Trib­utes paid to star-finder Dun­can­son

The Herald - Sport - - FOOTBALL - LIND­SAY HER­RON

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.

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