Tommy Burns

15May08

Tommy Burns, who passed away this morning, was one of the great figures in the modern history of Celtic FC.

Born in Glasgow on 16 December 1956, he joined Celtic on S forms as a young teenager, progressing through Celtic Boys Club to the professional ranks in August 1973.

Tommy made his bow in first-team football when coming on as a substitute against Dundee in April 1975 and the following season he began to establish himself as a regular in the squad. he went on to become one of the most influential players at Parkhead over the next 15 years, a thoughtful left-footed midfielder with fine vision and an inch-perfect pass. Tommy made a total of 510 competitive appearances for the Bhoys, assisting the club to six Scottish League titles, two Scottish Cup wins and a Scottish League Cup trophy. He also won representative honours for Scotland with 8 full caps, 5 at U21 level and a single appearance for the Scottish League XI.

In December 1989 Tommy moved on to Kilmarnock, adding a further 150 appearances and rising to become player-manager in April 1992. He went on to lead the club to promotion to the Premier Division in 1992-93 and a place in the Scottish Cup semi-finals the following season. In the summer of 1994 he returned to Celtic as manager, leading the team to victory in the Scottish Cup in 1995, but failing to break Rangers’ stranglehold on the domestic game before departing in May 1997.

Tommy briefly worked with Kenny Dalglish at Newcastle, then had a spell as manager of Reading, before returning to Parkhead once more as Youth Development Officer in 2000. More recently he had been first-team coach. He also had a spell working part-time with the Scotland national team set-up.

His death followed a lengthy battle against skin cancer. He will be sorely missed by the football world.

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