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Craig William Burley (born 24 September 1971) is a Scottish television pundit and former professional footballer who played as a midfielder from 1989 until 2004. He is currently a commentator for ESPN.

Craig Burley
Personal information
Full name Craig William Burley[1]
Date of birth (1971-09-24) 24 September 1971 (age 47)
Place of birth Cumnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1997 Chelsea 113 (7)
1997–1999 Celtic 64 (20)
1999–2003 Derby County 73 (10)
2003 Dundee 2 (0)
2004 Preston North End 4 (0)
2004 Walsall 5 (0)
Total 261 (37)
National team
1992–1993 Scotland U21[2] 7 (0)
1995–2003 Scotland 46 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He played in the Premier League for Chelsea and Derby County and in the Scottish Premier League for Celtic. He also played for Dundee and finished his career in the Football League with Preston North End and Walsall. He earned 46 caps for Scotland, scoring 3 goals.


Club careerEdit

Burley began his professional career with Chelsea in 1989, however he didn't make his debut until April 1991 when he came on as a substitute for Kerry Dixon in a 7–0 defeat against Nottingham Forest.[3] He made his first appearance in the newly formed Premier League on 5 December 1992 in a 2–1 away win at Tottenham Hotspur.

He went on to become a regular under Glenn Hoddle and played in the 1994 FA Cup Final against Manchester United, picking up a runners-up medal following a 4–0 defeat. Two years later, Chelsea got to the FA Cup semi finals where they again faced Manchester United. With the score level at 1–1, Burley hit an errant back pass to set up David Beckham for what proved to be the winning goal.[4] Chelsea won the 1996–97 FA Cup; Burley was left out of the squad for the final but played in the semi-final against Wimbledon.[5] He was sold by Ruud Gullit on 25 July 1997 to Celtic for £2.5 million.

He made his Celtic debut on 3 August 1997 against Hibernian, and went on to make 64 appearances scoring 20 goals before transferring back to England with Derby County on 1 December 1999 for £3 million.[6] He played in four seasons for The Rams and suffered his first career relegation when the club lost their Premier League status at the end of the 2001–02 season.

On 12 September 2003 he signed with Dundee on a free transfer but only played twice in a two-month spell before being released and eventually signing for Preston North End in January 2004. By March he was a free agent again after only making four appearances for North End. He signed with Walsall on a free transfer for the remainder of the 2003–04 season and played five times before retiring at the end of the season.

International careerEdit

Burley played for Scotland at UEFA Euro 1996 and in the 1998 World Cup in France. At France '98 he scored the Scotland goal in a 1–1 draw with Norway in Bordeaux, latching on to a ball played forward by defender David Weir.[7] He was then sent off in the final group game against Morocco as Scotland were eliminated.[8]

Burley continued to play under Craig Brown until the end of the unsuccessful 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign,[9] captaining the side in what proved to be his penultimate appearance. After suffering injury problems, Burley won a Scotland recall against Austria in 2003 under new manager Berti Vogts but then announced his international retirement.[9]

Post-football careerEdit

Focused on business and property interests. Failed restaurant owner, Sanctuary, in Nottingham, 2005-2007.[10]

Media careerEdit

Burley previously worked as a pundit and commentator for ESPN UK,[11] Absolute Radio, BT Sport and BBC Radio 5 Live. He is currently a pundit on the programme ESPN FC.

Personal lifeEdit

He is the nephew of former Scotland manager George Burley.[12]

Burley married Sheryl (born 1971). They have three children. He moved to the US in 2013 to work for ESPN. Lives in Connecticut.[13]


Career statisticsEdit

International appearancesEdit

Scotland national team[14]
Year Apps Goals
1995 5 0
1996 10 0
1997 8 0
1998 6 3
1999 7 0
2000 4 0
2001 5 0
2003 1 0
Total 46 3


  1. ^ "Craig Burley". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Craig Burley". Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "United's five minutes of fury". The Independent. 1 April 1996. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Football: Zola sorcery dazzles Dons". The Independent. 13 April 1997. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  6. ^ Fowler, Craig (27 April 2017). "Craig Burley: Celtic sold me to sign Rafael Scheidt". The Scotsman. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  7. ^ Burley move pays off for Scotland, Sports Illustrated, 26 September 1998.
  8. ^ Good news, bad news, Sports Illustrated, 23 September 1998.
  9. ^ a b Burley quits Scotland, Daily Telegraph, 13 May 2003.
  10. ^ McDonald, Craig (28 January 2008). "Scotland Star Craig Burley's Restaurant Goes Bust". Daily Record. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  11. ^ Former panto star Alison Douglas to host new SPL coverage, "Daily Record", 29 July 2009.
  12. ^ Craig Burley admits Uncle George will face major backlash if Scots lose in Iceland, Daily Mail, 10 September 2008.
  13. ^ Clark, Chris (26 March 2015). "An Interview with Craig Burley". Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  14. ^ Craig Burley at the Scottish Football Association

External linksEdit