Them and us – Archie Gemmill (Latics and Birmingham City)

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The upcoming game against Birmingham City gives me a good excuse to re call a servant of both clubs who is and absolute legend…

DOB: 24th March 1947
Other clubs: St Mirren, Preston North End, Derby County, Nottingham Forest, Birmingham City, Jacksonville Teamen, Nottingham Forest (first team coach), Rotherham United (joint manager)
Honours: Scotland Under 23’s (1 cap),
Scotland (43 caps, 8 goals)
First Division Championship winner 1972, 1975 (Derby County)
Charity Shield winner 1975 (Derby County)
First Division Championship winner 1978 (Nottingham Forest)
European Cup winner 1978 (Nottingham Forest)
Auto Windscreens Shield 1996 (Rotherham United) as manager.

Legend has it that Brian Clough was so keen to sign Archie for Derby County that he slept in Gemmill’s house to obtain his services for the Rams! His faith in the player was certainly justified as he had a glittering trophy laden career with Clough at both Derby County and Nottingham Forest as the list of his honours above indicates!

Sadly it was to all end in tears as Archie and Clough embarked on a rather public slanging match after Gemmill was left out of the Nottingham Forest team that played in the 1979 European Cup Final.. At the start of the following season he had signed for Birmingham City.

He made his debut for Birmingham on 18 August 1979 in a game that resulted in a 4–3 defeat at home to Fulham.  He went on to play 97 League games for the St Andrews outfit before spending one season in the North American Soccer League with the Jacksonville Teamen.  It was from here that the then Latics manager Larry Lloyd signed Archie on a match to match basis in September 1982. He made his Latics League debut on 25th September 1982 against Chesterfield at Saltergate, a game that resulted in a 0-2 defeat for the Blues.

He played 11 consecutive League games without scoring before signing for his former club Derby County in November 1982.

A bit of Archie Gemmill trivia – did you know that on 13th August 1966 Archie became the first ever official substitute in the history of Scottish football? The game was a Scottish League Cup tie against Clyde at the Shawfield Stadium and the player he replaced was Jim Clunie.

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