Former Celtic striker Scott McDonald has opened up about his welcome to Celtic and revealed another brilliant tale about Tommy Burns.
The former Australian international was not flavour of the month when he made the switch from Motherwell to the Scottish champions back in 2007.
Many of the players in the dressing room could still remember the strikers antics on the day dubbed ‘Helicopter Sunday’.
Martin O’Neill’s side had travelled through to Fir Park while Rangers took on Hibs at Easter Road. Celtic took the lead after Chris Sutton slammed the ball into the back of the net but a late double from McDonald ended the Hoops league title hopes.
He wouldn’t join Gordon Strachan’s side until two years later but can remember that he didn’t receive the warmest of welcomes as some players hasn’t forgotten about that fateful day.
It took the legendary Tommy Burns to step in and provide the young striker with some advice to remind him why he was at the club.
“We were five days into pre-season in Switzerland when Tommy Burns pulled me. I’ll never forget Mr Celtic saying to me, ‘You’re here for a reason. We believe in you and you’re good enough to be here. Don’t worry about outside noise or what you’ve done previously. It’s not a problem for me, son, and it shouldn’t be a problem for anybody else’,” said McDonald speaking on the [Off the Record Podcast].
“For me, that was more than Gordon (Strachan) or anyone else could have said. If Mr Celtic’s alright with you, you’re good. But about 10 days in, you get your two season books. I went into the ticket office to get them and the lady who served me just started abusing me. Really abusing me!
“I was like, ‘you know I play for Celtic, right?’ She just kept going on about the Motherwell thing. The boss came in, everyone came in and they’re asking if I’m all right. I’m absolutely fine – but who was that??’ Some Celtic fans will be thinking, ‘too right, you deserved that’ but it was like water off a duck’s back by that point. I couldn’t give a sh**.
“It actually motivated me more. It did me a favour, having people who doubted me at Celtic. It was better than people doubting me from the outside. I’ve always tried to prove the doubters wrong. I was a young Australian boy who had no right to play professional football if you look at the law of averages. My skillset was good, but not amazing. My mentality got me to where I needed to get to.”
Under Strachan, it’s more than fair to say that he played his part as he scored over 60 goals for his boyhood club in less than a three-year spell at Parkhead.
Every player who had any interaction with Tommy always has a great tale to tell and this once again emphasis the class of the man.