Tributes paid to star-finder Duncanson
FORMER Rangers stars, family and friends will pay their final respects today to former youth coach and star-finder Billy Duncanson.
At a time when youth development is under scrutiny, the achievements of Duncanson are exceptional having been involved in bringing through Charlie Miller, Barry Ferguson, Allan McGregor, Alan Hutton, Charlie Adam, Ross McCormack, Stevie Smith and Chris Burke among many others.
These players alone were involved in transfers totalling over £35 million in their careers.
Nottingham Forest winger Burke has led the tributes to Billy, who passed away last week aged 81, saying he was a selfless, dedicated man.
Burke, 31, was discovered by Duncanson when he was still in primary school and was convinced to come and train with Rangers from an early age.
He said: “He was such a gentleman and a great coach. If he could do anything for you he wouldn’t hesitate. He wasn’t in it for anything else other than to help kids progress and do well. That’s what made him happy.
“He made you feel at ease on the pitch. He just wanted you to enjoy yourself.
“I just loved playing for Rangers at that time with him because it was so enjoyable and it was the same with everyone else I know.”
Duncanson – along with his son James – had worked under Walter Smith, Dick Advocaat and Alex McLeish.
Burke added: “You can tell by all the comments on social media – which are all positive – just how much everybody liked Billy. He was a friend more than anything else.
“I worked with him up until I signed a professional contract at Rangers but I would still see him about Murray Park. You just have to look at all of the players that came through having worked under him to see what a great job he did.”
The funeral service is at 10.30am at Craigton Crematorium, near Ibrox.