Steve Burton...Mr.Royston Vasey ...

Steve Burton - 1956 - 2002

'Remember the guide...'

Hadfield resident Steve Burton was a leading authority on The League of Gentlemen.
He led conducted tours of the Hadfield locations.
He organised regular Hadfield meet-ups of League of Gentlemen enthusiasts from
the Internet - he was a moderator of the League of Gentlemen mailing list -
and he compiled the quiz questions for these events.

Steve died on 18 September 2002, aged 46.

Steve is shown above (centre) leading a conducted tour from the Masons Arms
and below, hosting the Who Wants To Be A Royston Vasey Millionaire? quiz
in July 2001 with the winner, Patty Friedrichs from Amsterdam.

Funeral tribute

Steve should be here to do this. It needs someone as big and bold and warm and witty and wise as he was - and I’m not.

I have only known Steve for a couple of years or so. We were brought together by a shared enthusiasm for The League of Gentlemen, Royston Vasey and the Masons Arms and found we had a lot more in common - like a certain quizzical way of looking at the world.

I came to feel that we had been friends for a long time and that we were very close - but I suspect that a lot of other people came to feel the same way, sometimes without ever meeting him in the real world - or even the surreal world of Royston Vasey.

Steve was the real Royston Vasey. I think he knew more about the League of Gentlemen than they do about themselves. He followed the local show and their other live appearances around the country, he watched the filming, he conducted visitors around the Hadfield locations with endless patience and enthusiasm, he organised and hosted the meet-ups of enthusiasts and compiled the quizzes, he welcomed everyone to the virtual world of the Internet email groups and presided over their digital discussions with immense warmth and humour and intelligence.

He was astute at recognising people’s strengths and weaknesses and his banter and good-humoured wind-ups helped to hold the groups together through the inevitable spats. He was the first to point out that everyone is local to somewhere and he rightly mocked the BBC and the Gents’ management company for failing to appreciate the value of their asset with as much enthusiasm as we do.

Steve was much loved both locally and globally for the way he was so generous with his time and energy and erudition and compassion. It’s ironic that we are saying goodbye to him so soon after he was recognised by the local council and tourist information centre as the official guide to Royston Vasey. For many of us he was a guide in more ways than one.

He leaves a lot of friends and, as Tara says, a big, baldy Burty-shaped hole in the universe that will be impossible to fill.

Remember the guide.


Tributes from the mailing list

I want to add my goodbye to Steve. I never met him. But I know for a fact that everyone who did loved him. No-one ever had a bad word to say about him (and I mean that - no-one has ever insulted him). He was kind, caring, funny, fun, intelligent, good-humoured, on the ball (and I can tell all that just from the messages he posted on these groups). A completely lovely man, who will be missed by everyone who ever spoke to him, or read one of his messages.


I never met you Steve, I wish I had. We once had words but the measure of a man is how he handles himself and how he turns the situation around. You are that man.


I simply can't express how sad I am to hear this news and how much I'm going to miss him. I feel I've lost a true friend in steve. My hadfield 'dad' and my sparring partner in the ongoing insult war! Hadfield will never be the same without him.

Steve was a genuinly wonderful person who had so much time for people. I could write so much but I feel he'd only tell me off for making too much of a fuss.

Lisa xxx

I'll miss his bear hugs
Lots of love Steve

Shaz x

This is the worst day I have had in a long time. I miss you so much, and I can't believe it's true. It won't be the same without you.


He made everyone he met feel like an old mate from the first moment. It's true that Hadfield just won't be the same without him.


I'm happy that my last morning in Hadfield was spent round Steve's and then having a pint with him in the Masons. I don't think I'll ever be able to go to Hadfield again...

Carys x

I don't think it will really hit me until we have a meet up and he's not there.
Who is going to correct my spelling now? :o(


Thankyou for being such a good friend, thank you for the support you gave me at my time of loss. You have definitely enriched the lives of so many people. And we will miss you more than words can say.


You were always there for me no matter how small or large the problem you would take it on board. Especially last year when my dad was going through something really rough you were my tower of strengh that got me through the whole traumatic experiance.


I don't think anyone will ever forget the first time they met Steve. Way back when we were attending the screenings for series 2 to specially ruin the programme with our cackling laughter, I was waiting outside BBC Broadcasting House expecting to see a couple of people from our then modest little group. I saw this big guy coming towards me as though I should know him, he asked me if I was David, I said yes and he replied "Ahh, you are the one which hates football" referring to a difference in opinion earlier in the week and he gave me THAT disapproving stare. Not that stopped him buying me a drink mind and treating me like a long lost friend mind.

David Balston

God Steve we miss you so much. Can you feel the love...

Tink & John

What will I do without my spar? I'll miss you forever. God Bless,

Liz xxxx

Every time I think of time spent with Steve, I laugh. And that's how I'll remember him. As someone I shared only happy times with.


Steve, You were more than just a of the best. You always looked for the good in people, not a bad bone in your body.


Burty - Hadfield will be weird and empty without you this Autumn; no League of Gentlemen meet-up a wholly carefree and joyous occasion without your cheerfully boisterous presence.

Patty. -xxx-

Steve was one of the most caring and friendly people i have had the pleasure of meeting. I will miss him forever.


I am happy to have met him and am glad that I got to see him on my last visit - it was a fun day and I will treasure the memory of it.


Steve..I'll miss you. You helped me through some really tough times for which I will always be grateful. Words cannot express the loss we all feel. I can't make the funeral but I will be there in spirit. God bless.


We were all shocked and saddened to hear this terrible news. Steve Burton
did an extraordinary amount to widen the appeal of the show both within
Hadfield and beyond. Our thoughts are with all his friends and family at
the dreadful time.

Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith & Jeremy Dyson.


Glossop Courier 27 September 2002

Glossop Chronicle 3 October 2002

Glossop Advertiser 17 October 2002