George Burley was born on 3rd Hune 1956 and was a native of Cumnock who played at right-back for Ipswich Town, Sunderland, Gillingham and Motherwell and had won an FA Cup winner's medal with Ipswich in 1978. He had the further distinction of receiving eleven Scotland caps before joining Ayr United as a player-manage on 12th January 1991 when he witnessed a 1-0 defeat at Motherwell. He actually played in that match and subsequently at full back.
Things looked better after a 4-0 defeat of Brechin City in the midweek fixture. Dale Roberts, a previous team mate of Burley at Ipswich Town, joined the manager in May 1991 and the pairing looked like an awesome combination for Ayr United. A 12th place had been rescued that season and as the new season it was clear that fitness levels were high. A 7-0 win was achieved in appalling wetaher conditions against Meadowbank Thistle. The following week the momentum seemed to have stalled as Morton led by 3-1, but 3 late goals including one in stoppage time from Iam McAllister gave Ayr an amazing 4-3 win Nevertheless finishing 6th in the league was not the aim and there was some disappointment.
Season 1992/93 in contrast to the opening of the previous season was bad. After losing 2-0 at home to Cowdenbeath in September, Ayr were second bottom of the league. He took man of the match in a Cup tie against Rangers in February 1993 despite the expensive inhabitants of the Glasgow team. The season ended with Ayr in 7th position having recorded more draws than any other team in the league at 18.
The following season was the prelude to League re-organisation once again with five teams being relegated meaning a 7th place was essential to escape relegation. A 6-0 defeat at the first match was not what was hoped for and was Ayr’s biggest league defeat since Dundee United won 7-0 in September 1966. More defeats followed and Burley found himself condemning his players for a lack of effort. In December 1993 a Falkirk team, with eventual manager Ian McCall in their side, beat Ayr by 3-0 and the crowds reaction was angry to say the least. This took Ayr down to 8th position.
On 23rd December George Burley was sacked along with Dale Roberts giving Burley 128 matches in charge, winning 43. After being dismissed for adverse results, he played briefly for Falkirk before rejoining Motherwell. Thereafter he managed Colchester United, Ipswich Town and Derby County.