears her heart on her sleeve and like all of the Celtic family I was saddened to hear of the death of Tommy Gemmell who as left back in our greatest ever side  played a pivotal role in winning the European Cup for Celtic.  

 Not only did he carry out his defensive duties for our club he always joined in the attack at every opportunity and in the 62nd minute when  his shot from just outside the penalty box levelled the score at 1-1 it broke what we were told was the unbreakable Inter Milan defence and forced them to abandon their tactics and play the game on our terms. This was exactly what Celtic wanted as from that moment on there was only team who were going to be European Champions that night and that was Glasgow Celtic.

 As every Celtic fan will tell you it was Stevie Chalmers 85th minute goal that won the game for Celtic and with it secured the greatest result in the history of the club, however as any fan knows if are behind in any game you first of all need to equalise before you can think of victory so Tommy Gemmell’s goal was a critical importance in our victory and that is why I’ve given this poem the title The Goal That Changed The Game. I hope you enjoy the read. 

The Goal That Changed The Game

You scored the goal that changed the game 

on the night we became lions

and Lisbon gained a permanent place

In the heart of Celtic fans

your shot from the edge of the box 

had the kind of power 

which made it impossible to stop

and broke the resistance of Inter’s impregnable defence 

which everyone said  could never be breached 

from that moment on

we knew glory was within our reach 

we could win the big cup 

and of course we went on to achieve the dream 

the first time a team from north of the Mediterranean had done it 

Champions of Europe the title was ours 

and we won it the Celtic way 

you scored the goal that changed the game 

ensured your name would be known forever more 

for scoring a goal when as a defender 

your job was to stop them 

for Celtic and Scotland that was exactly what you did 

a tough tackling defender 

you played hard but fair 

though you didn’t have the flair of Jinky 

you were a wing back before the term was invented 

you were never totally content 

to curb your attacking instinct 

and on a sunny night in Lisbon 

we are so glad you didn’t 

you broke the iron defence

shattering their resistance 

and paved the way to glory 

the Celtic story will always  speak of  your name 

you scored the goal that changed the game

on the night the lions roared 

@ Gayle Smith 2017 

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