Tommy Burns Loses Cancer Battle

Jamie MasonCorrespondent IMay 14, 2008

Today it was announced that ex Glasgow Celtic player and manager Tommy Burns had lost his battle with skin cancer and passed away, he was only 51.

Signed by Celtic from Maryhill in 1973 Tommy went on to play over 350 games for the team he supported and was instrumental in Celtic's 1988 league and cup double in their centenary year. He also played for the national team winning eight caps.

Tommy spent virtually his whole career at the Glasgow club and only left to join Kilmarnock as a player/manager but in 1994 he was given the opportunity to manage the club that he supported and became Celtic's manager. 

Kilmarnock didn't want to let Burns go and only when £100,000 was given to Kilmarnock as compensation was Burns allowed to take up the reins at Parkhead.

Even though Burns' reign didn't herald any Premier League titles, the style of play that Celtic were playing was enough to keep the fans off his back but in 1997 the board decided enough was enough and sacked Burns.

He then headed south and had a stint in charge of Reading but the lure of working with the Scottish national team soon saw him head back to Scotland.

In 2005 Burns was back at Celtic. The departure of Martin O'Neil and the appointment of Gordon Strachan saw Burns promoted from youth team coach to first team coach and he was a popular member of the backroom staff but in 2006 he was diagnosed with skin cancer.

Even though it was widely known that Tommy Burns was suffering from melanoma the news that he has passed away at such a young age is sure to send shockwaves through not only Scottish football but to football fans world wide.

As a fan I would like to thank Tommy Burns for everything he did for the club he loved and my thoughts are with his wife and four children.