Bobby and Tommy, men with established priorities


You are going to read lots about Tommy Burns, who we lost 10 years ago today, and Bobby Murdoch, the first of the Lions to go, on this date in 2001, so I’ll share an observation on both.

Tommy’s coffin was carried into the church by Ally McCoist and Walter Smith.  Tommy had lots of friends, former team-mates and players, as well as a large family.  There was no shortage of candidates to carry the man’s mortal remains, but in extending the invitation to Walter Smith and Ally McCoist, he left you and me something to live up to.

There can be few more public expressions of an intimate invitation.  How well do you and I reach across the city to others?  I have considered that question, on and off, for almost 10 years.

The only time I met Bobby Murdoch he went straight to asking me what I did for a living.  Then he talked about his wife, Kathleen, and her job.  There were a dozen others in the room, nine of whom were Lisbon Lions, but that was what Bobby wanted to talk about.  His priorities were well established.

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  1. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Oh dear, the hun band who play out the Bristol Bar, had their gear destroyed in a tragic fire……..a real shame that??

  2. South Of Tunis on




    ” Fare attenzione a Bobby Murdoch . Mediano e trequartista di prim’ordine” .



    Watch out for Bobby Murdoch . Top class midfield playmaker .



    Corriere dello Sport 24 th May 1967 .



    He sure was ! .



    Your lunch time choon — The Third Bardo



  3. Nice, quiet build up to the historic double treble final.


    A wee contract extension or two before Saturday would be appreciated.




  4. mike in toronto on

    What do people think TB would have made of the EBTScandal, and Celtic’s silence? On one hand, As P67 suggests, there was a reason he selected WS as a pallbearer… but, on the other hand, we now have proof that WS cheated, and TB didn’t seem like someone who would take being cheated without a fight

  5. MiT



    A question I’ve oftn thought myself too.



    I think the greatest opprobrium that both men could have felt was them knowing that Tommy knew they’d cheated him. Or perhaps they deep done still don’t think they cheated?



    Tommy’s reaction? I don’t know. But I so often wonder.



    HH jamesgang

  6. hen1rik on 15th May 2018 12:43 pm



    Anyone know how long we’ve waited for the Compliance Officers findings ?





    Yup – too long.

  7. Lucky enough to have a signed copy of Tommy Burn’s biography, penned if I remember well by Hugh Keevins.



    In it he mentioned that whilst playing for Celtic his best contract was £450 a week and he could only afford a family holiday if we won a trophy.



    At that time I was making more than that working at Prestwick Circuits with shift allowances and overtime!



    Played for the love of the club ? a giant of a man. I spent quite a long time after his death looking round the tributes that were laid around Celtic Park. All creeds, colours and faiths were represented. Fitting that he was paid respects to by all decent people in and far around Glasgow at the time.



    RIP Tommy and Bobby ?

  8. Thoughts and prayers with Lionsroar and everyone else who needs them.


    A double treble….o what I wouldn’t have sacrificed for that in the nineties and early noughties. Even one of them.


    Do it Celtic.

  9. South Of Tunis on




    I think exactly the same thing.



    I remember his debut ( v Hearts ) — he scored . I also remember him raising his hands / arms in despair as yet another great pass was wasted in a home loss to PTFC .

  10. mike in toronto on




    How are you doing?



    I have always had a hard time understanding their friendship, if that is what it was; WS seems like the personification of the bitter old school WATP mentality, and Mc Coist seems generally unprincipled, so they seemed , to me at least, an unlikely trio.



    I threw it out there as there are people on here who would have known TB, so I thought they might have some better insight.

  11. Kathleen Murdoch



    “He didn’t think he was good enough.



    It was at a time when you could go, for a £10 package, to Australia or Canada.



    Bobby and I considered going.”



    “He just didn’t think he’d make it in football – that was what he was like.



    Everybody knew Bobby was a great player. Bobby was the only one who didn’t realise it.



    At that point he was playing at inside right, and it was before Jock Stein came.”



    “He wasn’t very happy.



    We discussed going away but then Jock Stein came and everything changed.”



    That was 1965 and within two years Celtic had reached the promise land, defeating Helenio Herrera’s Inter Milan 2-1 in the European Cup final.



    Kathleen, added: “Jock made Bobby into what he became.



    Obviously Bobby had the talent and he could see that and his passion.”



    The couple – who tied the knot on June 6, 1964 – met as 15 year olds at a record session in Rutherglen, near Glasgow, five years earlier.



    Kathleen, an office junior at the time, said: “I found out much later that he’d came straight from Celtic trials that night.



    “It wasn’t long before his 16th birthday.



    “I didn’t think I was meeting a footballer or anything like that though – he was an apprentice sheet metal worker!”



    However a few aspects of Bobby’s clobber caught Kathleen’s eye.



    The gran-of-seven, now based in Blantyre, said: “He was in a suit, which nobody else was.


    And I did think that was a bit strange, this guy coming in with a suit on.”



    “There’s a famous story I’ve told in the past – he was wearing winkle pickers and they were turned up at the end.



    “I knew right away – I know this sounds strange – that he was a Catholic, which I wasn’t.



    “The toes went up from kneeling in the chapel you see, that was what happened.



    “It didn’t matter to us though and there were never any problems with my family or anything, never a problem.



    “We were married in the Catholic Church and I actually became a Catholic before we got married.”



    Bobby and Kathleen’s life was nothing like those of today’s football stars and WAGs, rarely spotted in public without their sports cars and designer gear.



    She said: “It was a bit different back then.



    “It’s quite funny because I made a comment to my son about how you see them being followed about, all glammed up.



    “I said, ‘Oh my goodness – I don’t think I could’ve handled that, having to get all glamorous’.



    “He said, Mammy I don’t think they’d have followed you to The Co!’”



    “Bobby loved playing for Celtic – it was all he ever wanted to do ”



    Hail Hail the great Bobby Murdoch

  12. I often reach out to der hun. It’s just so easy to wind the zombies up.



    Is that not what they exist for now in their metamorphosis out of death.




  13. mild mannered Pedro delgado on

    Dear “fates” and god and the tooth fairy(think he/she has been demoted tae wherever st george is)


    Please be aware that your humble servant,mmpd is not in any way overconfident of the double treble.


    I have enough trepidation for all my cqn and wider Celtic family.


    Please be good to us.



    There ye can thank me later



    Oh by the way I could only renew two of our three books because of my work situation.will find out soon enough on that one.


    Anyone good wi prayers say a couple for me and mine.im a good guy. honest.



    Ye only get scoobydoo P.J’s if ye renew all three.


    Anyway Hail Hail. Good luck

  14. thinking of Lionsroar67 . hope the surgery goes well and wishing you a speedy recovery xx




    Bobby Murdoch was a wonderful player and when I had the pleasure of meeting him a true gent



    Tommy Burns for me epitomises everything I love about Celtic faithful through and through.



    I always remember his quote that he was” a fan who got lucky”



    we were the lucky ones .For all our Celtic family having tough times



    When times are hard , may hardness


    never turn your heart to stone .


    May you always remember


    When the shadows fall


    you do not walk alone



    both Gone but not forgotten

  15. MiT



    I would never profess to know any of the three of them in any way to say definitively.



    I do remember that WS apparently attended Paradise simply to take in a game.


    And there did seem to be a level of mutual respect from some players and officials from both sides from that era.



    And TB saw the good in people, wherever possible?



    As I say, those on here closer to events and the individuals may be able to offer their far wiser perspectives.



    HH jamesgang

  16. thomthethim for Oscar OK on



    Excellent read.



    I’ve told this story on here before, but here goes again.



    At the time of Lisbon, I was working on a renovation job at the bank on Main St. Rutherglen.



    On the Monday, after Lisbon we were in the hut, waiting for the apprentice to come back with the rolls.


    The lad stumbled into the hut and breathlessly announced that Bobby Murdoch was out on the street and was showing his medal.



    Those of a Celtic mind and, to be fair, others, made a dash out the door.



    Bobby and his wife were out in front of the bank, surrounded by fans, anxious to congratulate him and have a look at the famous square medal.

  17. Very poor from Celtic giving Mark Wilson a platform to hype up broonys game. Gerry mcculloch is another souptaker. Just shows all the platitudes they give the fans is meaningless. Most fans a know can’t stand those 2 rodents