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Page last updated at 12:27 GMT, Thursday, 15 May 2008 13:27 UK

Murty leads Royals' Burns tribute

Tommy Burns
Burns was in charge of Reading for 18 months from March 1998 (Getty)

Reading captain Graeme Murty has led the tributes to former Royals manager Tommy Burns, who has died aged 51.

Burns had an 18-month spell in charge of Reading from March 1998 and bought Murty to the club from York City.

Speaking to BBC Radio Berkshire, Murty described Burns as "the most likeable person I've ever met in football".

"He was a genuinely warm and friendly human being, who had time for anyone and was the most giving guy I have met during my time in football," he said.

"When you go into work every single day and you see someone who's never afraid to make hard decisions but also never changing the kind of person that they are, I think that gives you some kind of mark of the person they are.

"All the way through, throughout his time at Reading, when he was in Scotland, through all his time with Celtic, he conducted himself with marvellous dignity.

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"It brings you back to the overriding principle that he was just a lovely guy and we're going to miss him and obviously, mine and my families thoughts are with him at the moment."

Although in terms of results, Burns' spell at Reading was not a success, Murty felt he made a major impact.

"He brought a big team mentality to the club and he certainly opened our eyes to what the club could achieve just by what he aspired to.

"I think that aspirational philosophy stuck with the club."

Former Royals striker Nicky Forster, who now plays for Brighton, was also brought to Reading by Burns.

Forster told BBC Radio Berkshire: "His attention to detail and his passion for the game was second to none. I have not come across anyone with more of those qualities.

"He brought experience to the club and started setting up the fundamentals at base level. Maybe he didn't reap the rewards of that, but certainly the managers after that did."

Phil Parkinson
Phil Parkinson also highlighted Burns' passion for football (Getty)

Charlton's assistant manager Phil Parkinson also played under Burns at Reading and echoed Forster's thoughts.

"He was the manager who was in charge for the first game at the Madejski Stadium, so he's in the history of Reading and he'll be remembered," Parkinson said.

"In terms of being a gentleman and a football person, he was first class."

Another former Reading manager and BBC Radio Berkshire summariser Mick Gooding also highlighted Burns' passion for the game:

"He was a true football man. He didn't do it because it was a job and he could earn reasonable amounts of money, he was passionate about football."


see also
Celtic the hub of Burns' career
15 May 08 |  Celtic
Tommy Burns - A life in pictures
15 May 08 |  Scotland


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