Sign in or
|C | Player Pics | A-Z of Players|
PersonalFullname: Thomas Coyne
aka: Tommy Coyne, T.C., 'Der Bomber'
Born: 14 November 1962
Birthplace: Govan, Glasgow
Signed: 24 March 1989
Left: 12 March 1993
Debut: Hearts away 1-0 League 11 March 1989
Last appearance: Dundee away 1-0 League 23 February 1993
First goal: Hearts away 3-1 League 12 August 1989
Last goal: Saint Johnstone home 5-1 League 3 February 1993
Internationals: Republic of Ireland
International Caps: 22
International Goals: 6
BiogGovan born Tommy Coyne hailed from a Celtic mad background and gained his big break in 1983 when he signed for the then league champions Dundee United. Things did not go smoothly and it was no surprise when he crossed the street to Dens Park and it is there that Tommy's career flourished as he developed a magnificent partnership with Keith Wright which allowed him to score 41 times in the 1987/88 season.
Celtic signed him in March 1989 as a potential replacement for the West Ham bound Frank McAvennie and for this reason it took a lot of Celtic fans time to come round to him as McAvennie was enormously popular with the Celtic faithful. His debut was in a 1-0 win at Tynecastle when Billy McNeill played him in a curious wide left midfield position and despite playing in a few games he did not score before the end of the season and was cup tied when Celtic won the Scottish Cup against Rangers in May 1989.
He exploded on to the scene with a clinical hat trick in a 3-1 win on the opening day of the 1989/90 season at Tynecastle however that season was a poor one for both Celtic and Tommy as Billy McNeill's team turned in some of the worst performances seen at Parkhead for over a decade. This was best summed up on November 4th 1989 at Ibrox when Tommy missed an open goal at 0-0, a matter of minutes before Mo Johnston scored the winning goal at the other end. That result turned Celtic's season for the worse and the team never quite recovered although Tommy had the satisfaction of scoring the winner at Parkhead against Rangers in a 1-0 win in the Scottish Cup on February 25th 1990.
Coyne was transferred listed and placed in the reserves in the early months of the following season but he returned to the first team because of an injury crisis in November 1990 and scored Celtic's goals in an impressive 2-1 win over Motherwell. He did not look back and was Celtic's top scorer by the end of the season and these goals were responsible for Celtic getting a UEFA cup place that year. He showed great courage in winning back his place and he became a big favourite with the fans in view of this and was humorously nicknamed 'Der Bomber' around this period.
In 1991/92 Tommy fought it out with Gerry Creaney and Charlie Nicholas for a place in the Celtic attack and all three scored regularly that season but by August 1992 Liam Brady had brought Andy Payton and Stuart Slater to Celtic and after injury Tommy lost his place. He was recalled in January 1993 and scored the winning goal against Clyde in the Scottish Cup and also the winner against Airdrie at Broomfield when the game should never have been played in atrocious wild and wet conditions.
It was clear now though that Liam Brady did not rate Tommy and he moved from Celtic to Tranmere Rovers in 1993. It was a pity that Tommy came to Celtic during a tempestuous period in the club's history and that he did not play with a Celtic side that created more chances and who were more successful in terms of trophies. It also reflected Liam Brady's lack of genuine nous on talent.
He returned to Scotland after a short period to join Motherwell after the sad loss of his wife. He had an enormously successful spell at Fir Park under Tommy McLean and in January 1994 it was his goal that knocked Celtic out of the Scottish Cup and ultimately brought down the failling Celtic board of directors weeks later. In March 1998 he scored against Rangers in a vital 2-1 win which greatly assisted Celtic in claiming that year's title and stopping Rangers' 10 in a row bid. Coyne and Owen Coyle (both well known Celtic men) were said to have run themselves into the ground during that game.
He earned a creditable 22 caps for the Republic of Ireland (another loss for Scotland's national side), including a memorable lone striker's shift in the memorable 1-0 defeat of Italy in Giants Stadium in the World Cup in USA 1994 playing for Jack Charlton's heroes. Highly lauded by his international manager who said: "He's one of the most skillful players around... if he had another yard of pace he'd be worth multi-millions".
Like many forwards supposedly dogged by lack of pace, Coyne enjoyed a lengthy career and was using his guile to great effect in the Premier League well into his mid 30s and Tommy is fondly remembered by Celtic, Dundee and Motherwell fans alike.
|Club||From||To||Fee||League||Scottish/FA Cup||League cup||Europe|
|Albion||16/02/2001||28/02/2001||Signed||1 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Clydebank||04/08/2000||02/02/2001||Signed||10 (5)||4||1 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||2 (1)||1|
|Falkirk||13/08/1999||13/10/1999||Loan||6 (2)||1||0 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Dundee||01/07/1998||04/08/2000||Free||7 (10)||0||0 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Motherwell||30/11/1993||01/07/1998||Signed||124 (10)||57||5 (0)||1||5 (0)||0||1 (0)||0|
|Tranmere||12/03/1993||30/11/1993||£||No appearance data available|
|Celtic||24/03/1989||12/03/1993||£ 500,000||105 (0)||43|| 16 ||8|| 6 ||1||5||0|
|Dundee||01/12/1986||24/03/1989||Signed||89 (0)||51||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Dundee Utd||28/10/1983||01/12/1986||Signed||52 (0)||8||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Clydebank||01/08/1981||28/10/1983||Signed||80 (0)||37||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Hillwood BC||01/08/1980||01/08/1981|| ||No appearance data available|
|Totals||£500,000||474 (27)||201||6 (0)||1||9 (0)||0||3 (1)||1|
| ||goals / game||0.4||0.16||0||0.25|
Honours with Celtic
- Scottish Cup runners up medal 1990
by St Anthony from Celtic Underground (2011)
Back in the early 1970’s, in St Anthony’s primary school, there was great excitement when the school team reached the final of the Govan Fair cup. St Saviours were the opposition at the old ‘50 pitches’ venue and I can still recall the crestfallen older boys next day after their 5-0 defeat. All the boys could talk about was the performance of the St Saviours centre forward who scored all five goals. His name was Tommy Coyne.
Years later Tommy Coyne was to sign for his boyhood idols Celtic. His father was a member of the Govan Brighton (Street) supporters club which left from the old Albion Way pub in Govan’s ‘Wine Alley’ so Tommy came from a fine Celtic background and he would always be a source of pride to all the Celtic fans on the ‘Brighton’. Not many supporters’ clubs can claim to have had a future Celtic player as one of their own.
Tommy had a patchy start to his Celtic career. He came from Dundee in March 1989 in the same week that Frank McAvennie left for a huge sum to join West Ham and it was felt, unfairly, that Coyne was a direct replacement for McAvennie which manager Billy McNeill always insisted was never the case. His debut was at Tynecastle in a 1-0 win when McNeill fielded him on the wide left of a four man midfield. McNeill stated that this was a position he would be looking for Tommy to fill on occasions which was a puzzling statement considering that he was never played in that role ever again.
At the beginning of the 1989/90 season Darius Dzienanowski was signed to partner Tommy in attack but in truth the two of them never gelled to make a decent partnership. They were both good players but Tommy found it difficult playing with the talented but enigmatic Dziekanowski. The opening game at Tynecastle was perhaps Tommy’s best game in a Celtic jersey. He scored a splendid hat trick and the highlight of the game was a brilliant Paul McStay swivel, after a great run, to allow Tommy to slam in the third goal for his hat trick in a 3-1 win.
Unfortunately things went quickly down hill from there in that dreadful season. On November 4th 1989 Celtic took on Rangers at Ibrox. Half way through the second half, during a tight game, Joe Miller raced clear on the Rangers’ goal. Chris Woods saved his shot and the ball broke to Tommy who had a clear shot at goal from an angle and he smacked his shot off the post to the despair of the Celtic fans behind that goal. Late in the game an ex Celtic striker scored the winning goal for Rangers and such are the fates that befall us. Had Tommy scored with his chance then it could all have turned out so different.
Tommy gained a modicum of revenge in February 1990 when he scored the winning goal for Celtic against Rangers in the Scottish Cup on a day of filthy weather at Parkhead. Joe Miller fired a ball across goal and Tommy actually slid in to score with his stomach. As Tommy turned to take the acclaim for his goal his ex Dundee team mate John Brown angrily threw Tommy to the ground but thankfully Coyne ignored Brown’s provocation and carried on celebrating. This was also the day that Terry Butcher kicked in the dressing room door at Celtic Park after the final whistle.
The low point of Tommy’s Celtic career came in the autumn of 1990. He had fallen out of favour completely with Billy McNeill after the return of Charlie Nicholas to the club and on the day in September that Celtic gained a decent draw at Ibrox, Tommy was a substitute in the reserves at Parkhead behind such luminaries as John Hewitt and Dugald McCarrison. After this he was put on the transfer list as Celtic looked to move him on. At this stage in his career he showed a lot of character as he had been getting a tough time from an element of the Celtic support.
It’s to his eternal credit that he stuck at it at Parkhead. The turning point came in a midweek match against Motherwell in 1990. McNeill, frustrated with his goal shy strikers, decided to give Coyne a last chance. Celtic won 2-1 with Tommy scoring with two great finishes and he was not to look back. By the end of that season Tommy finished as top scorer with 17 goals which was a fantastic return considering that he had missed the first three months of the season.
There were a few highlights in that season. In January 1991 with Celtic struggling badly, the team produced a surprise by beating Aberdeen at Parkhead. The winning goal came in the last minute when Paul Elliott headed against the post and Tommy turned in the rebound. The explosion of joy from the Celtic crowd was fantastic and it showed that the fans were desperate for a bit of success during a barren period.
In March 1991 Tommy played his part in the two memorable wins against Rangers at Parkhead within seven days. In the second game Celtic ran out convincing 3-0 winners with Tommy scoring the third goal from a Paul McStay cross.
Liam Brady arrived as manager in 1991 and although Tommy was normally in his side it was felt that Brady was looking to replace him. Cascarino, Payton, Slater and McAvennie were all signed by Brady in an attempt to improve the Celtic attack although none of them were particularly successful.
Tommy missed most of the 1992/93 season with injury although he returned in January to score the winning goal against Airdrie at Broomfield on the day that Frank McAvennie made his second return in the hoops. Incidentally this game was played in the worst conditions I have ever seen at a game of football. Heavy rain had flooded the pitch and made it unplayable and it was a total farce from beginning to end.
In March 1993 Tommy eventually moved on to join Tranmere Rovers. It was not a happy spell and during his time in England his wife sadly passed away in very tragic circumstances. He came home to join Motherwell in November 1993.
Tommy became a cult hero with the Motherwell fans and he scored the winner against Celtic in the Scottish Cup at Fir Park in January 1994. This played a huge part in allowing Fergus McCann the opportunity to buy the club as this result virtually ended Celtic’s season. However some Celtic fans were not impressed with his reaction to that late cup winner and it was felt that his celebrations were a bit over the top.
Tommy redeemed himself in the eyes of the Celtic support in March 1998. With Rangers going for 10 in a row and Celtic frantically trying to stop them, Motherwell beat Rangers 2-1 at Fir Park. Coyne and Owen Coyle, both huge Celtic men, scored ‘Well’s goals that day and a Rangers supporting acquaintance of mine told me later that both men had ran themselves into the ground that day and that he had seen nothing like it. Thus Coyne and Coyle, indirectly, played a small part in Celtic’s title win of 1998.
Tommy was never considered worthy of a Scotland cap and as he had Irish grandparents Jack Charlton took advantage of the new ruling and Tommy made his debut for the Republic of Ireland against Switzerland in 1992 whilst still a Celtic player, much to the delight of the many people with similar Irish heritage back in Govan. This led to a fantastic journey as an Irish player which took him all the way to the 1994 World Cup finals in the USA. The Irish put up a great show by reaching the last 16 and Tommy played in the unforgettable 1-0 victory over Italy in the sweltering heat of New York City.
In closing here is a whimsical tale from May 1991. Celtic faced Saint Johnstone in Perth in a vital game in which they had to win to qualify for Europe. It was a frenzied affair and in the second half there was a stramash in the Saints’ penalty area which resulted in a defender knocking Tommy Coyne to the ground with a punch. A young Celtic fan ran on the field to defend Tommy’s honour and confront the Saints’ defender much to the delight of the huge Celtic support behind the goal.
As the Police waited to arrest the miscreant fan, Gerry Creaney physically barged past them and jostled the supporter back into the safety of the Celtic fans and preventing the fan being arrested. The entire ground was in uproar at this time and Tommy scored a penalty and thus Celtic made it to Europe after all.
Tommy Coyne came a long way from the St Saviours playground in Govan to the World Cup stadia in the USA. He was a superb goal scorer who if he had a turn of pace could have played in any company and it was a pleasure to have watched him in a Celtic jersey.
Latest page update: made by joebloggscity
, Feb 26 2013, 4:04 AM EST
(about this update
About This Update
Edited by joebloggscity
5 words added
2 words deleted
- complete history)
More Info: links to this page