TOMMY BURNS TRIBUTE: JOE MILLER’S TESTIMONIAL TO HIS HERO AND FRIEND

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FORMER Celtic star Joe Miller has written an excellent tribute to club legend Tommy Burns. Celtic Quick News is privileged and honoured to display Joe’s heartfelt words in this moving homage to his hero and friend.

I WAS 11 years old when Tommy Burns presented me with my first-ever football award.

Looking back, it was one of the many things that I had in common with Tommy. As young boys, we played for Saint Mary’s

Guild in the Carlton and we were both Celtic supporters.

Tommy presented me with my first Player of the Year and top goalscorer awards in the very building where Celtic were founded. Fate was
maybe playing its part. Even back then, I looked up to Tommy. He made the grade from our wee club (The Mary Guild) and he was on his way to becoming a Celtic legend.

My career took me up to Aberdeen when it wasn’t long before I was coming up against Tommy and my other idols. Being brought up as a Celtic supporter, I had to put my loyalties to one side. I had a chance to make my own mark in the game.

My dream move to Celtic came on the 13th of November 1987 in Celtic’s centenary campaign. I was greeted at the door by two redheads.

One was Celtics greatest-ever player, Jimmy Johnstone and the other was Tommy Burns. Who could ask for more?

Tommy took me to one side before I went into the dressing room and said to me: “You are here for a reason, wee man. You are a good player and when you score today, get yourself over to those guys in The Jungle. They are Celtic football club. Share your joy with them.”

I got to know Tommy as that special year played out. His passion and enthusiasm for Celtic Football Club was incredible. Almost infectious to the point Tommy was turning players in our squad who weren’t initially Celtic fans into True Celtic fans.

Tommy was a dream to play alongside.

His willingness to help everyone who wore a Celtic jersey and, more importantly, his ability on the park. His humour every day in the dressing room and on the training ground was amazing. He was also there for you when you had any problems away from the club. He was able to put an arm around you when you needed it. Talk to you and make you feel 10 times better.

I’ve heard and read many tributes about Tommy over the years and they are all very true, but he has a special place in the hearts of every player in our centenary squad.

We all love him and we all miss him very much. To us, Tommy Burns is the greatest-ever Celtic and always will be.

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