Twists and turns Tommy Burns

Discussion in 'Celtic Chat' started by jamiebhoy67, Aug 20, 2015.

Discuss Twists and turns Tommy Burns in the Celtic Chat area at TalkCeltic.net.

  1. Hope N Ur Heart

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    When I first spoke to Tam:
    I was nine years old, we both went to the same primary school....St Mary's in the Calton.
    Tam was a few years older than me at the time and in his last year at the primary.Tam was aalready a legend,he was one of the best fighters and certainly the best fitba player in the school...At lunch time the 'big boys'( Tam and his class mates) would play football round the back of the school, me and my mate John McGinty would watch in awe at the side, hoping we would get asked to play,only a couple of them knew we existed,but they never spoke to us or took notice as we were 'too wee' to play.
    One day they were short of bodies, John and I were shouted over.....'Whits yer names'...somebody asked, K****y & McGinty was the reply from one of the lads already picked.We joined the group of boys standing in the goal with great excitement as Tam and another lad(the two captains) picked their teams,obviously we were the last two and it was Tam's turn to pick......As keen as mustard and wi a big cheesy grin Tam said 'Who's K****y' and even keener and wi a bigger grin I took two steps forward and said 'that's me Tam'......and he said, 'right then I'll take McGinty'......everybody burst oot laughing....ah nearly burst oot greetin, hence the reason for blanking oot ma surname...still going to counselling!!!!:)
    I saw the funny side eventually.....loved the man when he played for Celtic and loved him even more when he became manager....forever in my memories Tam,RIP. Hail Hail
     
  2. Tim-Time 1888 Winner UEFA Champs League Last 16 prediction comp Gold Member

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  3. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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    NINE years ago today, on May 15, 2008, Tommy Burns passed away. He was just 51-years-old. The loss was one felt by the whole Celtic family though, of course, the greatest loss belonged to his wife, Rosemary and his four children, Emma, Jenna, Michael and Jonathan. And on this anniversary, as always, our thoughts and prayers remain with them.

    Tommy Burns was a public figure, known and loved by Celtic supporters young and old, but he was a husband and father, and also a grandfather, and his family miss him in ways that we can’t begin to imagine or understand.

    In his all-too-short life, Tommy did extraordinary things for our football club. He spent 14 years as a player, making his debut against Dundee in April 1975 and bowing out in a friendly match at Celtic Park against Ajax in December 1989.

    The Celtic View interviewed him on many occasions over the years, and at one point he was asked what his greatest achievement had been as a player.

    As far as he was concerned, it was staying at the club for such a long time “because bad players don’t play for Celtic for 14 years.”

    That has always been the same at the club and it is testament to his ability that Tommy did manage to last so long.
    During that time he won six league championships, five Scottish Cups and one League Cup medal. It was an impressive tally for a player who made 503 appearances for his beloved green and white Hoops.

    Tommy Burns seemed fated to play for Celtic. The boy from the Calton, born almost in the shadow of Celtic Park, grew up following the club and progressed on to the hallowed turf.

    As he always said, he considered himself to be no more than a supporter who got lucky. It was always a way of reminding people, and perhaps himself, that he was one of them, and it offers a perfect illustration of his humility.

    Having left the club, he returned in 1994 as manager, and was instrumental in restoring our pride on the pitch. His team always tried to play football ‘the Celtic Way’, and everyone who watched the Hoops at that time still speak with great affection and enthusiasm about what they saw.

    While he did win the Scottish Cup in 1995 – Celtic’s first trophy in six years – a league title eluded him. It would have been a fitting reward for Tommy and his team but sadly it was not to be and he left in 1997.

    Thankfully, however, it wasn’t for long and when he returned, it was like he had come home.

    Our Youth Academy, which has produced a whole host of first-team players in recent seasons, is testament to his hard work in setting it up, while the Lennoxtown Training Centre is a great legacy.

    And Tommy’s contribution to the club’s success under Gordon Strachan cannot be underestimated. The league triumph at Tannadice in 2008, which made it three-in-a-row, was dedicated to Tommy by a group of players still mourning the loss of an influential figure within their ranks.

    Throughout the battle he fought with skin cancer, Tommy showed great courage and fortitude, while taking great solace from the Catholic faith which had been a central tenet of his life.

    Supporters always loved Tommy Burns because he was one of us – a Celtic fan who was lucky enough to live the dream that we’ve all harboured at one time in our lives.

    And the sea of tributes which were laid outside the front of Celtic Park after Tommy’s passing, was the most visible sign of the unique place he held in the hearts of the entire Celtic family.

    So today, May 15, is a sad time for everyone. It’s still hard to believe that Tommy’s no longer with us, and every memory will be tinged with sadness.

    But we should also remember the great things he did for our club, the goals he scored, the trophies he lifted, the players he brought to the club and the example he set of what it means to be a good Celtic man.

    We believe that Celtic is more than a football club – our roots, our character and our ethos set us apart, and Tommy Burns embodied everything that is good about Celtic.

    He was one of the greats who passed through Parkhead’s gates and he will never be forgotten.
     
  4. Drakhan Nac Mac Feegle Gold Member

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    Absolute legend of a man.
    RIP Tommy :shamrock:
     
  5. Marie Administrator Administrator Gold Member

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    Met Tommy at Bellahouston Park in 1982 when Pope John Paul II visited Scotland, he was in the pen next to where I was. I was helping to sell souvenirs, he was lovely, bought a wee pin badge and we spoke very briefly about the Pope's visit to Murrayfield the day before which I had been at.

    RIP Tommy :shamrock:
     
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  6. Scotia Gold Member Gold Member

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    9 years .. really !! :54:

    got pictures somewhere when I took my wee nephew to Celtic Park when Tommy was manager for a tour ( stadium was half built if I remember ) also spoke to Tommy when he was sitting in the seat in front of me in the broomloan one day , Gentleman !!
     
  7. Aberama Gold Celtic Glasgow Gold Member

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    It's a belter.
     
  8. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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    Quote from Scott Brown during his Celtic TV interview this week.


    "I mind tam burns phoned me up and said "you're no signing for that mob are ye?!""
     
  9. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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    On this day in 1994 Tommy was announced as manager
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Tim-Time 1888 Winner UEFA Champs League Last 16 prediction comp Gold Member

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  11. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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    'Everything was about technique with Tommy'
    For a little while now there's been calls for Scotland to recognise what he's got, but that never came under Gordon Strachan. The wrong genetics, perhaps.

    "I was lucky because I came through at Celtic and it was all about technique and being a good footballer," McGregor says. "When Tommy Burns was here, * bless him, he was at our training sessions all the time. He was first-team coach, but he was there. He'd come jogging down and I remember thinking, 'Does this guy ever rest?'



    "He'd be there for hours and everything was about technique. It was never a question of height or strength, it was more important that we got that technical work. Genetics? Modern football is getting that way, but you need a mixture of everything in your team - height, strength, ability, pace. You need a balance."

    International recognition is set to arrive this week with a friendly against Holland at Pittodrie under the interim management of Malky Mackay, who has indicated McGregor will get his first cap.

    A goal or not, that'll be another jersey that will find a loving home in Mrs McGregor's cupboard.

    Sitting with him at Lennoxtown, McGregor comes across as far more mature than his 24 years. His deep appreciation of what he's got at Celtic is blatantly obvious, but it's only when he starts to tell his back story do you understand what it's all about.
     
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  12. CymruBhoy

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    The football his team played was magnificent.
     
  13. StPauli1916 Gold Member Gold Member

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    I think he was the manager when they started showing the games down here as well and when I started travelling up to Glasgow as you say some fantastic football to watch and easy to fall in love with.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  14. packybhoy Administrator Administrator

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    Always remember the night at Pittodrie.
    In the bumblebee and DiCanio's gold boots. We played some ball that night!
     
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  15. CymruBhoy

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    I remember listening in on the radio against the Sheep, Cadete came on & scored & the crowd noise broke the broadcast!
     
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  16. StPauli1916 Gold Member Gold Member

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    My first game at Celtic Park :50:
     
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  17. Gyp Rosetti Gold Member Gold Member

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    Was at that game only two stands aswell, it was bedlam when Cadete’s goal went in.
     
  18. StPauli1916 Gold Member Gold Member

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  19. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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    TOMMY BURNS surprised a few people in Scottish Football in 1989 when he decided to leave his beloved Celtic to drop down two divisions and join Kilmarnock. The man that Tommy made his Captain to get Kilmarnock back to the top flight, Ray Montgomerie, answers Ten Questions in a row on the great man himself. Ray knew Tommy not only as a fellow player or as his Manager but he was a close personal friend. Scott Alcroft asks the questions for CQN Magazine…




    When did you first hear that Kilmarnock were looking to bring Tommy in?

    From memory Scott, it was just after his Testimonial game at Parkhead. There was a bit of turmoil here at the time, the club was in the middle of a takeover. There was going to be fresh investment made and the new board wanted to make a bit of a statement. You know, it was a major story in Scotland at the time. Tommy was coming to the end of his Celtic career and I think the new board saw an opportunity there so they went in for him.


    Could you quite believe it was happening? It was a massive coup for Killie at that time.

    Well, we were only a part-time Club at the time and Tommy was our first ever full-time player! You have to look at it like this. We only trained on a Monday and a Thursday night then and then one Thursday night, a Scottish Internationalist and top,top player was sitting in the changing room ready to go out and train. We couldn’t quite believe it.
    Tommy obviously bought in to what the plans were for the Club and it shows the measure of the man that he was willing to drop two leagues not only to make his mark on the team but the Club as well.



    What can you remember about the first time you met him?

    I had played against him a few times and was a wee bit in awe of him yes. It was just surreal that he was actually here at first. I was asking myself, should I even be in the same team as this guy. As time went on though, in training especially, I got in his face sometimes and he got in mine and the arguments we had.

    The one thing about Tommy is that when you had an argument with him, he never carried it on. It was forgotten about once it was done. He never held grudges and that was the kind of guy he was. What he did as well was, because of the level of player he played with at Celtic, we felt like we had to raise our game and we did.


    Tommy is known for his amazing sense of humour. What sort of mischief did he get up to?

    I remember this one time at the end of the season, my contract was running out and a few teams were looking at me. Back in those days, you got six weeks off and not something like the two you get these days. Before I went on my holidays I shook hands with TB and said, don’t worry TB I’ll be here next year and off I went. I went on my holiday and Tam went on his. When I got back, my wife said there was a mystery caller on the phone from the press. Now I wa

    s a bit naive then with the press and didn’t really speak to them much, not like today but that comes with experience.
    I took the call and the question from the journalist was, ‘What do you think of the job Tommy Burns and Billy Stark are doing at Kilmarnock?’

    So I’m in full swing, I start singing their praises, they’re the best thing since sliced breed, both of them are so far ahead of their time etc etc to be met with roars of laughter in the background.

    Tommy had the phone on loudspeaker to all the boys in the dressing room haha. So I comes in on the Monday to all the boys, oh aye, you and Tam Burns are like that eh? Teacher’s pet. As I came back in, as a measure of the man, I sat down and signed the new contract and Tommy made sure my wages got back dated the six weeks as well. That was the thing, we shook hands and that was both our word, the deal was done six weeks previously. Another club could’ve offered me treble my wages and I wouldn’t have gone.



    Was Tommy apprehensive about moving from being a player to a manager or was he a natural?

    Tommy was always going to be a manager. He was so far ahead of his time and watched videos of the Italian League all the time and stuff like that. He was very tactically aware and his philosophy on how the game should be played was there for all to see.

    He would dissect everything about the game. He wanted to be his own man and you just knew that management was going to come naturally to him.


    What set Tommy apart from other managers you worked with and how do you think he would cut it as a manager in today’s game?

    His Man Management skills were second to none. Don’t get me wrong, he could be fiery with that red hair of his but like I said earlier, once an argument was done with, that was it. He never continued it or held a grudge. In a football environment he was fiery but every day in life he lived by his religion, his faith and his family.

    They say humility is the greatest gift of life and Tommy had that in abundance. He would very much cut it today as a manager. The stuff Tommy was doing in 1993, teams are only starting to do now. He was years ahead of his time.


    Did the rumblings of Fergus McCann wanting Tommy to manage Celtic disrupt Killie?

    We’d heard the rumours that Fergus McCann was trying to poach Tommy from Kilmarnock Football Club. Personally speaking, it was the right job for him, just at the wrong time. I was honoured and privileged because Tommy phoned me up personally and told me of his decision. He even got all the players in and told them too before the story broke.

    I have to tell you Scott, he pondered it and pondered though for a very long time.

    Now you as a Celtic supporter might find that strange as why would he do that to the Club he loves? I’ll tell you this, because of the type of loyal person he was. He didn’t like breaking deals and he was on a journey here and building something special.

    He told me personally that if he was ever going to leave Kilmarnock then it was only going to be for one club and that was Celtic. The timing was wrong but his way of looking at it was this. How often is the Celtic job going to come around and what if I don’t take it?

    Would it be offered to me again?

    If you’re faced with that opportunity do you take it? I say he was right in the end, you go for it. He left here with a heavy, heavy heart. I believe we got compensated for Tam but he would’ve liked it to be done through the proper channels.

    Fergus McCann was ruthless but that was just the way he did business. Tommy Burns made it known that he wanted Kilmarnock to get compensated and not Fergus McCann. The Kilmarnock fans weren’t happy at the time but they bear no ill feelings whatsoever to Tam. I wish he’d stayed here and completed the journey he started here but I totally understand why he went.

    The fans weren’t mad with Tommy leaving as such, they were mad at the way Fergus McCann conducted his business. It’s all forgotten about now and Tommy is still very well thought of here.





    If there’s one thing you could change about Tommy’s time at Killie barring him leaving, what would it be and why?

    I would’ve liked to have seen him finish what he had started for sure. I’ll tell you this one. There was a Scottish Cup Semi Final against Rangers in 1994. Rangers beat us in a semi final that year and Dundee Utd went on to win it.

    We were beating Rangers 1-0 at half time. A corner kick comes in second half, Mark Hateley headers it and I clear it off the line. It’s NEVER in but the referee gives a goal. Now this was long before goal-line technology as you know.

    Tommy drew me into a wee room in Hampden and starts going off the heed. “Tell me, tell me before I go in there and give them what for, was that baw over the line or no?” I said, “Tam, that baw wiznae over the line.”

    He never said a word and stormed off cause he knew I wouldn’t lie.

    He went straight into the referee’s room to give them it. You know he felt we were cheated but I’ll tell you this as well. He came on the bus after the game and says, “take a good look at it, we’ll be back here and we’ll win that Scottish Cup.”

    We won it in 1997 but I wish we’d won it for Tommy in ’94.








    Do you see similarities in the way Tommy Burns Celtic side were and how Brendan Rodgers side is today in the way they try to play football?

    I do, but wasn’t Brendan with Tommy when he was at Reading? I don’t know Brendan personally but I’ve been in and around his company.

    You can see similarities with the way they press the game and the tempo they play at. TB was playing like that in 1993/94. We were squeezing teams down.

    I think what Brendan Rodgers is also doing is trying to educate the Celtic support. They understand now how he’s trying to play the game.

    Talking about how we squeezed the game and Celtic do now, you just have to look at how PSG did it to Celtic at Celtic Park. That’s the next level up right there. Now these things don’t happen overnight. It’s a philosophy that played out the training ground and Brendan and TB will have drilled that into their players day in day out.




    Finally Raymond, was there one piece of advice that Tommy gave you or one conversation that has always stuck with you through your own life?

    There is yes. I’ll never forget it, Tommy pulled me to the side one day and said this. “Razz,” he says, “see when you look at yourself in the morning? Just look at yourself and say, ‘I want to be the best person that I can be today.'”

    I’ve always done that to this day.

    When I’m getting washed in the morning I always look in the mirror and say that. “Raymond, be the best person that you can be today.”

    Tommy not only touched my life, he touched so many as you’ve heard even talking to people here today. He was a special person and he’s sadly missed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  20. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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