|Time To Say Goodbye|
|21-05-08 07:49 AM|
I didn’t make it to Celtic Park today. Judging by my reaction to watching the news coverage after getting home tonight, that’s probably no bad thing – the atmosphere looked tremendous, we surely know how to bid farewell to one of our own, and the sight of this big lummox howling in the middle of it all would have been just too much. Funerals always do it.
Tommy was the first player I ever had my photograph taken with. That is my earliest memory of Celtic, and it will stay with me until my own time has come. Tommy Burns gave me that memory. I still have that photograph.
Times like these inevitably set one off thinking about ones own mortality. It’s a natural reaction when you lose a family member – and we have perhaps now lost the most loved and respected member of the Celtic family.
I remember being 9 years old, and watching my daddy crying because Jock Stein had died. I couldn’t figure it out…here was my dad, the biggest, strongest, bravest guy I knew reduced to tears because of a football manager? Who wasn’t even our manager any more? Strange.
That same wee bhoy sat watching the news tonight, and shed his first real tears for Tommy Burns since last Thursday. And he knows why, now, after all those years.
We all loved him. Why? Not because he was a Celtic player. Not because he was a Celtic manager. Not because he was a Celtic legend. We loved him because he was a good man. He was one of us, and he never ever forgot it. In his own words “a fan who got lucky”. You make your own luck in this life – Tommy made his, but never forgot to be thankful for all that he’d been given. Tommy was generous – both of heart and time. He loved us as much as we loved him, and that just made us love him all the more.
Big Jock. Wee Jinky. Bobby Murdoch. Ronnie Simpson. They’re just a few who have been taken from us in my lifetime. But Tommy’s passing has hit me harder than all of them, and I’m sure it’s the same for a lot of my fellow posters on CelticMinded.
Most of us (but certainly not all of us) are of a generation that uses the internet every day now, it is second nature to us. It draws us together on this forum, from New York to New Zealand, from Dublin to Dubai and all points in between. We talk of all things Celtic, and all things non-Celtic too. We share laughter, we share joy, we share passion. But we also share sadness too.
Tommy Burns is the first of a generation’s heroes that we’ll never see at Celtic Park again. Today, a lot of big wee bhoys and ghirls bade him farewell with a tear in their eye.
Goodbye Tommy Burns. God bless you and keep you close.
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