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Tommy Burns, feature-doc for BBC ALBA

Tommy Burns

 Ten years on from his death from cancer at just 51 years old, Tommy Burns’ daughters and sons look back on the life and career of their beloved father, a much-revered player and manager of both Celtic and Kilmarnock.

2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the tragic death of Scotland assistant manager, Scotland caretaker manager, and Celtic FC player, coach and manager, Tommy Burns. Peoples’ favourite Tommy was just 51 years old when he died of melanoma on the 15th of May 2008. 

Born in the working class Calton area of Glasgow, Tommy was a humble man of humble beginnings who lived his dream to play for Celtic. Well-known for his love of his boyhood heroes, Tommy Burns was also a positive role model and was incredibly close to Rangers stalwarts Walter Smith and Ally McCoist. The trio worked together in the Scottish national management team. 

A talented footballer who excelled under the legendary Jock Stein and then Billy McNeill, Tommy played and managed at Kilmarnock FC in a hugely successful spell before being lured to Celtic. Whilst at his former club Tommy Burns secured the signing of the so-called  ‘three amigos’ of Pierre Van Hooijdonk, Paolo Di Canio and Jorge Cadete under Fergus McCann before joining Newcastle United as assistant to Kenny Dalglish. Tommy followed Dalglish to Celtic and continued in charge of youth development under Martin O’Neill before becoming first team coach under Gordon Strachan. 

He was still in his role as first team coach with Celtic when he lost his fight with cancer. 

‘Tommy Burns’ is an intimate portrayal of a deeply religious man who was a revered Scottish personality. His uplifting yet tragic story, told via the testimony of his children, his friends and his football family, will be a must-watch film for the BBC ALBA schedule.

03 September 2018 16:28

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