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Subject: Tommy Burns (scottish footballer)

Written By: holicman on 05/15/08 at 7:56 pm

Sad News RIP


Celtic legend Tommy Burns has died at the age of 51 after losing his long-running battle against cancer.

Burns had been undergoing treatment in both Glasgow and France in recent weeks after being diagnosed in March.

The former Scotland midfielder was treated for skin cancer in 2006 but it returned earlier this year.

Burns played for Celtic from 1974 to 1989, had a spell as manager in the mid-1990s and was the club's first-team coach before being granted leave.

A statement from Celtic said: "Tommy, a true Celtic legend and wonderful man will be sadly missed by us all. Clearly, our thoughts are very much with Tommy's wife Rosemary and his family at this extremely difficult time."

Burns was an influential member of the side that won the Scottish Premier Division championship and Scottish Cup in the club's centenary year under the management of Billy McNeill.

Having won eight caps for Scotland, he bid an emotional farewell to Parkhead after agreeing a £50,000 move to Kilmarnock, becoming manager at Rugby Park four years later.

Having guided the club back into the top flight, he was appointed as boss of Celtic in July 1994 and eventually helped the club to end a six-year trophy famine by lifting the Scottish Cup final against Airdrie at Hampden.

After parting company in 1997, he had spells as manager at Reading and assistant at Newcastle United before eventually returning to Glasgow.

He worked in a variety of roles at Celtic - in youth development and with the first team - as well as serving as a member of the Scotland coaching set-up, before his untimely death.

Celtic chairman, John Reid, described Burns as a man of "true integrity and dignity" whose death would be mourned by everyone connected with the club.

"Tommy is someone who was loved by so many of us. He was a man of true integrity and dignity. As a Celtic player, manager and coach, Tommy served Celtic with distinction and true professionalism.

"He was a true gentleman and someone who had the ability to connect and engage with anyone he met.

"As Celtic supporters, we recognised Tommy as one of our own and Tommy in turn was always delighted to spend time in the company of fellow fans.

"It was a privilege to know Tommy Burns. He was a man who gave so much to the club he loved over so many years.

"Tommy's passing will be mourned by the entire Celtic family. He will be hugely missed by us all, but he is someone we will never, ever forget."

Peter Rafferty, Secretary of the Association of Celtic Supporters' Clubs, mirrored Reid's comments.

"Celtic was a big part of his life but the biggest part of his life was his family. He became a grandfather a few weeks ago and that is the biggest tragedy," Rafferty said.

"Legend is a word that is used quite a lot these days but he was. He was a great player with Celtic first and foremost.

"He was a manager who played football the way Celtic supporters like to see it."

Alan McInally, who played alongside Burns at Celtic and under him at Kilmarnock, added: ""I have memories of Tommy Burns being just the most happy, family-loving individual I think I've ever met in my life.

"He was always good to me and certainly a character in the dressing room. It would be difficult for any Rangers fan, never mind a Celtic fan, to have anything wrong to say about Tommy Burns."

And he hailed Burns' playing talent, saying: "He was a fantastic football player. "He was effective, so effective. I think that's why as a coach and a manager he did so well."

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