"People will remember him forever"; Celtic boss Postecoglou pays tribute to Tommy Burns

By Euan Davidson

November 10, 2021

As we shared earlier, Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou was at the opening night of The Tommy Burns Story at Paradise last night.

Burns, like Postecoglou, was a relentlessly attack-minded manager. But the two also share a vision of football that goes beyond the pitch. It’s about community, it’s about giving back, and it’s about entertaining people, sending them home happy.

That was what made Burns so special. He was the supporter that got lucky, emerging from a fantastic footballing tradition at Celtic Park. Then, as a manager, he got to implant his worldview into football.

Speaking to the Celtic View Podcast, Ange Postecoglou gave his thoughts on The Tommy Burns Story, as well as the man more broadly.

Postecoglou said [Celtic FC]:

“It was a fantastic experience. I went with my wife, and it’s a great production. The cast and the crew have done a fantastic job in honouring Tommy. I’m sure his family would be proud.

“As you said, to share it with 450-60 other Celts in the room was quite special. There was plenty of laughter, which is obviously synonymous with Tommy, and plenty of tears as well. It was very emotional.

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“What comes through is what I’ve always believed myself, as I’ve got older: as much as Tommy’s achievements were unbelievable, it’s who he was as a man that stands out. That’s why people still remember him today, and will remember him forever. The person he was.

“There’s a lesson there for everyone. I know we’re driven on achieving things and that’s great, it gives you focus and you want to be part of something special. But it shouldn’t diminish the fact you can still be a good person doing all those things.

“In the end that’s what people reflect on most. He was obviously an outstanding person.”

Ange Postecoglou hits the right note in tribute to Celtic icon Tommy Burns

Without projecting ideas onto a legend, I’d guess that Tommy Burns would appreciate what Ange Postecoglou is doing at Celtic.

It’s in the humility, the respect for what’s come before, the strong principles and the will to represent the club as well as possible. Not just the football itself, which we’re sure would also strike a chord.

Ultimately, it’s about entertaining the Celtic supporters. Showing appreciation to the fans, knowing they’re the lifeblood of the club. Burns did that, because he was a supporter himself.

Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

He was tuned into the expectations, the pressures, but also the sense of humour and the style needed.

Tommy Burns had Jock Stein as a role model, someone whose example could be followed to guarantee success and joy in football. Postecoglou worked with Ferenc Puskas, a man he holds utter reverence for, to this day. Both utter giants of the game, of course.

But what they both preached was humility, respect and knowing exactly who you do your job for.

You can’t help but feel Stein would’ve been immensely proud of Tommy Burns, and Puskas of Postecoglou.

That says it all.

Read more: Chris Sutton has today absolutely slammed Celtic player who “hasn’t got up to speed”