Burnley F.C.

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Burnley Football Club (/ˈbɜːrnli/) is an English association football club based in Burnley, Lancashire. Founded on 18 May 1882, it was one of the first to become professional (in 1883), and subsequently put pressure on The Football Association to permit payments to players. The club entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1885–86 and was one of the twelve founder members of the Football League in 1888–89. It competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football.

A shield-shaped crest with a mainly light blue background. The crest features a stork at the top, standing on hills and cotton plants. Further down, a black band including a hand and two bees; a wavy, claret-coloured line, and a lion. "Burnley Football Club" is written at the bottom.
Full nameBurnley Football Club
Nickname(s)The Clarets
Short nameBUR, BFC
Founded18 May 1882; 138 years ago (1882-05-18)
GroundTurf Moor
ChairmanMike Garlick
ManagerSean Dyche
LeaguePremier League
2018–19Premier League, 15th of 20
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Burnley have been champions of England twice, in 1920–21 and 1959–60, have won the FA Cup once, in 1913–14, and have won the FA Charity Shield twice, in 1960 and 1973. They have been runners-up in the First Division twice, in 1919–20 and 1961–62, and FA Cup runners-up twice, in 1946–47 and 1961–62. The team also reached the quarter-finals of the 1960–61 European Cup. Burnley are one of only five sides to have won all four professional divisions of English football, along with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Preston North End, Sheffield United and Portsmouth.

The team have played home games at Turf Moor since February 1883, after they had moved from their original premises at Calder Vale. The club colours of claret and blue were adopted before the 1910–11 season in tribute to the then Football League champions, Aston Villa; they are today nicknamed "the Clarets", because of the dominant colour of the home shirts. Burnley's current emblem is based on the town's coat of arms. The team have a long-standing rivalry with nearby club Blackburn Rovers, with whom they contest the East Lancashire Derby.


Early beginnings and glory either side of the First World War (1882–1946)Edit

One of the earliest photographed Burnley sides, with the Lancashire Cup in the middle of the photo

The club was founded on 18 May 1882 by members of Burnley Rovers Rugby Club, who voted for a shift from rugby union to association football, as more income could be generated by playing the latter code.[1] The suffix "Rovers" was dropped a short time later.[2] The team played their first-ever match on 10 August against local side Burnley Wanderers at home ground Calder Vale and won 4–0.[3] In February 1883, the club was invited by Burnley Cricket Club to move to a pitch adjacent to the cricket field at Turf Moor.[4] That same year saw them win their first silverware, the Dr Dean Trophy, after winning a knockout competition between amateur clubs in the Burnley area.[5]

By the end of 1883, the club turned professional and signed many Scottish players, who were regarded as the best footballers.[6] As a result, Burnley refused to join The Football Association (FA) and its FA Cup, since the association refused to allow professional players.[7] In 1884, they led a group of 35 other clubs in the formation of the breakaway British Football Association to challenge the supremacy of the FA.[7][8] This threat of secession led to an FA rule change in July 1885 allowing professionals, which made the new body redundant.[8]

Burnley made their first appearance in the FA Cup in 1885–86; however, most professionals were prohibited entry due to FA rules that year,[a] so their reserve side were fielded and lost 11–0 to Darwen Old Wanderers.[10] In October 1886, Turf Moor became the first professional ground to be visited by a member of the Royal Family, when Prince Albert Victor attended a match between Burnley and Bolton Wanderers.[5][11] The club was among the twelve founders of the Football League in 1888–89 and one of the six based in Lancashire.[12] Burnley's William Tait became the first player to score a hat-trick in league football in the second match.[13] In 1889–90, they won their first Lancashire Cup, after local rivals Blackburn Rovers were beaten in the final.[14] Nicknames at this point were "Turfites", "Moorites" or "Royalites", as a result of their ground's name and the royal connection.[15]

The FA Cup trophy is presented to Burnley captain Tommy Boyle by King George V in 1914

Burnley were relegated to the Second Division for the first time in 1896–97.[16] The team won the division the next season; only two of 30 matches were lost before promotion was gained through a series of test matches.[17] They were relegated again in 1899–1900 and found themselves at the centre of controversy when their goalkeeper, Jack Hillman, attempted to bribe opponents Nottingham Forest in the last match of the season. It was the earliest recorded case of match fixing in football.[18] The side continued to play in the Second Division and even finished in bottom place in 1902–03 (but were re-elected).[19] Harry Windle was elected chairman in 1909, after which the club's finances turned around.[20] He appointed manager John Haworth in 1910,[21] who changed the club's colours from green to the claret and blue of Aston Villa, the then Football League champions, as Haworth and the Burnley committee believed it might bring a change of fortune.[22] In 1912–13, they won promotion to the First Division and reached the FA Cup semi-final. Burnley won their first major honour the following year, after Liverpool were defeated in the FA Cup Final.[23]

Team photograph of the Championship-winning side of the 1920–21 season

The team finished second to West Bromwich Albion in 1919–20,[24] before winning their first ever First Division championship in 1920–21.[25] Burnley lost the opening three games, but went unbeaten in the following 30 league matches, a then English record.[26][27] Haworth's death in 1924 was followed by a steady deterioration of their position, which culminated in demotion in 1929–30.[28] They struggled in the second tier and narrowly avoided a further relegation in 1931–32 by two points.[29][30] The years through to the outbreak of the Second World War were characterised by uninspiring league finishes.[29]

Golden, progressive era under Bob Lord, Alan Brown and Harry Potts (1946–1976)Edit

In the first season of post-war league football, Burnley gained promotion through second place and reached the FA Cup Final but were defeated by Charlton Athletic after extra time.[31] The team's defence was nicknamed "The Iron Curtain", since they only conceded 29 goals in 42 league matches.[32] Burnley finished third in their first season back in the top flight as they began to assemble a squad capable of regularly aiming for honours.[33][34]

Alan Brown was appointed manager in 1954,[35] and Bob Lord chairman a year later.[36] The club became one of the most progressive around under their tenures.[37][38] Burnley were one of the first to build a purpose-built training centre (Gawthorpe),[36][39] and they became renowned for their youth policy and scouting system, which yielded many young players over the years.[40] Brown also introduced short corners and free kick routines.[41][42] In 1958, former Burnley player Harry Potts was appointed manager.[43] His team mainly revolved around the duo of captain Jimmy Adamson and playmaker Jimmy McIlroy.[44] Potts often employed the then unfashionable, 4–4–2 formation and he introduced Total Football to English football.[36][43]

Burnley clinched a second First Division title in 1959–60. They had not topped the table until the last match was played out.[45] The squad cost only £13,000 (equivalent to £300,000 in 2020)[b] in transfer fees—£8,000 on McIlroy in 1950 and £5,000 on left-back Alex Elder in 1959.[46] The other players all came from their youth academy.[47] With 80,000 inhabitants, the town of Burnley became the smallest to have an English first tier champion.[48] After the season finished, they travelled to the United States to participate in the International Soccer League, the inaugural international football tournament in North America.[49]

The following season, Burnley played in European competition for the first time in the European Cup. They defeated former finalists Stade de Reims in the first round but went out against Hamburger SV in the quarter-finals.[50] The team finished the 1961–62 season as runners-up (after winning only two of the last thirteen league matches) to newly promoted Ipswich Town, and had a run to the FA Cup Final but lost against Tottenham Hotspur.[51] Adamson was named FWA Footballer of the Year, with McIlroy as runner-up.[52]

Nonetheless, although far from a two-man team, the controversial departure of McIlroy to Stoke City (1963) and Adamson's retirement (1964) coincided with a decline in fortunes.[53] Even more damaging was the impact of the abolition of the maximum wage in 1961, which meant clubs from small towns, like Burnley, could no longer compete financially with sides from bigger towns and cities.[36][54] The team managed, however, to retain a First Division place throughout the decade, and even finished third in 1965–66 to qualify for the 1966–67 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.[16]

Potts was replaced by Adamson as manager in 1970 after a 12-year spell,[55] but he was unable to halt the slide as relegation followed in 1970–71.[56] Burnley won the Second Division title in 1972–73,[57] and were invited to play in the 1973 FA Charity Shield as a result, where they emerged as winners against Manchester City.[58] In 1975, the team were victims of one of the great FA Cup shocks of all time when Wimbledon, then in the Southern League, won 1–0 at Turf Moor.[59] Adamson left the club in January 1976, and relegation from the First Division followed later that year.[60][61] In ensuing seasons, a decline in home attendances combined with an enlarged debt forced Burnley to sell their best players, which caused a rapid fall through the divisions.[62]

Near oblivion and recovery (1976–2009)Edit

Graph showing Burnley's performance from the inaugural season of the Football League in 1888–89 to the present

The team were relegated to the Third Division for the first time in 1979–80.[16] Under the management of former Burnley player Brian Miller,[63] they returned to the second tier as champions in 1981–82.[64] However, this return was short-lived and lasted only one year.[65] Managerial changes continued to be made in a search for success; Miller was replaced by Frank Casper in early 1983, he by John Bond before the 1983–84 season and Bond himself by John Benson a season later.[66] The unpopular Bond was the first manager since Frank Hill (1948–1954) without a previous playing career at the club. He was criticised for signing expensive players increasing Burnley's debt, and for selling young talents Lee Dixon, Brian Laws and Trevor Steven.[67] Benson was in charge when Burnley were relegated to the Fourth Division for the first time at the end of the 1984–85 season.[16]

The team avoided relegation to the Football Conference on the last day in 1986–87, after they won against Orient and their rivals drew or lost.[68] The board had attempted to purchase almost bankrupt Welsh club Cardiff City and relocate it to Turf Moor, if they were relegated, in what would have been the Football League's first franchise operation.[69]

Wade Elliott's goal earned Burnley a 1–0 victory over Sheffield United in the 2009 Championship play-off Final.

In 1988, Burnley played Wolverhampton Wanderers in the final of the Associate Members' Cup, but lost 2–0. The match was attended by 80,000 people, a record for a match between two sides from the fourth tier.[70] The team won the Fourth Division in 1991–92 under manager Jimmy Mullen. He had succeeded Frank Casper in October 1991 and won his first nine league matches as manager.[71] Furthermore, the Clarets became only the second club to win all four professional divisions of English football, after the Wolves.[72] In 1993–94, Burnley won the Second Division play-offs and gained promotion to the second tier.[73] Relegation followed after one season,[74] and in 1997–98 only a last day victory over Plymouth Argyle ensured a narrow escape from relegation back into the fourth tier.[75] Chris Waddle was player-manager that season with his assistant Glenn Roeder,[76] but their departures and the appointment of Stan Ternent that summer saw the club start to make further progress.[77] In 1999–2000, they finished second and were promoted to the second tier.[78]

Burnley immediately made an impact. During the 2000–01 and 2001–02 seasons, they emerged as serious contenders for a promotion play-off place.[16] In early 2002, financial problems caused by the collapse of ITV Digital brought the club close to administration again.[79][80] Ternent was sacked in 2004, after he narrowly avoided relegation with a squad composed of many loanees and some players who were not entirely fit.[81][82] Steve Cotterill was then appointed as manager but was replaced in November 2007 by Owen Coyle.[83][84] The 2008–09 season, Coyle's first full season in charge, ended with promotion to the Premier League. Sheffield United were defeated in the Championship play-off Final, which meant a return to the top flight after 33 years.[85] Furthermore, Burnley reached the semi-final of the League Cup for the first time in over 25 years but were beaten on aggregate by Tottenham in the last minutes of the second leg.[86][87]

Premier League promotions, relegations and back in Europe (2009–present)Edit

Manager Sean Dyche has guided Burnley to two promotions to the Premier League.

Promotion made the town of Burnley the smallest to host a Premier League club since the rebranding of the league divisions in 1992.[88][89] The team started the season well and became the first newly promoted team in the Premier League to win their first four league home games.[90] However, Coyle left the club in January 2010 to manage local rivals Bolton Wanderers.[91] He was replaced by Brian Laws, but the team's form plummeted and they were relegated after a single season.[92] Laws was dismissed in December 2010 and replaced by Eddie Howe,[93] who was succeeded by Sean Dyche in October 2012.[94]

In his first full season in charge, Dyche guided Burnley back to the Premier League in 2013–14 on a tight budget and with a small squad.[95] The team went down after one season but won the Championship title on their return in 2015–16, when they equaled their 2013–14 club record of 93 points, and ended the season with a run of 23 league games undefeated.[96][97] The side stayed up this time; the 2016–17 season ended with them in 16th place.[98] Burnley finished seventh in 2017–18 to qualify for the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League,[99] in which they were eliminated in the play-off round by Greek club Olympiacos.[100]


First-team squadEdit

As of 29 June 2020[101]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1   GK Nick Pope
2   DF Matthew Lowton
3   DF Charlie Taylor
4   MF Jack Cork
5   DF James Tarkowski
6   DF Ben Mee (captain)
7   MF Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson
8   MF Josh Brownhill
9   FW Chris Wood
10   FW Ashley Barnes
11   MF Dwight McNeil
12   MF Robbie Brady
14   DF Ben Gibson
No. Position Player
15   GK Bailey Peacock-Farrell
18   MF Ashley Westwood
19   FW Jay Rodriguez
23   DF Erik Pieters
26   DF Phil Bardsley
27   FW Matěj Vydra
28   DF Kevin Long
33   FW Max Thompson
34   DF Jimmy Dunne
37   DF Bobby Thomas
40   GK Lukas Jensen
42   DF Ali Koiki
44   MF Mace Goodridge

Out on loanEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
41   MF Aiden O'Neill (at Brisbane Roar)

Under-23s and AcademyEdit


Football managementEdit

Position Name
Manager   Sean Dyche
Assistant manager   Ian Woan
First team coach   Tony Loughlan
Goalkeeping coach   Billy Mercer
Head physiotherapist   Alasdair Beattie
Head of sports science   Mark Howard


Board of directorsEdit

Position Name
Chairman Michael Garlick
Vice-chairman Barry Kilby
Chief executive Neil Hart
Members Clive Holt
John Banaskiewicz
Brian Nelson
Terry Crabb
Brendan Flood



Burnley is one of the few British-owned clubs in the Premier League.[103] Every director at the club is locally born or based and receives no wages. As of 2019–20, Burnley is debt-free.[104] Chairman Mike Garlick holds 49.24% of outstanding shares of the club and board member John Banaszkiewicz another 28.2%. Between them, the other five members of the board hold a total of 16.36%. The total holding of shares by all board members amounts to 93.8%.[102]


The following have been chairman of the club's board of directors:[105]

Period Name
1882–83 Albert Jobling
1883–1885 John Rawcliffe
1885–1887 John Bradley
1887–1896 Wyatt Granger
1896–1899 Charles Sutcliffe
1899–1909 Edwin Whitehead
1909–1930 Harry Windle
1930–1932 William Bracewell
1932–1934 Edward Tate
1934–1948 Tom Clegg
1948–1952 Ernest Kay
1952–1955 Wilfred Hopkinson
1955–1981 Bob Lord
1981–1985 John Jackson
1985–1998 Frank Teasdale
1998–2012 Barry Kilby
2012–2015 John Banaszkiewicz
Mike Garlick[106]
2015– Mike Garlick[107]

Notable players and managersEdit


Tommy Boyle was chosen as one of the "Clarets' legends" by the club's supporters in 2017.

Burnley have been represented by numerous high-profile players over the years, most notably Jimmy McIlroy and Jimmy Adamson. Adamson won the FWA Footballer of the Year award in 1962, the first and to date only time a Clarets player achieved this.[108] Four years later, youth graduate Willie Irvine became the First Division top goal scorer, also a unique feat in the club's history.[109] Welshman Leighton James is the only Burnley player to have been included in the PFA Team of the Year whilst in the first tier, when he was selected as a member of the 1974–75 squad.[110] In total, 29 players have won full England caps during their time with the Clarets; Bob Kelly won the most caps (11) and scored the most goals (six).[111][112]

The English Football Hall of Fame contains five former Burnley players: Tommy Lawton, Jimmy McIlroy, Mike Summerbee, Ian Wright and Paul Gascoigne.[113] The latter three had relatively short spells at the club, however, and were at the end of their playing careers.[114] Two of these five players, Lawton and McIlroy, also featured in a list entitled "The Football League 100 Legends", as Burnley's only representatives.[115] The list was released by the Football League in 1998 to celebrate the 100th season of league football. McIlroy was voted as the club's PFA Fans' Favourite in 2007.[116]

In 2017, pictures of 31 "Clarets' legends" from different eras in its history were hung beside the turnstiles of Turf Moor.[117] The players were picked by the fans via an online vote. It was a cooperation between the club and members of the Burnley supporters' clubs, to "improve the appearance of the ground and provide a vivid history of some of the greatest players to wear a claret and blue shirt".[117] The Clarets' first international, John Yates, was omitted as no suitable image of him could be found. He was replaced by George Halley. Including Yates, the following 32 players were picked:[118][119]

Player of the Year AwardEdit

Wade Elliott (2012 photograph) won the award in 2007 and 2008

The following have been voted Player of the Year by the club's supporters:

Season Name Nationality Position Ref.
2002–03 Gareth Taylor   Wales Forward [120]
2003–04 Robbie Blake   England Forward [121]
2004–05 John McGreal   England Defender [122]
2005–06 Jon Harley   England Defender [123]
2006–07 Wade Elliott   England Midfielder [124]
2007–08 Wade Elliott   England Midfielder [124]
2008–09 Robbie Blake   England Forward [125]
2009–10 Graham Alexander   Scotland Midfielder [126]
2010–11 Jay Rodriguez   England Forward [127]
2011–12 Kieran Trippier   England Defender [128]
2012–13 Lee Grant   England Goalkeeper [129]
2013–14 Sam Vokes   Wales Forward [130]
2014–15 George Boyd   Scotland Midfielder [131]
2015–16 Joey Barton   England Midfielder [132]
2016–17 Tom Heaton   England Goalkeeper [133]
2017–18 Nick Pope   England Goalkeeper [134]
2018–19 Ashley Westwood   England Midfielder [135]


The following table contains the managers who have all won at least one (major or minor) trophy when in charge of Burnley:[85][97][136]

Name Nationality From To Played Won Drew Lost Win%[c] Honours
Harry Bradshaw   England August 1894 June 1899 164 65 37 62 039.63 Second Division champions: 1897–98
John Haworth   England July 1910 December 1924 464 203 106 155 043.75 FA Cup winners: 1913–14
First Division champions: 1920–21
Harry Potts   England February 1958 February 1970 605 272 141 192 044.96 First Division champions: 1959–60
FA Charity Shield winners (shared): 1960
Jimmy Adamson   England February 1970 January 1976 272 104 74 94 038.24 Second Division champions: 1972–73
FA Charity Shield winners: 1973
Harry Potts (2)   England February 1977 October 1979 123 42 32 49 034.15 Anglo–Scottish Cup winners: 1978–79
Brian Miller   England October 1979 January 1983 166 57 50 59 034.34 Third Division champions: 1981–82
Jimmy Mullen   England October 1991 February 1996 249 97 67 85 038.96 Fourth Division champions: 1991–92
Second Division play–off winners: 1993–94
Owen Coyle   Ireland November 2007 January 2010 116 49 29 38 042.24 Championship play–off winners: 2008–09
Sean Dyche   England October 2012 344 131 93 120 038.08 Championship champions: 2015–16

Club identityEdit

Kits and coloursEdit

Burnley's strip in the inaugural season of the Football League (1888–89). Note that the actual kit had long sleeves.

In the early years, Burnley used various kit designs and colours. Throughout the first nine years these were various permutations of blue and white, the colours of the club's forerunners Burnley Rovers Rugby Club.[137] After two years of claret and amber stripes with black shorts, for much of the 1890s a combination of black with yellow stripes was used, although the team wore a shirt with pink and white stripes during the 1894–95 season. Between 1897 and 1900, the club used a plain red shirt and from 1900 until 1910 it changed to an all green shirt with white shorts.[137] In 1910, Burnley changed their colours to claret and sky blue, which they now have had for the majority of their history, save for a spell in white shirts and black shorts during the 1930s.[138] The adoption of the claret and sky blue colour combination was an homage to league champions Aston Villa, who wore those colours. The club's committee and manager John Haworth believed it might bring a change of fortune.[22] Burnley's away kit for the 2006–07 season, a yellow shirt with claret bar, yellow shorts and yellow socks, won the "Best Kit Design" award at the Football League Awards.[139]

Kit suppliers and shirt sponsorsEdit

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor (chest) Shirt sponsor (sleeve)
1975–1981 Umbro
1981–82 Spall
1982–83 POCO
1983–84 TSB
1984–1987 Multipart
1987–88 En-s
1988–89 Spall Endsleigh
1989–1991 Ellgren
1991–1993 Ribero
1993–1996 Mitre
1996–1998 Adidas
1998–99 P3 Computers
1999–2000 Super League
2001–02 Lanway
2002–2004 TFG Sports
2004–05 Hunters
2005–2007 Erreà
2007–2009 Holland's
2009–10 Cooke
2010–2012 Puma Fun88
2012–2014 Premier Range
2014–15 Fun88
2015–16 Oak Furniture Land (home)
SofaStore.com (away)[140]
2016–17 Dafabet
2017–18 Golf Clash[141]
2018–19 LaBa360 AstroPay[142]
2019–present Umbro LoveBet[143]



The Royal Arms was Burnley's first recorded crest.

The Clarets' first recorded use of a crest was in December 1887, when they wore the Royal Arms on the shirt.[138] Prince Albert Victor had visited Turf Moor in October 1886 when Burnley played Bolton Wanderers—the first visit to a professional football ground by a member of the Royal Family.[11] To commemorate the visit, the club received a set of white jerseys featured with a blue sash and embellished with the Royal coat of arms.[138] The team regularly wore the Royal crest until 1895, when it disappeared from the shirts.[144] When they played the 1914 FA Cup Final, watched by King George V, the Royal Arms featured once again on the kits.[145]

From 1914, the team played in unadorned shirts, although the coat of arms of Burnley was worn in the FA Cup semi-final in 1935 and the 1947 FA Cup Final.[138][146] Burnley won the First Division for a second time in 1960, and were allowed to wear the town's crest on their shirts for an indefinite period as a result.[138] The town's coat of arms was worn until 1969, when it was replaced with the vertical monogram "BFC". In 1975, the initials were placed horizontally and were lettered with gold. The club used a newly designed badge from 1979, before it returned to the horizontal version of the "BFC" monogram in 1983, which was lettered in white this time. In 1987, Burnley returned to the crest used from 1979 to 1983.[138]

Burnley's coat of arms formed the foundation for the club's current crest.

The most recent major change came in 2009. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1959–60 First Division title win, Burnley decided to return to the crest used from 1960 to 1969.[138] The following season, the Latin motto Pretiumque et Causa Laboris (English: "The prize and the cause of [our] labour") was replaced with the inscription "Burnley Football Club".[138][147]

The club's current badge is based on the town's coat of arms.[148] The stork at the top of the crest refers to the Starkie family, who were prominent in the rural Burnley area. In its mouth it holds the Lacy knot, the badge of the de Lacy family, who held Burnley and Blackburnshire in medieval times. The stork stands on a hill (the Pennines) and cotton plants—which represents the cotton making heritage of the town. In the black band, the hand represents Burnley's motto, "Hold to the Truth", derived from the Towneley family. The two bees refer to the town's "busy ambience" and the saying "as busy as a bee" but also allude to the demolished Bee Hole End at Turf Moor. Beneath the wavy, claret-coloured line is a reference to the River Brun, which runs through the settlement. The lion represents royalty, as the club was visited by Prince Albert Victor in 1886.[148]


The James Hargreaves Stand pictured before kick-off in 2001

The team have played their home games since February 1883 at Turf Moor, which replaced their original premises at Calder Vale.[149] The Turf Moor site was first used for sport in 1833, when Burnley Cricket Club was established.[4] In February 1883, they invited Burnley Football Club to move to a pitch adjacent to the cricket field.[4] Both clubs have remained there since, and only Lancashire rivals Preston North End have continuously occupied the same stadium (Deepdale) for longer.[150]

The ground originally consisted of just a pitch and the first grandstand was not built until 1885.[4] In 1888, the first league match at Turf Moor was an encounter against Bolton Wanderers. Burnley emerged as 4–1 winners, and Fred Poland netted the first league goal at the stadium.[151] At the time of the First World War, Turf Moor's capacity was increased from 20,000 to 50,000 under chairman Harry Windle, partly funded by the club's 1914 FA Cup win.[152] The ground hosted its only FA Cup semi-final in 1922, between Huddersfield Town and Notts County, and five years later it hosted its only senior international match, between England and Wales for the British Home Championship.[153] From the end of the Second World War until the mid-1960s, crowds in the stadium averaged in the 20,000–35,000 range, and Burnley averaged a club-record attendance of 33,621 in the First Division in 1947–48.[154] The record attendance for a single match was already set in 1924 against Huddersfield Town in a third round FA Cup tie, when 54,755 spectators attended.[155] In 1960, in a fifth round FA Cup replay against Bradford City, there was an official reported attendance of 52,850. Some of the gates were broken down, however, and many uncounted fans poured into the ground. Many supporters were also locked out, and the road from Bradford over the Moss at Colne had to be closed to traffic.[156]

The stadium consists of four stands; the James Hargreaves Stand (formerly the Longside), the Jimmy McIlroy Stand (formerly the Bee Hole End), the Bob Lord Stand, and the Cricket Field Stand for home and away fans.[149][157] The current capacity is 21,944 all-seated.[158] Turf Moor's field had a slight slope until 1974, when the pitch was raised and a new drainage system was installed to remove it.[149] During the mid-1990s, the ground underwent further refurbishment when the Longside and Bee Hole End terraces were replaced by all-seater stands as a result of the Taylor Report, which reduced its capacity.[159]

Supporters and rivalriesEdit


Burnley fans at a Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in 2017

Burnley's supporters are traditionally drawn from East Lancashire and West Yorkshire.[160] Furthermore, the club is one of the best supported sides in English football per head of population,[161] with average attendances of 20,000 in the Premier League in a town of approximately 73,000 inhabitants.[162][163] When the team won the 1959–60 First Division, the fan-ratio was almost three times the top flight average, as Turf Moor had an average home attendance of 26,869 and the town counted about 80,000 residents; a ratio of about 34 per cent.[164] Besides a loyal, local fan base,[165] it also has numerous supporters' clubs across the United Kingdom,[166] and overseas, with supporters' clubs in Australia, Finland, Mauritius, Poland, Thailand, and the United States among others.[167] The club's supporters have had a long-standing supporters' friendship with Dutch team Helmond Sport since 1995. Burnley and Helmond have a small following who regularly make an overseas journey to visit each other's matches.[168] A frequently sung chant since the early 1970s is "No Nay Never", an adaptation of the traditional song "Wild Rover", which has lyrics to offend main rivals Blackburn Rovers.[169]

In the early 1980s, a hooligan firm known as the Suicide Squad emerged from within Burnley's fanbase.[170] The local police and the club jointly established "Operation Fixture" in 2002, a scheme which aimed to tackle hooliganism in and around Turf Moor, with more bans, more arrests and quicker convictions.[171] The group also featured in the 2006 television documentary series The Real Football Factories presented by Danny Dyer.[172] Twelve members were sentenced to jail for a total of 32 years in 2011, after a high-profile incident with supporters of Blackburn Rovers in 2009.[173] The firm disbanded after the verdict.[174]

In 2019, Clarets fan Scott Cunliffe was honoured by the UEFA with the #EqualGame Award "for his work as role model highlighting diversity, inclusion and accessibility in football".[175] During the 2018–19 campaign he ran to every single away match, as he covered more than 3,000 miles.[176] It was labelled the "RunAway Challenge" and he raised more than £50,000 for Premier League clubs' community trusts and local charities in Burnley.[177] Notable fans over the years have included football pioneer Jimmy Hogan, who was a regular attendee at Turf Moor,[178] journalist Alastair Campbell, who has been regularly involved in events with the club,[179] and cricketer James Anderson, who also worked in Burnley's ticket office on a part-time basis.[180]

A popular drink served at home matches since the First World War is "Béné & Hot"—the French liqueur Bénédictine topped up with hot water.[181] This is as a result of Great War soldiers of the East Lancashire Regiment who acquired a taste for the drink while stationed in France. The soldiers drank it with hot water to keep warm in the trenches, and the surviving soldiers later returned to the East Lancashire area with the liqueur.[181] In excess of 30 bottles are sold at each home game, which makes the club one of the world's biggest sellers of the liqueur; Turf Moor is the only British football ground to sell it.[181]


Burnley's main rivals are Blackburn Rovers, with whom they contest the East Lancashire Derby, named after the region both clubs hail from. Games between these sides from former mill towns are also known under the name "Cotton Mills derby", although not as common.[182][183] Both are founder members of the Football League and have won the First Division and the FA Cup.[182][184] The two clubs are separated by only 14 miles (23 km) and besides the geographical proximity,[183] they also have a long-standing history of fierce rivalry; the first competitive clash was a Football League match in 1888.[185] Four years earlier, however, they had met for the first time in a friendly, with considerable pride at stake.[186][187] Burnley hold the slightly better head-to-head record, as the Clarets have won 49 games to Blackburn's 45, pre-league matches included.[185][186] The team's closest geographic rival are actually Accrington Stanley, but as they have never competed at the same level (although defunct club Accrington did), there is no significant rivalry between both.[188]

Other rivalries exist with local clubs Blackpool, Bolton Wanderers and Preston North End.[189] They have regularly played them in the league and cup competitions and the encounter between Burnley and Preston is, as of 2019–20, the most frequently played match in both club's histories.[190][191] When in the same tier, Burnley stage a Roses rivalry with nearby West Yorkshire sides Bradford City and Leeds United.[192][193] The Clarets also contested heated matches with Halifax Town, Plymouth Argyle, Rochdale and Stockport County in the 1990s, when they played in the lower leagues, although feelings of animosity were mainly one-sided.[189]

Honours and achievementsEdit

Burnley are one of only five teams (and were the second) to have won all four professional divisions of English football, along with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Preston North End, Sheffield United and Portsmouth.[72] The club's honours include the following:[16][194]


First Division (Tier 1)[d]

Second Division/Championship (Tier 2)

Third Division/Second Division (Tier 3)

Fourth Division (Tier 4)


FA Cup

FA Charity Shield[58]

Texaco Cup[197]

Anglo-Scottish Cup

Associate Members' Cup


Lancashire Cup (nowadays for reserve teams)[198]

  • Winners (12): 1889–90, 1914–15, 1949–50, 1951–52, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1964–65, 1965–66, 1969–70, 1971–72, 1992–93


Jerry Dawson holds the record for most Burnley appearances, with 569.

The record for the most appearances in all competitions for Burnley is held by goalkeeper and one-club man Jerry Dawson, who made 569 first team appearances between 1907 and 1928.[199] The club's top goal scorer is George Beel, who scored 188 goals from 1923 to 1932.[200] He also holds the record for the most league goals scored in a season, 35, in the 1927–28 First Division season.[29] Jimmy Robson and Willie Irvine have both scored the most goals (37) in competitive matches in a single season. In 1960–61, Robson scored 25 goals in the First Division, five in the FA Cup, four in the League Cup, and three in the European Cup.[201] Irvine scored 29 goals in the First Division, five in the FA Cup, and three in the League Cup in 1965–66.[202] Jimmy McIlroy is the most capped player whilst at the club, as he made 51 appearances for Northern Ireland between 1951 and 1962.[111] The first Burnley player to play in an international match was John Yates, who took to the field for England against Ireland in March 1889. He scored a hat-trick, but despite this, he was never called up again.[203]

The club's largest win in league football was a 9–0 victory over Darwen in the First Division in 1891–92.[204] Burnley's largest victories in the FA Cup have been 9–0 wins over Crystal Palace (1908–09), New Brighton (1956–57) and Penrith (1984–85).[204] The largest defeat is an 11–0 loss to Darwen Old Wanderers in the FA Cup first round in the 1885–86 season, when Burnley fielded their reserve side, as most professionals were prohibited entry due to rules of the FA that year.[10]

The club's record home attendance is 54,775 for a third round FA Cup match against Huddersfield Town in February 1924.[155] Burnley averaged a club-record attendance of 33,621 in the 1947–48 First Division season.[154] The team's longest unbeaten run in the league was between 6 September 1920 and 25 March 1921, to which they remained unbeaten for 30 games on their way to the First Division title. It stood as the longest stretch without defeat in a single English professional league season until Arsenal bettered it in 2003–04.[27]

The highest transfer fee received is £25 million, from Everton for defender Michael Keane in 2017,[205] while the highest transfer fee paid by the club was both for forward Chris Wood from Leeds United in 2017 and for defender Ben Gibson from Middlesbrough in 2018. The pair were reported to be bought for a fee of £15 million each.[206] Forward Bob Kelly broke the world transfer record in 1925, when he moved from Burnley to Sunderland for £6,550 — equivalent to £380,000 in 2020.[207][b]

In media and popular cultureEdit

A number of films and television programmes have included references to Burnley over the past few decades. The club's supporters briefly appear in the 1965 Beatles feature film Help!, where footage of a crowd scene from the 1962 FA Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur is used.[208] The music video of the single "Kicker Conspiracy" from post-punk band The Fall was shot at Turf Moor in 1983.[209] Scottish actor Colin Buchanan occasionally wore a Burnley shirt on the comedy drama series All Quiet on the Preston Front.[210] Clarets fan Richard Moore, who had a role in the soap opera Emmerdale from 2002 to 2005, regularly sneaked his Burnley paraphernalia on set. His scarf made regular appearances on the series.[211]

The club's mascot, "Bertie Bee", became nationwide known for a rugby tackle on a streaker during a home match against local rivals Preston North End in 2002, and appeared on the BBC Sport Relief programme They Think It's All A Question of Sport after the event.[212][213]

Burnley is referenced in The Inbetweeners Movie from 2011. The main characters share a bus with a group of noisy Clarets fans, much to the distaste of one of them, who stated in the scene that he dislikes the club.[214] In 2012, its home strip was worn by actress Elle Mulvaney in an episode of the series Coronation Street, after Burnley received a request from the producers to provide a kit.[215]

When the BBC highlights programme Match of the Day began in 1964, chairman Bob Lord banned the BBC cameras at Turf Moor, and maintained the ban for five years. He argued that live coverage would "damage and undermine attendances".[216]

See alsoEdit

  • UCFB — higher education institution which has its origins at Turf Moor.


  1. ^ Professionals could only play in the FA Cup and County FA competitions, if they had been born, or had resided for a minimum of two years, within six miles of their club's ground.[9]
  2. ^ a b UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  3. ^ Win% is rounded to two decimal places
  4. ^ Upon its formation in 1992, the Premier League became the top tier of English football; the Football League First and Second Divisions then became the second and third tiers, respectively.[195] From 2004, the First Division became the Championship and the Second Division became League One.[196]



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  • Quelch, Tim (2015). Never Had It So Good: Burnley's Incredible 1959/60 League Title Triumph. Pitch Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1909626546.
  • Quelch, Tim (2017). From Orient to the Emirates: The Plucky Rise of Burnley FC. Pitch Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1785313127.
  • Simpson, Ray (2007). The Clarets Chronicles: The Definitive History of Burnley Football Club 1882–2007. Burnley Football Club. ISBN 978-0955746802.
  • Smith, Mike (2014). The Road to Glory: Burnley's FA Cup Triumph in 1914. Grosvenor House Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-1781486900.
  • Wiseman, David (2009). The Burnley FC Miscellany. DB Publishing. ISBN 978-1859837177.

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