Generation game works for RL great

Mike Burke has set up a new business with son Michael Burke, right
Mike Burke has set up a new business with son Michael Burke, right
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Working alongside family can be fraught with difficulties - but not for the father and son team from St Helens behind a booming internet firm.

Rugby league great Mick Burke, who played for Widnes and Great Britain during a trophy-laden career, set up Zurleys with son Michael.

And aside from the very occasional inter-generational disagreement, the pair have struck gold.

“I’m old school, I like to do things the old way whereas he comes from a university background,” said Mick, 54.

Zurleys is an online furniture retailer which the Burkes run from St Helens Chamber’s Enterprise Greenhouse on Salisbury Street in St Helens town centre.

Dad Mick handed down his entrepreneurial streak to son Michael having founded and run a series of businesses since calling time on his RL career some 25 years ago.

The pair have now run a number of companies together since Michael graduated from Huddersfield University with a business degree.

The 23-year-old said: “I come from a marketting background and dad has all the sales skills in the world, so it really works.

“It has really taken off, and customers have been really impressed with what we are able to offer.”

Mick, who divides his time between St Helens and Oldham, where he ended his playing career, added: “My philosophy in business has always been to be completely upfront and honest, and that has worked for me.”