Gretna men pay tribute to Mileson's generosity

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The Independent Online

The former Gretna manager Davie Irons paid tribute to the "generosity" of Brooks Mileson following the death of the now defunct club's owner. Mileson died aged 60 on Monday after a long battle with illness.

Former Gretna chairman Ron MacGregor said he collapsed at his home in Blackford near Carlisle and was taken to Cumberland Infirmary where he later died. MacGregor said Mileson had been receiving treatment for a neurological illness and had spent time at a specialist unit in Newcastle but his condition had not improved despite receiving the best care.

The Sunderland-born businessman financed Gretna's rapid rise from the Third Division to the Scottish Premier League before the club was wound up in May. Mileson also helped Gretna reach the 2006 Scottish Cup final, where they lost to Hearts.

His funding, which totalled £8m, stopped in February after he spent time in hospital with a brain infection, the latest in a number of illnesses he fought in recent years.

Irons, now Morton manager, said: "Brooks Mileson was probably one of the most generous people I have ever come across. He took a lot of stick for what happened in the end but I would like to think he'll be remembered for his generosity, not just in football, but the wider community.

"He was generous and passionate and very honest and a trustworthy guy to so many people. He was also a bit naive – he put a lot of trust in people who let him down.

"He said to me on a number of occasions: 'I never fail to be disappointed by the human race but I can't help putting my trust in people'."

MacGregor paid tribute to Mileson, saying: "He was a great force in Gretna's rise through the Scottish league. Mr Mileson's drive and finances that he made available to the club led to incredible success for Gretna."

8

Number of millions of pounds that former owner Brooks Mileson invested in Gretna.

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