Tributes paid to Guernsey commercial radio chairman John Burley

Tributes are being paid to the chairman of Guernsey commercial radio station Island FM, John Burley, who has died at the age of 78.

John Burley became chairman of the applicant group for the first commercial radio station in Guernsey, Island FM, which launched in October 1992.

He served as its chairman for 31 years, seeing the station grow to become one of the most successful in the British Isles.

He was a regular visitor to Island FM until very recently, and always took an active interest in its output and its staff.

John Burley moved to Guernsey in the early 1970s following a successful career in the finance industry in the UK. His parents were farmers.

He quickly became one of the island’s most colourful characters, famous for his vibrant dress sense and encyclopedic knowledge of cricket. He also had a number of corporate and board interests and was active in the Masons.

John Burley was a member of the Lord’s Taverners for more than 40 years. He played cricket at their celebrity charity matches in both Sark and Herm and latterly moved to commenting on those matches. Toni Clayton, a past chair and now treasurer of the Lord’s Taverners in Guernsey says his humour and wit will be missed. “The Taverners in Guernsey are very sad to hear of John’s passing. He was a tremendous character.

“It wasn’t just his attire that was bright, it was him as well.”

John was a keen sports fan and racehorse owner, who remembered last year how his horses were usually beaten by Her Majesty the Queen at Ascot, “Mine normally finished at what I called a ‘respectable distance’ behind hers, but it was a great thrill, and great fortune to get a horse to run there in the first place.”

Tindle Radio Channel Islands Managing Director James Keen said: “John was a larger than life character, and a passionate advocate for both Island FM and his adopted home of Guernsey.

“His contribution to the radio station over the last thirty years has been substantial and he will be missed by the entire team.”

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