Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Thursday, 15 May 2008 12:57 UK

Tributes to Celtic legend Burns

Celtic strip tribute
Fans have laid tributes at Celtic Park

Figures from sport and politics have paid tribute to Celtic legend Tommy Burns, who has died at the age of 51.

Burns, who played for and managed the Glasgow club, had been undergoing treatment for skin cancer.

A statement from Celtic said: "It is with great sadness that Celtic Football Club confirmed this morning that Tommy Burns has passed away.

"Tommy, a true Celtic legend and wonderful man, will be sadly missed by us all."

Celtic's first-team coach originally contracted skin cancer in 2006.

Although he received treatment, the disease returned in March.

'Brave battle'

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said: "Tommy Burns was an outstanding servant for Celtic and Scotland.

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Football fans pay tribute to Tommy Burns

"He always answered the call of club and country and will be hugely missed throughout the world of football and beyond.

"The grit and determination he displayed as a player and coach were very much in evidence during his brave battle against cancer.

"Our condolences go out to Tommy's family and friends and our thoughts are with them."

Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent his condolences to Tommy Burns's family and said his belief in good football shone through his time as Celtic boss.

'All-time great'

"His death robs Scottish football of one of its most inspirational figures of modern times and one of the nicest people in football.

"He will go down as one of the all-time great players for Glasgow Celtic."

Tommy Burns first joined Celtic as a teenager, having started his career with the city's Maryhill Juniors.

He was a member of the Celtic side that won the Scottish Premier Division championship and Scottish Cup in 1988 - the club's centenary year.

Burns made a total of 352 league appearances for Celtic, scoring 52 goals. He also gained eight caps for Scotland.

Billy Connolly said Burns was a man 'who knew who he was'

After a spell with Kilmarnock, he returned to manage Celtic in 1994.

During his three-year reign, he was unable to break Rangers' stranglehold on the Premier Division.

But he did end the Hoops' six-year trophy famine, by winning the Scottish Cup against Airdrie at Hampden in 1995.

The deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Murdo Fraser, said "everyone involved with Scottish football will miss Tommy Burns".

"He was a charismatic and important part of the game for many years, and his achievements, both as a player and manager, were substantial," he said.

"Our deepest sympathies go to his friends and family at what will be a difficult time for them."

Councillor Steven Purcell, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "Scotland has lost one of its greatest footballing legends and one of its most decent and genuine men.

Parade cancelled

"His brave battle against cancer over the years and his deep Christian faith has also been a deep inspiration to thousands. It's true when they say that only the good die young."

Meanwhile, Rangers Football Club said that in light of the news of Tommy Burns's death, it would no longer hold a parade to welcome the team home from the Uefa Cup Final.

A club spokesman said: "Rangers Football Club has decided it would be wholly inappropriate to take part in a public procession through Glasgow today.

"Therefore the team will go directly from Glasgow Airport on their return from Manchester to Ibrox Stadium to acknowledge its supporters in a less public manner.

"The club would like to extend its sincere condolences to the family of Tommy Burns at this very sad time."


SEE ALSO
Fans' sad farewell to legend Burns
15 May 08 |  Scotland
In quotes: Tommy Burns tributes
15 May 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

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