Well known GAA supporter Gerry Quinn described Bobby Burns as a figure who commanded the respect of all GAA fans and as one of the county’s finest ever gaelic footballers.
Remembering Burns, Gerry said, “He was a massive presence on the field. He was so strong that he used to fist over the majority of his points. Most players would shoot with their feet from 25 yards but Bobby would be able to accurately fist the ball over the crossbar from similar distance without a problem.”
He also recalled the famous victories over Galway and New York which secured the 1966 National League title. “The first game was in Longford and the second in Pearse Park. It was a rugged affair and New York were very physical. Bobby was magnificent in both games.
“I still have an old tape of the game which I listen to every now and again. Bobby hit a few wides that day but was magnificent, scoring eight of our (Longford’s) nine points. After Jimmy Hannify was fouled about 11 minutes from time, it was Bobby who kicked it over to put us a point clear. Michael O’Hehir who commentated that day described Burns as ‘The misser of so many but the scorer of the last two’, the last two points that secured us the win.”
Bobby departed from the Longford county scene in 1969 after an in-house dispute between players and management. Gerry feels that had this unfortunate incident not occurred, Longford could have claimed further glory.
“He would have been a major part of the team for another few years and I suppose it was just unfortunate. But even so, he always had the respect of the county for what he did for us.
“He was a very sociable man, had great time for everybody and everybody liked him. The large crowd that turned out at his funeral and the resounding round of applause he received showed you that.”