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A FITTING TRIBUTE TO TOMMY

By John Bhoy

Here we are in two thousand and eight,

Times were tough but we kept the faith

We're about to celebrate again

For those we've lost in this difficult year

We'll raise a glass and shed a tear

As we win the League up there at Tannadice …..

And they gave us James McGrory and Paul McStay (and dear Tommy Burns)

They gave us Johnstone, Tully, Murdoch, Auld and Hay (Tommy twists and Tommy turns)

And most of the football greats have passed through Parkhead's gates

All to play football the Glasgow Celtic way …

This week is bound to be emotional for everyone associated with Celtic. Powerful scenes are likely to be witnessed over the next few days starting with Tommy Burns' funeral today.

As Tommy's life is celebrated and remembered there will be undeniable sadness at someone being taken away at a mere 51 years of age. For all those close to Tommy there will be grief at such a tragic loss.

It is of little consolation, but Tommy will never be forgotten by any one of us who saw him as a player, as a manager or – for the fortunate ones – those who knew and worked with him.

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to go to the CIS League Cup Final of 2006 in the aftermath of the loss of Lisbon Lion Jimmy Johnstone. I remember we stopped off at Celtic Park prior to heading to Hampden and were struck by the level and significance of the tributes to Jinky that could be found outside the ground. From the pictures I have seen it is no different this week as Celtic remembers Tommy Burns. The outcome of 2006 Final was a 3-0 victory for Celtic in a game full of emotion and a fitting tribute to Jinky as the trophy came back to Paradise.

Nothing can replace the loss of a friend, father, colleague and inspirational figure. However, surely the opportunity that has fatefully presented itself to Celtic this week – the opportunity to win a famous third League Championship in a row – is one that will be realised with a victory that brings the trophy back to where it rightfully belongs. 3-0 would be nice!

Celtic will be paying tribute to a favourite son all this week. A fitting part of that tribute would surely lie in one of the current crop of young home-grown stars (over which Tommy had such an influence) scoring the winning goal at Tannadice on Thursday.

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