Gemmell Community Statue

The group behind plans to build a statue in Craigneuk for Celtic and Scotland legend Tommy Gemmell have given further details on the proposals.

Earlier this month, we revealed that Gemmell, part of the Lisbon Lions European Cup winning side, would have the sculpture constructed in his honour alongside the “Welcome to Craigneuk” sign on Glasgow Road.

The campaign committee was established by local man Martin McCrum who wanted to see the former Lisbon Lion, who passed away in March 2017, honoured for his achievements.

However, this week the group gave more details in a bid to “dispel some of the misinformation on social media regarding the proposed statue.”

A statement published on the Craigneuk Community Council’s Facebook page states: “This is a community project with longevity and is not about one football team and its support.

“It’s an all-inclusive project and about the spirit of achievement of a working class man who came from the streets of Craigneuk, worked in the steelworks but was known on a global stage for his achievement.

“It’s only by circumstances that he was made famous by his Celtic achievement, he was more than that.

“Tommy played for more than Celtic, he played for Coltness United, Nottingham Forest, Miami Toros, Dundee and Scotland, he also managed Dundee and Albion Rovers.

“Initially he was also a Motherwell supporter, there will be testimonials from all of those named including former Rangers players who admired him and are supporting the significance of his achievement in regards the statue.

“They are all behind this for the community, much like the Davie Cooper statue in Hamilton.”

The post also reinforced that the money raised for the statue would not be coming out of the public purse and will be privately raised.

The statement concludes: “It’s not about the statue, it’s about a continued legacy called the ‘Tommy Gemmell Community Project/Award’ that will benefit Craigneuk and its children for many years to come.

“Some of the plans include money left over from the statue to be given to Craigneuk Community Council and funds given every year.

“The plan is to engage the whole community and the secondary schools with various creative projects.

“With the planned fund-raising initiatives, this community project aims to give money EVERY year to the community council and has no boundaries on creed, opinions, colour or religion, It’s for one and all regardless of status and background.”

Craigneuk councillor Kenneth Duffy added: “The statue is to celebrate Tommy’s achievements as an individual rather than a member of any specific team.

“The response from the community since the announcement has been remarkable and we should all focus on the legacy this will create for Craigneuk and avoid the sadly all too common old division when people believe football is the motivating factor.”