Celtic Blogs

Happy Birthday to a true Celtic legend


Today is Tommy Burns birthday. Tommy’s name is synonymous with all the Celtic greats not only for his footballing ability but also for the man that he was. My memories of Tommy as a footballer are limited as I was born in 1977 but my main memories of the great man was the infamous Scottish Cup Final against Dundee Utd when Celtic sealed the double in their centenary season.  The interview with Tommy on the Hampden pitch after the game showed you the real and raw passion of a man that lived, breathed and loved Celtic and his family.

Tommy played for Celtic from 1975 to 1989 and had a playing career glittered with domestic honours. He won six league titles, six Scottish Cups and a League Cup.  As a life long Celtic fan Tommy lived the dream playing for his beloved Hoops.  Scandalously, Tommy only won 8 caps for Scotland in his international career.

My memories are of Tommy are mainly of Tommy the Celtic Manager.  He took great pride in managing the club that meant so much to him and he was famed for his teams playing “the Celtic way”.  Swashbuckling, total football. Tommy was charged with stopping Rangers dominance and signed players like Pierre Van Hooijdonk, Jorge Cadete and Paolo DiCanio.

In season 95/96 Tommy’s Celtic incredibly lost only one game but was still unable to stop Rangers winning the league under Walter Smith.  Eleven draws in that season saw the title slip away from Tommy and he was once famously quoted as saying he was going to have “Andy Goram broke my heart” on his tombstone.

Tommy’s only major honour as Celtic Manager was the Scottish Cup in 1995, defeating Airdrie in the final 1-0 with a Pierre Van Hooijdonk header ending a 6 year long trophy drought.

Tommy sadly passed away at his home on the 15th May 2008 after a long running battle with skin cancer.  His funeral mass united both sides of the Glasgow divide the likes has never been seen before. He had the mutual respect of Rangers’ fans and a great friendship with Rangers legends Ally McCoist and  Walter Smith who were both pall bearers at his funeral.

Happy birthday Tommy.

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