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  Photographs & memories of the famous GLASGOW CELTIC

Tommy Burns

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Tommy Burns   Page1 - Page2 - Page3 - Page4


1956 - 2008

East-end Bhoy



St.Mary's Chapel

GlesgaPal Norrie photographs

.Approximately 1,000 mourners packed into the church where Burns had worshipped as a boy for the mass. Some mourners in the church wore the Celtic FC top with Burns' name on the back. The two-hour service, which was broadcast on screens inside the church, was led by the Rt Rev Joseph Devine, the Bishop of Motherwell.

In his eulogy, Billy Stark said Burns' roots had been in Glasgow and he had been an elegant and classy football player with a "cultured left foot full of poise on the ball. "He always wanted the ball," added Stark, a former teammate at Celtic and Burns' assistant manager at Kilmarnock and Celtic.
Stark said: "A list of Tommy's wonderful qualities is endless a dignified man of principle, his generosity of spirit knew no bounds. He showed great compassion for those less fortunate than himself.

"Tommy Burns treasured three things in life above all others family, faith and football, particularly Celtic Football Club. "You would see him on the training ground in the morning, demanding and driven. When he returned from the lunchtime visit to the chapel, he turned into a calm and serene man."

Mourners laughed as Stark recounted how his former Celtic teammate Burns may have been a family man but he was not a "DIY man". Stark recalled how Burns' wife had asked him to remove a banister and instead of unscrewing it he had sawn it off.

At the close of the eulogy, breaking down as he finished speaking, Stark said: "Tommy Burns was a unique and special man, an inspiration to many of us." This was met with a prolonged round of applause.

Pall bearers were former Celtic team mates Danny McGrain, Peter Grant, George McCluskey, Paddy Bonnar, and Rangers management team Walter Smith,& Ally McCoist, 
How wonderful and typical of Tommy and his family that two Rangers men were asked to carry his coffin. I sat teary eyed watching the funeral on the news.

             Ally McCoist                                                    Walter Smith                                                       Peter Grant                           Paddy Bonnar

Extract from Daily Record,  May21st James Traynor
Trust Tommy Burns. At the very end he might just have pointed us towards a new beginning. It took place around midday. Just outside the gates of St Mary's RC Church in Abercromby Street, in fact.

And it took the breath of everyone there away. First they looked puzzled but then they realised they were watching something poignant and rare. It was then they started applauding and that's precisely when we started to hope this could be the start of something better.

The hearse taking the body of Tommy Burns trundled to a halt outside his church and there, waiting to help carry the Celtic icon's coffin, were two men from the other side. Walter Smith and Ally McCoist stepped forward, picked up their friend and carried him into his church. It was the most uplifting sight most of us are ever likely to witness and it cannot be underestimated. Here were two groups, fiercely passionate in their desire to beat the other, locked in a common cause.All rivalry was forgotten, tossed aside as Smith and McCoist walked one last time with a man it was their privilege to know.

They openly admitted they had come to admire him and relish his company. Theirs was an unashamed act of friendship and respect which should be an example to all of us. When Rangers' management team hoisted their fallen comrade on to their shoulders they were letting everyone see it is possible to operate on opposite sides but never lose sight or touch with one another or the things that really matter.

They were demonstrating that despite the bitterness and fractured logic which taints large parts of Scotland there is a brotherhood that owes nothing to any religion. The only belief is we are all the same.

The bond of friendship between these three men was always stronger than the rivalry between the country's two biggest clubs and if it offended anyone that Smith and McCoist, rather than Celtic-minded men, carried the coffin that's a pity. It's also a view that would have insulted Tommy Burns.

No one was more committed to his club or his religion than Tommy Burns, yet two of his best friends came from the opposite side and that should tell us something.

They took him into St Mary's and when the funeral mass was over they lifted their friend once again and carried him out again. There was a round of applause inside the packed church and also outside where another mass of people had gathered to say their farewells to a man who commanded the respect of all no matter their religion or race.       It was one of the most heartbreaking yet inspiring moments in the history of the Old Firm


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