Burnley F.C.

Full name Burnley Football Club
Nickname(s) The Clarets
Short name BFC
Founded 18 May 1882 (1882-05-18)
Ground Turf Moor
Capacity 21,944
Chairman Mike Garlick
Manager Sean Dyche
League Premier League
2017–18 Premier League, 7th of 20
Website Club website

Burnley Football Club (/ˈbɜːrnli/) is a professional association football club based in Burnley, Lancashire, England. Founded on 18 May 1882, the team originally played only friendly matches until they entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1885–86. The club currently plays in the Premier League, the first tier of English football. Nicknamed the Clarets, due to the dominant colour of their home shirts, they were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League in 1888.

Burnley have been champions of England twice, in 1920–21 and 1959–60, have won the FA Cup once, in 1914, and have won the Community Shield twice, in 1960 and 1973. The Clarets also reached the 1961 quarter-finals of the European Cup. They are one of only five teams to have won all top four professional divisions of English football, along with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Preston North End, Sheffield United and Portsmouth.

In the 1920–21 campaign, Burnley were crowned champions of England for the first time when they won the First Division.[A] During that season the team embarked on a 30-match unbeaten run, which remained an English record until it was beaten by Nottingham Forest in the late 1970s. Burnley attained a second league championship in 1959–60 with a team consisting of mostly youth academy graduates, winning the title with a last-day victory over Manchester City, after foundations were laid by pioneers Alan Brown, Bob Lord and Harry Potts.

Just twenty years later, in 1979–80, Burnley were relegated to the Third Division — the first time in their history they had played in the third tier of English football. Five years later, the team competed in the Fourth Division for the first time following another relegation, and on 9 May 1987 only a 2–1 home win against Orient saved Burnley from relegation to the Football Conference and a possible dissolution. Burnley won promotion in 1991–92 to the third tier and again in 1999–2000 to the second tier, before being promoted to the Premier League in 2008–09, 2013–14 and 2015–16.

Burnley have played home games at Turf Moor since 17 February 1883, after the club had moved from their original premises at Calder Vale. The club colours of claret and blue were adopted prior to the 1910–11 season in tribute to the dominant club of English football at the time, Aston Villa. Their current manager, Sean Dyche, was appointed on 30 October 2012.


Early days (1882–1912)

On 18 May 1882, Burnley Rovers Football Club decided to shift their allegiance from rugby union to football.[1] Playing in various green or blue and white kits for their first few years, the club played their first competitive game in October 1882 against Astley Bridge in the Lancashire Challenge Cup, that game ending in an 8–0 defeat.[2] In the early months of 1883 the club moved to Turf Moor and remain there, only their Lancashire rivals Preston North End having continuously occupied the same ground for longer.[3]

Burnley first appeared in the FA Cup in 1885–86,[4] but were ignominiously beaten 11–0 when eligibility restrictions meant that their reserve side had to be fielded against Darwen Old Wanderers.[2] A year later, on 13 October 1886, Turf Moor became the first ground to be visited by a member of the Royal Family.[5] When it was decided to found the Football League for the 1888–89 season, Burnley were among the twelve founders of that competition, and one of the six clubs based in Lancashire.[6] Burnley's William Tait became the first player to score a hat-trick in league football in only the second match of the inaugural season, when his three goals gave the Clarets an away win to Bolton Wanderers.[7]

Burnley, now known as 'The Turfites', 'Moorites' or 'Royalites' as a result of the name of their new ground and the royal connection, eventually finished 9th in the first season of the league, but only one place from bottom in 1889–90, following a 17-game winless streak at the start of the season.[8] That season did, however, present Burnley with their first honours, winning the Lancashire Cup with a 2–0 final victory over local rivals Blackburn Rovers.[9]

Before Burnley won a trophy again, they were relegated to the Second Division for the first time in 1896–97. They responded to this by winning promotion the next season, losing only two of their 30 matches along the way before gaining promotion through a play-off series, then known as test matches.[10] Burnley and First Division club Stoke City both entered the last match, to be played between the two teams, needing a draw for promotion (or in Stoke's case to retain their First Division place). A 0–0 draw ensued, reportedly "The match without a shot at goal",[11] and the league immediately withdrew the test match system in favour of automatic promotion and relegation. Ironically, the league also decided to expand the top division after the test match series of 1897–98 and the other two teams also went into the top division for the following year, negating the effect of Burnley and Stoke City's reputed collusion.[12]

Burnley were relegated again in 1899–1900 and found themselves at the centre of a controversy when their goalkeeper, Jack Hillman attempted to bribe their opponents, Nottingham Forest, in the last match of the season, resulting in his suspension for the whole of the following season. It was the earliest recorded case of match fixing in football.[13] During the first decade of the 20th century, Burnley continued to play in the Second Division, even finishing in bottom place in one season, although the indications of success just around the corner were evident. Burnley changed their colours from green to the claret and sky blue of Aston Villa, the most successful club in England at the time, for the 1910–11 season, as manager John Haworth believed it might bring a change of fortune.[14][15] The tides did indeed turn the following season, when only a loss in the last game of the season denied the club promotion.[16]

Clarets' glory either side of World War I (1912–1930)

Burnley continued to improve, as the 1912–13 season saw them win promotion to the First Division once more, as well as reaching the FA Cup semi-final, only to lose to Sunderland. The next season was one of consolidation in the top flight, but more importantly their first major honour, the FA Cup, was won, against fellow Lancastrians Liverpool in the final (1–0).[17] Ex-Evertonian Bert Freeman, whose father travelled from Australia to see his son play in the final,[18] scored the only goal, as Burnley became the first club to beat five First Division clubs in one cup season.[4] This was the last final to be played at Crystal Palace and King George V became the first reigning monarch to present the cup to the winning captain, in this case to Tommy Boyle.[4] The winning Burnley team also got special medals with "English Cup Winners" written on it instead of the usual "FA Cup Winners" inscription.[4][19]

World War I impacted the 1914–15 season, in which Burnley finished 4th in the First Division, before English football reorganised itself and took a back seat to the needs of the conflict. Upon resumption of full-time football in 1919–20, Burnley finished second in the First Division to West Bromwich Albion, but this was not a peak, merely presaging Burnley's first ever League Championship in 1920–21.[20] Burnley lost their opening three matches that season before going on a 30-match unbeaten run, a record for unbeaten games in a single season that lasted until Arsenal went unbeaten through the whole of the 2003–04 season.[21] Burnley finished third the following season, but thereafter followed a steady deterioration of their position, with only 5th place in 1926–27 offering respite from a series of near-relegations which culminated in demotion in 1929–30.[22]

Low points through World War II (1930–1945)

Burnley struggled in English football's second tier, narrowly avoiding a further relegation in 1931–32 by only two points. The years through to the outbreak of the Second World War were characterised by uninspiring league finishes, broken only by a FA Cup semi-final appearance in 1934–35 and the arrival (and equally swift departure) of English Football Hall of Fame inductee and centre-forward Tommy Lawton.[23] Burnley participated in the varying football leagues that continued throughout the war, but it wasn't until the 1946–47 season that league football proper was restored.

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

In the first season of post-war league football, Burnley gained promotion through second place in the Second Division. Additionally, there was a run to the FA Cup Final, with Aston Villa, Coventry City, Luton Town, Middlesbrough and Liverpool being defeated before Charlton Athletic beat Burnley 1–0 after extra time in the final at Wembley.[24] Burnley immediately made an impact the top division, finishing third in 1947–48 as the club began to assemble a team capable of regularly aiming for honours.

Burnley became one of the most progressive clubs around from the following decade, the 1950s, to the early 1970s under the reign of lifelong Burnley supporter and newly appointed chairman Bob Lord.[25][26] They were one of the first teams to build a training ground, while most teams trained on public parks or at their own grounds.[25][27] Further, the club became, after foundations were laid by Lord and manager Alan Brown,[28][29] renowned for their youth policy and scouting system, which yielded many young players over the years such as club legends Jimmy McIlroy, Willie Morgan and Martin Dobson.[30][31]

In his relatively short spell at the club from 1954 to 1957, Brown also introduced short corners and a huge array of free kick routines, which were soon copied across the land.[32] In the 1956–57 season, Ian Lawson, another product of the Burnley youth academy, scored a record four goals on his debut as a 17-year-old versus Chesterfield in the FA Cup.[33] That same season saw a club record 9–0 victory over New Brighton in the FA Cup[34] — despite missing a penalty — and the following season former player Harry Potts became manager. The team of this period revolved around the midfield duo of Jimmy Adamson and Jimmy McIlroy (a new stand was named after the latter in the 1990s) and these two were key to the championship-winning team of 1959–60 managed by Potts (who now gives his name to the road which Turf Moor occupies). Harry Potts often employed the, at the time unfashionable, 4–4–2 formation and he introduced Total Football to English football in his first seasons at the club.[35][36][37]

Burnley endured a tense 1959–60 season in which Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers were the other protagonists in the chase for the league title, but the club ultimately clinched their second league championship on the last day of the season at Maine Road, Manchester with a 2–1 victory against Manchester City with goals from Brian Pilkington and Trevor Meredith.[38][39] Although they had been in contention all season, Burnley had never led the table until this last match was played out.[40] Potts had only used eighteen players throughout the whole season, as John Connelly became Burnley's top scorer with 20 goals.[35] The Lancastrians' title-winning squad costed just £13,000 in transfer fees too — £8,000 on McIlroy in 1950 and £5,000 on left-back Alex Elder in 1959.[30] The other players of the squad each came from the Burnley youth academy.[30][26] After the season finished, Burnley went to the United States to participate in the inaugural international football tournament in North America, the International Soccer League.[41]

The following season Burnley played in European competition for the first time,[42] beating former European Cup finalists Reims, before losing to Hamburger SV in the quarter-finals, losing in a FA Cup semi-final to Tottenham and finishing fourth in the league. Burnley finished the 1961–62 season as runners-up (after only winning two of the last thirteen league matches)[43] to newly promoted Ipswich Town and had a run to the FA Cup Final, where a Jimmy Robson goal, the 100th FA Cup Final goal at Wembley,[44] was their only reply to 3 goals from Spurs. Jimmy Adamson was, however, named Footballer of the Year in English football after the season ended.[45]

Burnley had, due to their success, several players with international caps in this period, including, for England Ray Pointer (3 caps), Colin McDonald (8 caps), and John Connelly (20 caps), a member of the 1966 World Cup squad, for Northern Ireland Jimmy McIlroy (55 caps) and for Scotland Adam Blacklaw (3 caps).[46]

Nonetheless, although far from a two-man team, the controversial departure of McIlroy to Stoke City and retirement of Adamson coincided with a decline in fortunes. Adamson reputedly turned down the England manager's post which then went to former Ipswich manager Alf Ramsey.[47] Even more damaging for Burnley was the impact of the abolition of the maximum wage in 1961, meaning clubs from small towns, e.g. Burnley, could no longer compete financially with teams from bigger towns and cities.[48] They managed, however, to retain their First Division place throughout the decade finishing third in 1965–66, with Willie Irvine becoming the league's top goal scorer that season,[49] and reaching the semi-final of the League Cup in 1968–69. They had also reached the quarter-finals of the 1966–67 Fairs Cup, in which they were knocked out by German side Eintracht Frankfurt.[50]

  • QTR = quarter-final
Season Competition Round Nation Club Score
1960–61 European Cup QTR  West Germany Hamburger SV 3–1, 1–4
1966–67 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup QTR  West Germany Eintracht Frankfurt 1–1, 1–2

The remainder of the decade was otherwise one of mid-table mediocrity, with Potts being replaced by Adamson as manager in 1970 after a 12-year spell.[51] Adamson was unable to halt the slide and relegation followed in 1970–71 ending a long unbroken top flight spell of 24 consecutive seasons during which, more often than not, they had been in the upper reaches of the league table.

Burnley won the Second Division title in 1972–73 with Adamson still in charge. As a result, they were invited to play in the 1973 FA Charity Shield where they emerged as winners against the reigning holders of the shield, Manchester City.[52] In the First Division, led by elegant playmaker Martin Dobson, the side managed to finish 6th in 1974 as well as reaching another FA Cup semi-final; this time losing out to Newcastle United.[53] The following season the club achieved 10th place, despite Dobson being sold to Everton early in that season, but were victims of one of the great FA Cup shocks of all time when Wimbledon, then in the Southern League, beat Burnley 1–0 at Turf Moor.[54] Relegation from the First Division in 1975–76 saw the end of Adamson's tenure as manager.[51]

Decline and near oblivion (1976–1987)

Three nondescript seasons in the Second Division followed before relegation to the Third Division for the first time in 1979–80. Of 42 league games, Burnley could not manage a win in either their first or last 16. Two seasons later, now under the management of Brian Miller,[55] they were promoted as champions.[56] However, this return was short-lived, lasting only one year; albeit a year in which the team reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and the semi-final of the League Cup, recording victories over Spurs and Liverpool in the latter, although the 1–0 win over Liverpool in the League Cup semi-final second leg was not enough for an appearance in the final as Burnley had lost the first leg 3–0.[57]

Managerial changes continued to be made in an unsuccessful 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.[58]

Benson was in charge when Burnley were relegated to the fourth level of English football for the first time ever at the end of the 1984–85 season. Martin Buchan (briefly) and then Tommy Cavanagh saw the side through the 1985–86 season before Miller returned for the 1986–87 season, the last match of which is known as 'The Orient Game'.[59] For the 1986–87 season, the Football League had decided to introduce automatic relegation and promotion between the Fourth Division and the Conference league, the top tier of non-league football. Although, in retrospect, this has only served to blur the lines between professional and semi-professional leagues in England, at the time it was perceived that teams losing league status might never recover from this.[60] Additionally, Burnley had a new local rival in Colne Dynamoes who were rapidly progressing through the English non-league system at the same time as the former champions of England were in the lowest level of the league.[61] After a disastrous season, which also saw a first round FA Cup 3–0 defeat at non-league Telford United, Burnley went into the last match needing a win against Orient. A 2–1 win, with goals from Neil Grewcock and Ian Britton, was enough to keep Burnley in Division Four, although even that achievement still relied on a loss by Lincoln City in their last game of the season.[62] Had Burnley been relegated, the club would have probably been dissolved.[63]

Recovery (1987–2000)

In May 1988, Burnley were back at Wembley; this time to play Wolves in the final of the Football League Trophy. A capacity crowd of 80,000 people packed Wembley was a record for a match between two teams from English football's fourth tier, as Wolves won 2–0.[64] In 1991–92, Burnley were champions in the last ever season of the Fourth Division before the league reorganisation. By winning the Fourth Division title, the Clarets became only the second club to have won all top four professional divisions of English football and the team is currently one of five clubs to have achieved this feat, along with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Preston North End, Sheffield United and Portsmouth.[65] Two years later they won the new Division Two play-offs and gained promotion to Division One under Jimmy Mullen. That too was as a result of a match at Wembley, this time after a fierce battle against local club Stockport County.[66] Relegation followed after one season and in 1997–98 only a last day 2–1 victory over Plymouth Argyle ensured a narrow escape from relegation into Division Three. Chris Waddle was manager in that season, but his departure and the appointment of Stan Ternent that summer saw the club start to make further progress.[67] In 1999–2000 they finished Division Two runners-up and gained promotion back to the second tier.

Championship years (2000–2009)

Burnley immediately made an impact, as during the 2000–01 and 2001–02 seasons, they emerged as serious contenders for a promotion play-off place. By 2002–03, the side's form had declined despite a good FA Cup run, where they reached the quarter-finals. This was repeated the following season and in June 2004, Ternent's six years as manager came to an end, narrowly avoiding relegation in his last season. Steve Cotterill was then appointed as manager of the club.[68] Cotterill's first year in charge produced two notable cup runs, knocking out Premier League clubs Liverpool and Aston Villa, and a 13th-place finish in the Championship. He was not able to improve on this the following season, as Burnley finished 17th.

Burnley made a good start to the 2006–07 campaign, but their form tailed away badly shortly before Christmas, leaving them threatened by relegation. The squad set a club record for consecutive league games without a win, with their game against Luton Town being the 18th one of the season (19 including a cup game), meaning they had gone one fixture further than the 17 league game streak of the 1889–90 season.[69] The sequence of draws and losses was finally broken in April, as Burnley beat Plymouth Argyle 4–0 at Turf Moor. After that, a short run of good form in the final weeks of the competition saw Burnley finish comfortably above the relegation places, ensuring that they remained in the Championship.

The following season Burnley's poor early-season results led to the departure of manager Steve Cotterill in November 2007. His replacement was St Johnstone manager Owen Coyle.[70] Coyle subsequently led the team to a total of 62 points for the 2007–08 season, their largest total for eight years. Coyle's first full season in charge ended with the Clarets' highest league finish since 1976, fifth in the Championship.[71] That was enough to qualify the club for the Championship play-offs. Burnley beat Reading 3–0 on aggregate in the semi-final, and the team went on to beat Sheffield United 1–0 in the final at Wembley Stadium, promoting Burnley to the Premier League, a return to the top flight after 33 years. Wade Elliott scored the vital goal in a match known as "The £50,000,000 final", due to the increased revenues available to Premiership clubs after the agreement of substantially higher TV rights payments.[72] Furthermore, Burnley reached the semi-final of the League Cup for the first time in over 25 years, after beating local clubs Bury and Oldham Athletic and London-based clubs Fulham, Chelsea and Arsenal.[73] In the semi-finals they faced another London club and an old foe, Tottenham Hotspur, and Burnley lost the first leg 4–1. After being up by three goals to nil at home after 90 minutes, the away goals rule comes into play after extra time has been played in the League Cup,[74] the Clarets crashed out after two Spurs goals in the last two minutes of extra time, preventing two Wembley appearances in one season.[75]

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

Burnley's promotion made the town of Burnley the smallest to host a Premier League club, since the rebranding of the league divisions in 1992.[76][77][78] They started the season well, becoming the first newly promoted team in the Premier League to win their first four league home games, including a 1–0 win over defending champions Manchester United.[79] However, manager Coyle left Burnley in January 2010, to manage local rivals Bolton Wanderers. He was replaced by Brian Laws, but the club's form plummeted under the new manager, and they were relegated after a single season in the Premier League.[80] Laws was dismissed in December 2010 and replaced by Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.[81] Howe guided Burnley to an eighth-place finish in the Championship in his first season at the club, narrowly missing out on a play-off place. Nonetheless, he left the club in October 2012 to rejoin his hometown club Bournemouth; Howe citing personal reasons for the move.[82] He was replaced in the same month by Watford manager Sean Dyche.[83]

Before the start of the 2013–14 season, Burnley were tipped as one of the relegation candidates, as Dyche had to work with a tight budget and a small squad, and they had lost top goal scorer Charlie Austin to Championship rivals QPR.[84] They finished, however, second and were automatically promoted back to the Premier League in Dyche's first full season in charge, as the new strike partnership of Danny Ings (who also won the Championship Player of the Year award) and Sam Vokes had 41 league goals between them.[85] Sean Dyche only used 23 players throughout the season, which was the joint-lowest in the division, and he only paid a transfer fee for one player since his appointment — £400,000 on striker Ashley Barnes.[86] But yet again, their stay in the Premier League only lasted a single season as they finished 19th out of 20 clubs and were subsequently relegated. Burnley went yet one better than their previous time in the Championship and won the division in 2015–16, equaling their club record of 93 points of 2013–14, ending the season with a run of 23 league games undefeated.[87] Dyche used just 25 players during the season this time, and new signing Andre Gray finished as the league's top goal scorer with 25 goals.[88]

With a combination of excellent home form with poor away results, Burnley finished the 2016–17 season in 16th place, six points above the relegation zone, and were thus ensured to play consecutive seasons in the top flight for the first time since 1975–76.[89] The following season started off with an away win to defending champions Chelsea (3–2).[90] It was a start signal for a reversed away form, as Burnley finished the season with more points collected on the road than at home. Moreover, Burnley's home form continued to be strong too, drawing against eventual inexpugnable league champions and record breakers Manchester City (1–1).[91] Burnley ultimately secured an unexpected 7th place at the end of the season, their highest league finish since 1973–74, and thus qualified for the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League, meaning they qualified for a competitive European competition for the first time in 51 years.[92] Their European tour, however, already ended in August, as they crashed out in the play-offs against Greek side Olympiacos, after they had eliminated Scottish club Aberdeen and Turkish side İstanbul Başakşehir in the previous rounds.[93]


First-team squad

As of 31 August 2018[94]

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 Tom Heaton (captain)
2 DF Matthew Lowton
3 DF Charlie Taylor
4 MF Jack Cork
5 DF James Tarkowski
6 DF Ben Mee (vice-captain)
7 MF Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson
9 FW Sam Vokes
10 FW Ashley Barnes
11 FW Chris Wood
12 MF Robbie Brady
13 MF Jeff Hendrick
14 DF Ben Gibson
No. Position Player
16 MF Steven Defour
18 MF Ashley Westwood
20 GK Joe Hart
22 GK Anders Lindegaard
23 DF Stephen Ward
25 MF Aaron Lennon
26 DF Phil Bardsley
27 FW Matěj Vydra
28 DF Kevin Long
29 GK Nick Pope
30 GK Adam Legzdins
32 FW Dan Agyei

Other players under contract

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

No. Position Player
40 GK Adam Bruce
GK George McMahon
48 DF James Clarke
DF Ed Cook
DF Anthony Glennon
DF Teddy Perkins
35 DF Oliver Younger
42 MF Olatunde Bayode
No. Position Player
MF Josh Benson
46 MF Tinashe Chakwana
MF Mace Goodridge
59 MF Mark Howarth
MF Ali Koiki
MF Christian N'Guessan
MF Vinnie Steels
FW Robert Harker

Out on loan

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

No. Position Player
19 FW Jonathan Walters (at Ipswich Town until January 2019)
21 FW Nahki Wells (at Queens Park Rangers until end of 2018–19 season)
36 GK Conor Mitchell (at St Johnstone until end of 2018–19 season)
41 MF Aiden O'Neill (at Central Coast Mariners until end of 2018–19 season)
No. Position Player
76 DF Scott Wilson (at Stalybridge Celtic until 1 September 2018)
GK Aidan Stone (at Lancaster City until January 2019)
DF Jimmy Dunne (at Heart of Midlothian until January 2019)
FW Ntumba Massanka (at Dover Athletic until January 2019)

Notable former players and managers


The club has been represented by numerous high-profile players over the years, most notably Jimmy McIlroy and Jimmy Adamson, the latter earning the Footballer of the Year award in 1962, the first and to date only time a Burnley player has won this award.[45] Four years later, Burnley youth graduate Willie Irvine became the First Division top goal scorer, also an unique feat in the club's history.[49] Welshman Leighton James owns a club record too, as he is the only Burnley player to have been included in the PFA Team of the Year while playing in the first tier, when he was selected as a member of the 1974–75 squad.[95] In total, 29 players have won full England caps during their time with the Clarets, Bob Kelly having won the most caps (11) and scoring the most goals (6) for the English national team.[96]

The English Football Hall of Fame, which is housed at the National Football Museum, in Manchester, currently contains five former Burnley players: Tommy Lawton, Jimmy McIlroy, and Mike Summerbee, Ian Wright and Paul Gascoigne; the latter three had, however, relatively short spells at the Clarets and were at the end of their playing careers.[97] Three of these five players, Gascoigne, Lawton and McIlroy, also featured in a list entitled "The Football League 100 Legends", as Burnley's only representatives.[98] The list was released by the Football League in 1998, to celebrate the 100th season of league football. Jimmy McIlroy was voted as PFA Fans' Favourite by Burnley fans in July 2007.[99]

In 2015, 31 "Clarets' legends" from different eras in the club's history were picked by the fans of Burnley via an online vote. The chosen players had an artwork depicting them hung up beside the turnstiles of Turf Moor. It was a coorperation 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".[100] The Clarets' first international, John Yates, had to be omitted because no suitable image of him could be found, therefore giving his spot to contemporary George Halley. The following 31 (32) players were picked:[101]

Burnley FC Player of the Year Award

As voted by the club's supporters at the end of every season.[102]

Year Position Winner
2002–03 FW Gareth Taylor
2003–04 FW Robbie Blake
2004–05 DF Gary Cahill
2005–06 DF Jon Harley
2006–07 MF Wade Elliott
2007–08 MF Wade Elliott
2008–09 DF Graham Alexander
2009–10 FW Steven Fletcher
2010–11 FW Jay Rodriguez
2011–12 DF Kieran Trippier
2012–13 GK Lee Grant
2013–14 FW Sam Vokes
2014–15 MF George Boyd
2015–16 MF Joey Barton
2016–17 GK Tom Heaton
2017–18 GK Nick Pope


The following table contains the managers who have all won at least one trophy when in charge of Burnley.[103]

In bold = Major honour

Name Nationality From To Played Won Drew Lost Win%[B] Honours
Harry Bradshaw  England 1896 1899 108 46 27 35 042.59 Football League Second Division champions: 1897–98
John Haworth  England July 1910 December 1924 464 203 106 155 043.75 FA Cup winners: 1913–14
Football League First Division champions: 1920–21
Harry Potts  England February 1958 February 1970 605 272 141 192 044.96 Football League First Division champions: 1959–60
FA Charity Shield winners (shared): 1960
Jimmy Adamson  England February 1970 January 1976 272 104 74 94 038.24 Football League 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 Football League Third Division champions: 1981–82
Jimmy Mullen  England October 1991 February 1996 249 97 67 85 038.96 Football League Fourth Division champions: 1991–92
Football League Second Division play–off winners: 1993–94
Owen Coyle  Ireland November 2007 January 2010 116 49 29 38 042.24 Football League Championship play–off winners: 2008–09
Sean Dyche  England October 2012 259 102 75 82 039.38 Football League Championship champions: 2015–16



As of 20 April 2018

Chairman Mike Garlick holds 49.24% of outstanding shares of Burnley F.C. and Member of the Board of Directors John Banaszkiewicz another 28.2%. The other five Members of the Board hold, between them, a total of 16.36%. The total holding of shares by all Board members amounts to 93.8%.[104]

Burnley is one of the few clubs in the top two tiers who are British-owned. Every director at the club is locally born, a Claret supporter and none of them are getting paid. As of 2018–19, the club is debt-free.[105]

Kits, colours and crest

Kits and colours

In the early years, various designs and colours were used by Burnley. Throughout their first eight years these were various permutations of blue and white. After three years of claret and amber stripes with black shorts, for much of the 1890s a combination of black with amber stripes was used, although the club 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 the club changed to an all green shirt with white shorts. In 1910 the club changed their colours to claret and sky blue, the colours that they have now had for the majority of their history, save for a spell in white shirts and black shorts during the 1930s.[14] The adoption of the claret and sky blue colour combination were a homage to league champions Aston Villa, who wore those colours. The Burnley committee and manager John Haworth believed it might bring a change of fortune.[15]

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.[106] The following season, a new home kit was released, echoing the 1950s shirt; all claret with a blue v-neck and rims on the end of the arms which sport the word 'Burnley'. It featured gold trim and a new gold logo for the club's 125th anniversary. For the Championship match against Stoke City on 24 November 2007, Burnley wore a commemorative 125th anniversary shirt based on their first kit; blue and white stripes with black trim/shorts and white socks.[107] For the 2009–10 season, the club wore a kit similar to the kit worn when Burnley won the old First Division title (i.e. what is now the Premier League title) in 1959–60, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that achievement.

Since 2010, Burnley's kits have been manufactured by Puma.[108] Previous manufacturers include Umbro (1975–81), Spall (1981–87, 1988–89), En-s (1987–88), Ellgren (1989–91), Ribero (1991–93), Mitre (1993–96), Adidas (1996–99), Super League (1999–2002), TFG Sports (2002–05), and Erreà (2005–10).[14] The clubs shirts are currently sponsored by LaBa360.[109] Previous shirt sponsors include POCO (1982–83), TSB (1983–84), Multipart (1984–88), Endsleigh (1988–98), P3 Computers (1998–2000), Lanway (2001–04), Hunters (2004–07), Holland's (2007–09), Cooke (2009–10), Fun88 (2010–12, 2014–15), Premier Range (2012–14), Oak Furniture Land (2015–16), and Dafabet (2016–18).[14]


The Clarets' first recorded usage of a crest was on 17 December 1887, when they wore the Prince of Wales' coat of arms on their shirt.[14] The Prince of Wales visited Turf Moor a year before when Burnley was playing Bolton Wanderers, which was the first ever visit by a member of the Royal Family.[110] Afterwards, Burnley were presented a set of white jerseys featuring a blue sash and embellished with the Prince of Wales' coat of arms to commemorate the visit, making the Clarets the first ever club to have the right to wear it on their shirts.[111] The club would regularly wear the royal crest until the 1894–95 season. Twenty years later, when Burnley played the 1914 FA Cup Final and King George V was in attendance, the Royal Arms featured once again on the claret and blue shirts.[14]

A forerunner of the club's current badge was first recorded in 1935. 25 years later, when Burnley won the league title for a second time, they were allowed to wear the town's crest of the period on their shirts.[112] The town's crest was worn until the 1969–70 season, when it was replaced with a simple "BFC". Six years later, the initials were lettered with gold. Four seasons after that, the club used a new designed badge based on the town's crest, before returning to a horizontal version of the "BFC" initials in 1983, which were lettered in white this time.[14] In the 1987–88 season they returned to their former, new designed crest.

The latest major change to the club crest came in the 2009–10 season. To mark Burnley's first ever season in the Premier League, since the rebranding of the First Division in 1992, and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club's 1959–60 First Division league title win, Burnley decided to return to the crest used in that title winning season.[14] The following season, the town's Latin motto "Pretiumque Et Causa Laboris" (English translation: "The prize and the cause of our labour") was replaced with the inscription "Burnley Football Club".[113]

Burnley's current badge is based on the town's crest and many components of the badge — depicting cotton, history, industry, royalty — have their origins in the history of the club, the town Burnley and surrounding areas and the components thus refer to them.[113]

Club mascot

The club's mascot is Bertie Bee. Dressed in a bee suit, he wears the Burnley home kit with shirt number 1882 and is popular with the Burnley fans.[114] He became known nationwide for rugby tackling a streaker on the pitch at Turf Moor who had evaded the stewards during a match against local rivals Preston in 2002, and appeared on the BBC Television sporting panel show They Think It's All Over after the event.[115]

During the 2006–07 season, he was joined by Holland's Pies mascot Stan the Pie Man, due to a sponsorship deal.[102] In October 2013, he again hit the headlines, this time after a top of the table clash against QPR, when he was sent off and 'jailed' after he jokingly offered the assistant referee a pair of glasses.[116]


Turf Moor
"The Turf"
Turf Moor
Location in Burnley
Location Burnley, Lancashire
Coordinates 53°47′21″N 2°13′49″W / 53.78917°N 2.23028°W / 53.78917; -2.23028Coordinates: 53°47′21″N 2°13′49″W / 53.78917°N 2.23028°W / 53.78917; -2.23028
Capacity 21,944 (all-seated)[117]
Broke ground 1833 (as a cricket ground)[118]
Burnley Cricket Club {on larger site} (1833–1883)
Burnley Football Club {current site} (1883–present)

Burnley have played their home games at Turf Moor since 1883, after playing at its original ground at Calder Vale for less than a year.[119][120] Turf Moor is the longest continuously used ground of any of the 49 teams which have played in the Premier League and the second oldest continually used site for professional league football in the world, behind Preston's Deepdale.[121] The stadium is located on Harry Potts Way, named in honour of the club's longest serving manager.

In October 1886, Turf Moor welcomed the first-ever visit by a member of the Royal Family to a first-class association football match at a senior ground, when Queen Victoria's grandson, Prince Albert Victor, was in attendance for a match between Burnley and Bolton Wanderers.[122] In 1888, the first Football League match at Turf Moor was an encounter against the same opposition, Bolton, with Burnley emerging as 4–1 winners, Fred Poland scoring the first competitive league goal at the stadium.[123] In 1922, the ground hosted its only FA Cup semi-final to date, 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.[124]

The Turf Moor site was first used for sport in 1833, when Burnley Cricket Club was established. Fifty years later, they invited Burnley Football Club to move from their original premises at Calder Vale to a pitch adjacent to the cricket field.[125] The ground originally consisted of just a pitch and the first grandstand was not built until 1885.[126] It now consists of 4 stands, the James Hargreaves Stand (The Longside), the Jimmy McIlroy Stand (Bee Hole End), the Bob Lord Stand and the Ladbrokes Stand (The Cricket Field Stand) for home and away fans. The current capacity is 21,944 all-seated.[127] Post-World War I crowds in the stadium averaged in the 30,000–40,000 range with the record attendance set in 1924 against Huddersfield Town in a FA Cup match when 54,755 attended the match.[128] Until 1974, The Turf had a slight slope in the field, when chairman Bob Lord made a resolution to relay the pitch and to remove the slope.[125] During the 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, reducing the capacity in the process.[126]

In 2008, plans were made to extend the stadium to a capacity of around 28,000.[129] This capacity increase would include a second tier attached to the Bob Lord stand, along with a complete re-development of the stand. In addition, a new stand was planned to replace the Cricket Field Stand, which would also hold a cricket pavilion and hotel. In late 2008, these plans were put on hold as general economic conditions worsened in the UK.[130]

At the end of 2017, Burnley finalised plans to develop two corners of the stadium (between the Jimmy McIlroy stand and both the James Hargreaves and Bob Lord stands) to provide better facilities for disabled supporters to meet the Accessible Stadium Guide (ASG) regulations.[131] The plans took the spending on infrastructure at the club to around £20m in two years, including a bigger club shop and ticket office at the stadium, and a major uplift to their training centre.

At the same time, however, the club concluded that "there will be no other ground developments to increase the overall capacity of Turf Moor in the short-term, unless an increase in demand for seats forces a re-think."[131]

Supporters and rivalries


Burnley is one of the best supported clubs in English football per head of population, with average attendances of 20,000 in the Premier League in a town with approximately 73,000 inhabitants.[132][133] In the championship winning year of 1959–60, the fan-ratio of Burnley was twice the top flight average.[30] Although as well as having a loyal, local fan base, the Clarets also have numerous supporters' clubs across the United Kingdom[134] and overseas, with supporters' clubs in Australia, Canada, Finland, Nigeria, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Thailand, and United States amongst others.[135]

When falling down to the lower leagues and the simultaneously growing presence of hooliganism in English football in the 1980s, a hooligan firm linked to Burnley was established, called the "Suicide Squad", which became infamous for violently clashing with many other firms and fans in the country.[136] They also featured in the television documentary series The Real Football Factories presented by Danny Dyer.[137] The squad officially disbanded in 2009 after a high-profile incident with supporters of Blackburn Rovers, in which afterwards twelve members of the Suicide Squad were sentenced to jail for a total of 32 years.[138]

Notable fans over the years have included football coach Jimmy Hogan,[139] Prime Minister Edward Heath,[140] Charles, Prince of Wales, journalist Alastair Campbell, Superbike world champion Neil Hodgson[141] and cricketer James Anderson.[142]


In an unofficial Football Rivalry Survey from 2012–13, Burnley were listed 7th out of a list of 92 respective Football League clubs with the most rivals, with Blackburn Rovers considering Burnley to be their main rival and Bolton Wanderers, Morecambe and Rochdale considering them their second main rival.[143] Reciprocally, Burnley considers their biggest rivalry to be with Blackburn.[144][145] Games between them are known as the East Lancashire Derby, named after the region both clubs hail from, and it is known as one of the longest standing derbies in world football, as both clubs are founder members of the Football League and have won the First Division and the FA Cup.

The two clubs are separated by fourteen miles (22.5 kilometres) and besides the geographical proximity, the clubs have a long-standing history of fierce rivalry too; their first competitive clash being a Football League match in 1888, in the inaugural season of the competition.[146] Four years earlier, however, they had met for the first time, although in an alleged pre-league friendly, with considerable pride at stake.[147] Including the pre-league friendlies, there have been 113 matches played between both, with Burnley having the slightly better head-to-head record of the two teams, the Clarets winning 48 games and Blackburn 45.[146][147] Burnley's closest geographic rival is actually Accrington Stanley but, as they have never competed at the same level (although defunct club Accrington did), there is no rivalry between both.

Other rivalries exist with local clubs Bolton Wanderers, Blackpool and Preston North End.[143] Burnley have regularly played them in the league and cup competitions and the encounter between Burnley and Preston is, as of 2018–19, the most frequently played match in both club's histories.[148] The Clarets also contested heated matches with Halifax Town, Plymouth Argyle and Stockport County in the 1990s, when they were playing in the lower leagues, although feelings of animosity were mainly one-sided.[149]

Burnley will be the only club from the ceremonial county of Lancashire in the top flight during the 2018–19 season, as they were in the previous two seasons. Their most local rivals will be West Yorkshire side Huddersfield Town, who are based 25 miles (40 kilometres) away from Turf Moor.




The holder of the record for the most appearances in all competitions for Burnley is goalkeeper Jerry Dawson, having made 569 first team appearances between 1907 and 1928.[153] The club's top goal scorer is George Beel, who scored 187 goals from 1923 to 1932. He also holds the record for the most league goals scored in a season, 35 in the 1927–28 season in the Football League First Division.[154] Bert Freeman has scored the most goals in all official, competitive competitions in a single season, scoring 36 goals in the Football League Second Division and FA Cup in 1912–13. As of August 2018, Jimmy McIlroy is the most capped player while playing at Burnley, making 51 appearances for Northern Ireland between 1951 and 1962.[154] The first Burnley player to be capped was forward John Yates, who took to the field for England against Ireland at Anfield on 2 March 1889. He scored a hat-trick, but despite this, he was never called up again.[155]

The club's largest win in league football has been a 9–0 victory over Darwen in the First Division in 1891–92. 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).[156] The club's record defeat is an 11–0 loss to Darwen Old Wanderers in the FA Cup first round in the 1885–86 season.[156]

Burnley's record home attendance is 54,775 for a third round FA Cup match against Huddersfield Town on 23 February 1924.[157] With the introduction of regulations enforcing all-seater stadiums, it is unlikely that this record will be beaten in the foreseeable future. Their longest ever 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 season in Football League history until Arsenal bettered it in 2003–04.[158]

The highest transfer fee received for a Burnley player is £25 million, from Everton for defender Michael Keane in July 2017,[159] while the highest transfer fee paid by the club to date was both for forward Chris Wood from Leeds United in August 2017 and for defender Ben Gibson from Middlesbrough in August 2018, the pair were reported to be bought for a fee of £15 million each.[160] When forward Bob Kelly moved from Burnley to Sunderland for £6,550 in 1925, he broke the world football transfer record.[161]

Overall league history

As of the 2018–19 season, Burnley have played 120 seasons in English league football. 56 of these have been spent in the first tier (1) (most recently in 2018–19), 46 in the second (2) (most recently in 2015–16), eleven in the third (3) (most recently in 1999–2000) and seven in the fourth (4) (most recently in 1991–92).[133]

See also

  • Burnley F.C. Womenwomen's only football club, affiliated with Burnley Football Club
  • UCFBhigher education institution which has its origins at Turf Moor


A. ^ Up until 1992, the top division of English football was the Football League First Division. The Premier League took over from the First Division as the top tier of the English football league system upon its formation in 1992. The First Division then became the second tier of English football, the Second Division became the third tier, and so on. The First Division is now known as the Football League Championship, while the Second Division is now known as Football League One.
B ^ Win% is rounded to two decimal places.


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Further reading

  • Bird, Philip (2018). Burnley FC On This Day: History, Facts & Figures from Every Day of the Year. Pitch Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1785314254. 
  • Clayton, David (2014). Burnley FC Miscellany: Everything you ever needed to know about The Clarets. Amberley Publishing. ISBN 978-1445642239. 
  • Hayes, Dean (1999). Burnley FC: An A-Z. Sigma Leisure. ISBN 978-1850586807. 
  • Hopcraft, Arthur (1968). The Football Man. Aurum. ISBN 1-84513-141-X. 
  • Inglis, Simon (1987). The Football Grounds of Great Britain (2nd ed.). Collins Willow. ISBN 0-00-218249-1. 
  • Inglis, Simon (1988). League Football and the Men Who Made It. Willow Books. ISBN 0-00-218242-4. 
  • Lee, Edward; Simpson, Ray (1991). Burnley: A Complete Record, 1882-1991. Breedon Books Publishing Co Ltd. ISBN 978-0907969907. 
  • Lee, Edward; Whalley, Phil (2002). The Pride and Glory: 120 Years of Burnley Football Club. Burnley Football Club. ASIN B003GE002K. 
  • Potts, Margaret; Thomas, Dave (2006). Harry Potts: Margaret's Story. Sportsbooks. ISBN 978-1899807413. 
  • Prestage, Mike (2000). Burnley: The Glory Years Remembered. Breedon Books Publishing Co Ltd. ISBN 978-1859832004. 
  • Quelch, Tim (2015). Never Had It So Good: Burnley's Incredible 1959/60 League Title Triumph. Pitch Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1909626546. 
  • Simpson, Ray (1996). The Clarets Collection 1946-1996: A Post war who's who of Burnley Football Club. Burnley Football Club. ISBN 978-0952179900. 
  • 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. 
  • Thomas, Dave (2004). No Nay Never: a Burnley FC Anthology. Dave Thomas. ASIN B003NMMT6U. 
  • Thomas, Dave (2009). Jimmy Mac: Prince of Inside Forwards, a Biography. Hudson & Pearson Ltd. ISBN 978-0955401749. 
  • Thomas, Dave (2017). Mud Sweat and Shears: Tales from the Turf - Life as a Football League Groundsman. Pitch Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1785312946. 
  • Thomas, Dave (2018). The Best of Burnley: A Burnley FC Anthology. Vertical Editions. ISBN 978-1908847096. 
  • Thomas, Dave (2018). Jimmy Adamson: The Man Who Said No to England. Pitch Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1785314032. 
  • Wiseman, David (1973). Up the Clarets: Story of Burnley Football Club. Robert Hale Ltd. ISBN 978-0709143109. 
  • Wiseman, David (2012). The Burnley FC Miscellany. DB Publishing. ISBN 978-1780911045. 
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