A TALENTED Inverclyde writer has completed a labour of love after penning a play about a Scottish football icon.

David Carswell fulfilled a long-term goal by putting together The Tommy Burns Story, bringing friend Felix O'Brien on board to direct and local lad Liam Harkins, from Wemyss Bay, in for the leading role.

They are huge fans of the Celtic legend, who sadly died of cancer at the age of 51 in 2008, and say they're thrilled to be staging the play at their beloved Parkhead in November.

David, 47, who lives in Gourock, said: "I am a massive Tommy Burns fan - not just the the footballer, but the person.

"When I researched the play lots of people came to talk to me about Tommy and 99 per cent of what they told me were non-football stories."

David sought permission from Tommy's family before starting and is liaising with them over the play, with his son Michael Burns acting as executive producer.

He said: "When he passed away his wife Rosemary started receiving letters from folk telling her about all the things Tommy had done for them.

"He was always up visiting people in hospital.

"At the end of one cup final, he said he would be up at the hospital on Monday to visit a wee boy who hadn't been well.

"There is another beautiful story where someone had written to Tommy to say his father was ill in hospital.

"Again after a cup final, this time when he was a manager, he went straight up there.

"When the man visited his father there was a curtain around his bed and he was worried something was wrong.

"Staff said he had a visitor and it was Tommy - he just went to the hospital without telling anybody."

During his career Tommy won six Scottish league championships, five Scottish Cups, and the Scottish League Cup.

He was also a Scotland international, winning eight caps between 1981 and 1988 and became a firm favourite as player boss at Kilmarnock in the latter stages of his career.

But it was the modest man off the field that drew him to people's hearts.

David said: "He was an amazing man - kind and generous and that would have been the case no matter what job he did.

"This is not a football play - Tommy just happened to be a football player at some point in his life.

"If the world had more people like him it would be a better place."

David says Tommy's popularity was exemplified by the way he bridged the Glasgow footballing divide, being adored by one one side and respected by the other.

He added: "He was friends with Walter Smith and Ally McCoist who helped to carry his coffin at his funeral."

Accomplished playwright David - who has previously written Mon Eh 'Ton! and The Benny Lynch Story - says this latest production is his biggest yet.

He told the Tele: "This is the biggest production I will ever have worked on a personal level and in terms of scale."

The play will run in the Kerrydale Suite at Celtic Park from November 9-13.

A total of 500 tickets are available per show and three performances sold out within 48 hours.

It has proved so popular David hopes to release further tickets in the coming weeks.

Felix said: "We want it to be a brilliant night out for everyone, especially after the year we've all had."

Keeping in the Inverclyde family - a local actor Liam Harkins is starring in the leading role.