Dutch striker remembers Scottish football legend on cup final week

This week marks 10 years since Scottish football legend Tommy Burns sadly passed away.

The former Scotland internationalist is still highly regarded by players across the world including former Netherlands striker Pierre van Hooijdonk.

The iconic marksman was a Scottish Cup winner in 1995 when his header against Airdrieonians brought silverware back to Celtic Park, sparking a revival under the legendary Tommy Burns.

What are your memories of working under Tommy Burns when he managed Celtic?

Tommy made it quite clear when he first came over to watch me play against Ajax that he wanted to sign me and from day one he tried to immerse me in the world of Celtic.

When he was over in the Netherlands he brought lots of books and videos about Celtic for me to watch in order for me to understand just what the club is all about.

As well as being a manager, he was probably the biggest fan of the club and that transferred on to the players. You didn’t want to let him down.

He had a warm personality and I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him which shows he must have done something right.

He didn’t seem to have any rivals which is rare in football.

He was a creative player and wanted to play differently to anyone else.

That transferred to his managerial career and the difference he had at Celtic was massive as he changed the philosophy of the team.

He altered the playing style from ordinary to fantastic and is quite rightly regarded as a club legend. I hope Celtic win the treble for him at the weekend.

What are your memories from winning the trophy in 1995?

It was Celtic’s first trophy for six years so there was an immense amount of pressure going into the game.

I scored the only goal but had to come off after half an hour as I had sustained a hamstring injury the day before when we trained at the Seamill Hydro Hotel.

To score the only goal in a game that brought a lot of joy to a lot of people, gave me a great amount of satisfaction.

I think that trophy meant a lot more than it would nowadays to Celtic. At that time it was unusual for them to win a lot of trophies and sometimes the longer it takes to win something, the bigger the mountain becomes.

We had lost to Raith Rovers in the League Cup Final a couple of months before so there was an enormous amount of pressure on all of us to deliver.

For guys like Paul McStay and Peter Grant it must have been tough to not win something for so long and at the end of the Scottish Cup Final they were in tears as it meant so much. It was more than just a trophy.

Looking at the current Celtic squad, they are on course for an unprecedented double treble. Can they do it?

When you play for Celtic these days it’s more common that you win things than in my period. The Celtic coaches are setting themselves high standards and the players will be desperate to win on Saturday. I definitely see this current Celtic squad taking this chance and writing another page of history.

Pierre’s Score Prediction

Celtic have the ability to grab any opponent by the throat from the first minute and I think their class will shine through against Motherwell.

Celtic 3-0 Motherwell