Celtic FC legend dies aged 51
Thursday 15 May 2008
The Celtic legend Tommy Burns has died after a battle with cancer, the club said today.
It was announced last month that Burns, 51, who was first diagnosed with skin cancer in 2006, was facing a new battle against the disease.
Former Scotland international Burns was an ex-manager of Celtic and had been a long-serving player with the Glasgow club.
He was also assistant to former Scotland managers Berti Vogts and Walter Smith.
In a statement the club said: "It is with great sadness that Celtic Football Club confirmed this morning that Tommy Burns has passed away.
"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."
The club said he died this morning at home.
Glasgow-born Burns spent the bulk of his career at Celtic, joining the club as a teenage player before leaving in 1989, aged 32, to join Kilmarnock where he later became the club's player-manager.
Burns returned to Celtic in 1994 as Lou Macari's successor in the manager's seat.
He was sacked in 1997 and later had an 18-month spell as manager of Reading.
His next job was with the Celtic youth academy and in 2002 he also took on a part-time role with Scotland under Vogts.
He remained in the role as assistant to Walter Smith, who was appointed after the German's unsuccessful time in charge was ended.
Scottish football rallied around the coach during Burns' first cancer scare, which kept him out of the game for part of a championship-winning season at Celtic.
He underwent surgery to remove two lumps from his leg in May 2006, before returning to the Celtic dug-out.
At the time, Burns talked of the possibility of the cancer returning.
He also expressed the hope that his case might make people take action against the growing problem of skin cancer.
Burns said at the time: "Men in general don't really examine their bodies, their moles and marks, especially in the west of Scotland - not that we get that much sun anyway."
Councillor Steven Purcell, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "Scotland has lost one of its greatest footballing legends and one of its most decent and genuine men.
"One of my earliest memories of going to Celtic Park was of seeing Celtic greats like Tommy Burns.
"His brave battle against cancer over the years and his deep Christian faith has also been a deep inspiration to thousands.
"Tommy was unusual in that he crossed the footballing divide and was liked and respected by all football fans not just here in Glasgow but throughout Scotland and beyond.
"It's true when they say that only the good die young.
"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this terribly sad time."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Tottenham player ratings: Mesut Ozil? Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? Nacer Chadli? Who was the star man at the Emirates?
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
Cristiano Ronaldo banner: This is how the Real Madrid striker reacted to the stunt by Manchester United fans
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: 'Come home' banner flown over Real Madrid match
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before a character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so