Burnley F.C
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Burnley F.C

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
2019-20Premier League, 10th of 20
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Burnley Football Club 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 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888-89. The team currently competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football.

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 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. The club is nicknamed "the Clarets", because of the dominant colour of its 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)

A black and white image of a football team with a trophy in the middle
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 rugby team Burnley Rovers, who voted for a shift to association football, since other sports clubs in the area had changed their codes to football.[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 a pitch adjacent to the cricket field at Turf Moor, where it has remained since.[4][5] That same year saw them win their first silverware; the Dr Dean Trophy, a knockout competition between amateur clubs in the Burnley area.[6]

By the end of 1883, the club turned professional and signed many Scottish players, who were regarded as the best footballers.[7] As a result, Burnley refused to join the Football Association (FA) and its FA Cup, since the association barred professional players.[8] 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.[8][9] This threat of secession led to an FA rule change in July 1885 allowing professionalism, which made the new body redundant.[9]

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 they fielded their reserve side and lost 11-0 to Darwen Old Wanderers.[11] 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.[6][12] The club was among the 12 founders of the Football League in 1888-89 and one of the six based in Lancashire.[13]William Tait became the first player to score a league hat-trick in the second match,[14] when his three goals gave Burnley their inaugural win in the competition.[15] In 1889-90, they claimed their first Lancashire Cup, after beating local rivals Blackburn Rovers in the final.[16] Nicknames at this point were "Turfites", "Moorites" or "Royalites", as a result of their ground's name and the royal connection.[17]

Burnley were relegated to the Second Division for the first time in 1896-97.[18] The team won the division the next season; only two of 30 matches were lost before promotion was gained through a four-team play-off series called test matches, although the last game against First Division club Stoke was controversial. The tie finished 0-0 as both needed only a draw for a top flight place; it was later named "The match without a shot at goal". The Football League soon withdrew the test match system in favour of automatic promotion and relegation and expanded both divisions from 16 to 18 clubs after a motion by Burnley.[19] 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.[20] It is possibly the earliest recorded case of match fixing in football.[21] The side continued to play in the Second Division and even finished in bottom place in 1902-03 (but were re-elected), as the club got into financial difficulties.[22]

A black and white picture of a football team posing behind a football trophy
Team photograph of the Championship-winning side of the 1920-21 season

Harry Windle was named chairman in 1909, after which the club's finances turned around.[22] He appointed manager John Haworth in 1910,[23] who changed the club's colours from green to the claret and blue of Aston Villa, the then First Division champions, as Haworth and the Burnley committee believed it might bring a change of fortune.[24] In 1912-13, they won promotion to the first tier and reached the FA Cup semi-final. Burnley won their first major honour the following year, beating Liverpool in the 1914 FA Cup Final.[25]Bert Freeman scored the only goal, as Burnley became the first club to defeat five top tier sides in one cup season. Tommy Boyle became the first captain to receive the trophy from a reigning monarch (King George V).[26][27]

The team finished second to West Bromwich Albion in 1919-20,[28] before winning their first ever First Division championship in 1920-21.[18] Burnley lost the opening three games, but went unbeaten in the following 30 league matches, a then English record.[29][30] Haworth's death in 1924 was followed by a steady deterioration of their position, which culminated in demotion in 1929-30.[31] They struggled in the second tier and avoided a further relegation in 1931-32 by two points.[32][33] The years through to the outbreak of the Second World War were characterised by uninspiring league finishes.[32]

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 and reached the 1947 FA Cup Final but were defeated by Charlton Athletic after extra time.[34] The team's defence was nicknamed "The Iron Curtain", since they only conceded 29 goals in 42 league matches.[35] Burnley finished third in their first season back in the top flight as they began to assemble a squad capable of competing for honours.[36][37]

Alan Brown was appointed manager in 1954,[38] and Bob Lord chairman a year later.[39] The club became one of the most progressive around under their tenures.[40][41] Burnley were one of the first to set up a purpose-built training centre (Gawthorpe),[39][42] and they became renowned for their youth policy and scouting system, which yielded many young talents.[43] Brown also introduced short corners and free kick routines.[44][45] In 1958, former Burnley player Harry Potts was appointed manager.[46] His squad mainly revolved around the duo of captain Jimmy Adamson and Jimmy McIlroy, the team's playmaker.[47] Potts often employed the then unfashionable 4-4-2 formation and he implemented a Total Football playing style.[39][46]

Burnley clinched a second First Division title in 1959-60. They had not topped the table until the last match was played out.[48] 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.[49] The other players came from their youth academy.[50] With 80,000 inhabitants, the town of Burnley became the smallest to have an English first tier champion.[51] They travelled to the United States after the season ended to participate in the International Soccer League, the first modern international American football tournament.[52][53]

The following season, Burnley played in European competition for the first time in the 1960-61 European Cup. They defeated former finalists Stade de Reims in the first round but went out against Hamburger SV in the quarter-finals.[54] The team finished the 1961-62 First Division as runners-up to newcomers Ipswich Town after winning only two of the last thirteen matches, and had a run to the FA Cup Final but lost against Tottenham Hotspur.[55] Adamson was named FWA Footballer of the Year, however, with McIlroy as runner-up.[56]

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.[57] 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.[39][58] 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.[18]

Potts was replaced by Adamson as manager in 1970 after a 12-year spell. Adamson hailed his squad as the "Team of the Seventies", but he was unable to halt the slide as relegation followed in 1970-71.[59] Burnley won the Second Division title in 1972-73,[60] and were invited to play in the 1973 FA Charity Shield as a result,[61] where they emerged as winners against Manchester City.[62] 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.[63][64] Adamson left the club in January 1976, and relegation from the First Division followed later that year.[65][66] During this period, a drop in home attendances combined with an enlarged debt forced Burnley to sell star players such as Martin Dobson and Leighton James, which caused a rapid decline.[67]

Near oblivion and recovery (1976-2009)

Refer to caption
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.[18] Under the management of former Burnley player Brian Miller,[68] they returned to the second tier as champions in 1981-82.[69] However, this return was short-lived and lasted only one year.[70] 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.[71] Bond was the first manager since Frank Hill (1948-1954) without a previous playing career at the club. He was criticised by the fans for signing expensive players increasing Burnley's debt, and for selling young talents Lee Dixon, Brian Laws and Trevor Steven.[72] Benson was in charge when Burnley were relegated to the Fourth Division for the first time at the end of the 1984-85 season.[73]

The team avoided relegation to the Football Conference, the highest level of non-league football, on the last day in 1986-87, after they won against Orient and their rivals drew or lost.[74] The board had attempted to purchase almost bankrupt Welsh club Cardiff City and relocate it to Turf Moor, if Burnley were relegated, in what would have been the Football League's first franchise operation.[75]

A football player in a red and white shirt and a football player in a light blue shirt are watching the ball approaching the goal, while the goalkeeper is diving to his right-hand side
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.[76] 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.[77] By winning the fourth tier, the Clarets became only the second club to win all four professional divisions of English football, after Wolverhampton Wanderers.[78][79] Burnley won the Second Division play-offs in 1993-94 and gained promotion to the second tier.[80] Relegation followed after one season,[81] and in 1997-98 only a last day victory over Plymouth Argyle ensured a narrow escape from relegation back into the fourth tier.[82]Chris Waddle was player-manager that season with his assistant Glenn Roeder,[83] but their departures and the appointment of Stan Ternent that summer saw the club start to make further progress.[84] They finished second in 1999-2000 and were promoted to the second tier.[85]

During the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons, Burnley emerged as serious contenders for a promotion play-off place.[18] In early 2002, financial problems caused by the collapse of ITV Digital brought the club close to administration again.[86][87] Ternent was sacked in 2004, after he avoided relegation with a squad composed of many loanees and some players who were not entirely fit.[88][89]Steve Cotterill was then appointed as manager but was replaced in November 2007 by Owen Coyle.[90][91] 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.[92] Burnley also 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.[93][94]

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

A football manager is sitting behind a microphone, while his hands are cupped
Current 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.[95][96] The team started the season well and became the first newly promoted side in the competition to win their first four home games.[97] However, Coyle left the club in January 2010 to manage local rivals Bolton Wanderers.[98] He was replaced by Brian Laws, but the team's form plummeted and they were relegated after a single season.[99] Laws was dismissed in December 2010 and replaced by Eddie Howe,[100] who was succeeded by Sean Dyche in October 2012.[101]

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.[102][103] 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.[104][105] The side stayed up this time; the 2016-17 season ended with them in 16th place.[106] The club completed construction of Barnfield Training Centre that season, which replaced Gawthorpe. Dyche was involved in the training ground's design and had willingly tailored his transfer budget as both he and the board focused on the club's infrastructure and future.[42][107] Burnley finished seventh in 2017-18, which meant qualification for the 2018-19 UEFA Europa League and a return to European football after 51 years.[108] The team failed to reach the group stage, as they were eliminated in the play-off round by Greek club Olympiacos.[109]


First-team squad

As of 14 August 2020[110]

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

Out on loan

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
14 DF England ENG Ben Gibson (at Norwich City)

Under-23s and Academy


Football management

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


Board of directors

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.[112] Every director at the club is locally born or based and receives no wages. As of 2019-20, Burnley is debt-free.[113] 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%.[111]


The following have been chairman of the club's board of directors:[114]

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[115]
2015- Mike Garlick[116]

Notable players and managers


A black and white image of a man posing and staring straight ahead
Tommy Boyle was chosen as one of the "Clarets' legends" by the club's supporters in 2017.

The club has been represented by numerous high-profile players, most notably Jimmy McIlroy and Jimmy Adamson.[56][65] The latter won the FWA Footballer of the Year award in 1962, the first and to date only time a Burnley player achieved this.[117] Four years later, Willie Irvine became top goal scorer in the first tier, also a unique feat in the club's history.[118] Leighton James and Nick Pope are the only Burnley players to have been included in the PFA Team of the Year while in the top tier--James was a member of the 1974-75 squad and Pope was part of the 2019-20 team.[119][120] In total, 29 players have won full England caps during their time at the club; Bob Kelly won the most caps (11) and scored the most goals (six).[121][122]

The English Football Hall of Fame contains five former Burnley players: Tommy Lawton, Jimmy McIlroy, Mike Summerbee, Ian Wright and Paul Gascoigne.[123] The latter three had short spells, however, and were at the end of their playing careers.[124] Two of these five players, Lawton and McIlroy, also featured in a list entitled "The Football League 100 Legends", as Burnley's only representatives. The list was released by the Football League in 1998 to celebrate the 100th season of league football.[125] McIlroy was voted as the club's PFA Fans' Favourite in 2007.[126]

In 2017, images of more than 30 "Clarets' legends" from different eras were hung outside the stands of Turf Moor.[127] The players were picked by fans via an online vote. It was a cooperation between Burnley and members of its 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".[127] Burnley's first international, John Yates, was omitted as no suitable image could be found; he was replaced by George Halley. Including Yates, the following 32 players were chosen:[128][129]


The following table contains the managers who have won at least one (major or minor) trophy when in charge of Burnley:[92][105][130]

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 349 132 95 122 037.82 Championship champions: 2015-16

Club identity

Kits and colours

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.[131] After two years of claret and amber stripes, for much of the mid-1890s a combination of black with amber 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 wore an all-green jersey. In 1910, Burnley changed their colours to claret and blue, which they now have had for most of their history, save for a spell in white shirts during the 1930s and the Second World War.[131] The adoption of the claret and blue combination was an homage to Football League champions Aston Villa, who wore those colours. Burnley's committee and manager John Haworth believed it might bring a change of fortune.[24] The club decided to re-register its colours as claret and blue in 1946, partly due to readers' letters to the Burnley Express.[131]

Burnley's jerseys were manufactured by local companies until 1975, when Umbro became the first to have its logo on the club's shirt. Since 1975, the team have had a variety of kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors. The club's first kit sponsor was POCO in 1982, while the mobile game Golf Clash became its first sleeve sponsor in 2017.[132][133] Since 2019, the club's shirts have been supplied by Umbro, while the Asian betting brand LoveBet has been the chest and sleeve sponsor.[134][135]

The team's yellow away kit for the 2006-07 season, produced by Erreà, won the "Best Kit Design" category at the 2007 Football League Awards.[136]


A royal coat of arms with an inscription on the bottom reading "Dieu et mon Droit"
The Royal Arms was Burnley's first recorded crest.

Burnley's first use of a crest was in December 1887, when they wore the Royal Arms on the shirt.[132] Prince Albert Victor watched the team play against Bolton Wanderers at Turf Moor in October 1886--the first visit to a professional football ground by a member of the Royal Family.[6][12] 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.[132] The crest was regularly worn on the shirts until 1895, when it disappeared.[137] During the 1914 FA Cup Final, watched by King George V,[27] it featured again on the kits.[138]

From 1914, the team played in unadorned shirts, although they wore the coat of arms of Burnley in the 1934-35 FA Cup semi-final and the 1947 FA Cup Final.[132][139] After winning the First Division for a second time in 1960, Burnley were allowed to wear the town's crest on their shirts. In 1969, it was replaced by a vertical "BFC" monogram. The initials were placed horizontally and lettered with gold in 1975. 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. In 1987, Burnley returned to the crest used from 1979 to 1983.[132]

A coat of arms of a town with an inscription on the bottom reading "Pretiumque et causa laboris"
Burnley's coat of arms formed the foundation for the club's current crest.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1959-60 First Division title win in 2009, Burnley decided to reinstate the logo used from 1960 to 1969. The following season, its Latin motto Pretiumque et Causa Laboris (English: "The prize and the cause of [our] labour") was replaced with the inscription "Burnley Football Club".[132][140]

The club's current badge is based on the town's coat of arms.[141] The stork at the top of the crest refers to the Starkie family, who were prominent in the 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 former Bee Hole End at Turf Moor. Beneath the wavy, claret line is a reference to the River Brun, which runs through the settlement. The lion represents royalty and hints to Prince Albert Victor's visit in 1886.[141]


A football stand photographed from another stand, while some footballers are on the pitch
The James Hargreaves Stand pictured before kick-off in 2001

The team have played their home games at Turf Moor since February 1883, which replaced their original premises at Calder Vale.[5] The Turf Moor site was first used for sport in 1833, when Burnley Cricket Club was established.[4] In 1883, they invited Burnley to a pitch adjacent to the cricket ground.[4][5] Both clubs have remained there since, and only Lancashire rivals Preston North End have continuously occupied their stadium (Deepdale) for longer.[5]

The ground originally consisted of just a pitch and the initial grandstand was not built until 1885.[4] In 1888, the first league match at Turf Moor saw Burnley emerge as 4-1 winners over Bolton Wanderers, Fred Poland netting the first league goal at the stadium.[15] Turf Moor's capacity was increased from 20,000 to 50,000 under chairman Harry Windle during the 1910s, partly funded by the club's 1914 FA Cup win.[23] 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 full international match, between England and Wales for the British Home Championship.[142][143] 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 1947-48 First Division.[144][145] The attendance record for a single match was already set in 1924 against Huddersfield Town in an FA Cup third round tie, when 54,755 spectators attended.[146] In 1960, in an FA Cup fifth round replay game against Bradford City, there was an official attendance of 52,850. Some of the gates were broken down, however, and many uncounted fans poured into the ground.[147]

Turf Moor 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.[5][148] The current capacity is 21,744 all-seated.[149] Turf Moor's field had a slope until 1974, when the pitch was raised and a new drainage system was installed to minimise it.[5] 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.[150]

Supporters and rivalries


A group of football fans are celebrating behind stewards
Burnley fans at a Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in 2017

Burnley's supporters are mainly drawn from East Lancashire and West Yorkshire.[151] The club is one of the best supported sides in English football per capita,[152] with average attendances of 20,000 in the Premier League in a town of approximately 73,000 inhabitants.[144][153] Besides a loyal, local fan base,[154] it has numerous supporters' clubs across the United Kingdom and overseas, with groups in Australia, Finland, Mauritius, Poland, Thailand, and the United States among others.[155][156] The club's fans have had a long-standing friendship with supporters of 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.[157] 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.[158]

In the early 1980s, a hooligan firm known as the Suicide Squad emerged from within Burnley's fanbase.[159] The local police and the club jointly established "Operation Fixture" in 2002, a scheme aimed to tackle hooliganism in and around Turf Moor, with more arrests, more bans and quicker convictions.[160] The group later featured on the 2006 documentary series The Real Football Factories presented by Danny Dyer.[161] In 2011, 12 members were sentenced to jail for a total of 32 years, after a high-profile incident with Blackburn Rovers supporters in 2009.[162] The firm disbanded after the verdict.[163]

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".[164] During Burnley's 2018-19 campaign he ran to every single Premier League away match.[165] It was labelled the "RunAway Challenge" and he raised more than £50,000 for Premier League clubs' community trusts and community projects in Burnley.[166] Notable Clarets fans have included football pioneer Jimmy Hogan, who was a regular attendee at Turf Moor;[167] journalist Alastair Campbell, who has been regularly involved in events with the club;[168] and cricketer James Anderson, who also worked in Burnley's ticket office on a part-time basis.[169]

A popular drink served at home matches since the First World War is "Béné & Hot"--the French liqueur Bénédictine topped up with hot water. The East Lancashire Regiment soldiers acquired a taste for the drink while stationed at the birthplace of the beverage in Fécamp, Normandy, during the war. They 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. In excess of 30 bottles are sold at each home game, which makes the club one of the world's biggest sellers of Bénédictine; Turf Moor is the only British football ground to sell it.[170]

The club's official matchday programme is named "Turf", and was voted the best at the Football League Awards in 2009 and 2012. It was also voted the "Best Championship Matchday Programme of 2016" by peers and "Premier League Programme of the Year" in 2019 by the Independent Programme View.[171]


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 mill towns are also known under the name "Cotton Mills derby".[172][173] Both are founder members of the Football League and have won the First Division and the FA Cup.[172][174] The two clubs are separated by only 14 miles (23 km) and besides the geographical proximity,[173] they also have a long-standing history of rivalry; the earliest competitive clash was a Football League match in 1888.[175] Four years earlier, however, they had met for the first time in a friendly, "with considerable pride at stake".[176][177] Burnley hold the better head-to-head record, as the side have won 49 games to Blackburn's 45, pre-league matches included.[175][176] Burnley's closest geographic rivals 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 them.[178]

Other rivalries include those with nearby clubs Blackpool, Bolton Wanderers and Preston North End.[179] Burnley also share a Roses rivalry with West Yorkshire sides Bradford City and Leeds United.[180][181] The team contested heated matches with Halifax Town, Plymouth Argyle, Rochdale and Stockport County in the 1980s and 1990s during their time in the lower leagues, although feelings of animosity were mainly one-sided.[179][180]

Honours and achievements

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.[78][79] The club's honours include the following:[18][182]


First Division (Tier 1)[d]

Second Division/Championship (Tier 2)[d]

Third Division/Second Division (Tier 3)[d]

Fourth Division (Tier 4)[d]


FA Cup

FA Charity Shield[62]

Texaco Cup[185]

Anglo-Scottish Cup

Associate Members' Cup


Lancashire Cup[186][e]

  • 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

Records and statistics

A black and white image of a man posing and staring in front of him
Jerry Dawson holds the record for most Burnley appearances, with 569.

The record for the most first team appearances in all competitions for Burnley is held by goalkeeper and one-club man Jerry Dawson, who played 569 games between 1907 and 1929.[188][189] The club's top goal scorer is George Beel, who scored 188 goals from 1923 to 1932.[190] He also holds the record for the most league goals scored in a season, when he netted 35 times in the 1927-28 First Division.[32]Jimmy Robson and Willie Irvine have both scored the most goals (37) in competitive matches in a single season. In 1960-61, Robson netted 25 goals in the Football League, five in the FA Cup, four in the League Cup and three in the European Cup.[191] Irvine scored 29 First Division goals, five in the FA Cup and three in the League Cup in 1965-66.[192] Jimmy McIlroy is the most capped player while at the club, as he made 51 appearances for Northern Ireland between 1951 and 1962.[121] The first Burnley player to play in a full international match was John Yates, who took to the field for England against Ireland in March 1889. He scored a hat-trick but was never called up again.[193] In January 1957, 17-year-old Ian Lawson netted a record four goals on his debut against Chesterfield in the FA Cup third round.[194]

The club's largest win in league football was a 9-0 victory against Darwen in the 1891-92 Football League.[195] 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).[195] The largest defeat is an 11-0 loss to Darwen Old Wanderers in the 1885-86 FA Cup first round, when Burnley fielded their reserve side, as most professionals were prohibited entry due to rules of the FA that year.[11][195][a]

The club's highest home attendances are 54,775 against Huddersfield Town in an FA Cup third round match on 23 February 1924 and 52,869 against Blackpool in the First Division on 11 October 1947.[146] 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.[30][195]

The highest transfer fee received is £25 million from Everton for defender Michael Keane in 2017,[196] 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 bought for a fee of £15 million each.[197][198] Bob Kelly broke the world transfer record in 1925, when he moved from Burnley to Sunderland for £6,500--equivalent to £370,000 in 2020.[199][b]


  1. ^ a b 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.[10]
  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 2020.
  3. ^ Win% is rounded to two decimal places
  4. ^ a b c d Upon its formation in 1992, the Premier League became the top tier of English football; the Football League First, Second and Third Divisions then became the second, third and fourth tiers, respectively.[183] From 2004, the First Division became the Championship, the Second Division became League One and the Third Division became League Two.[184]
  5. ^ The club has fielded its reserve team in the competition since the mid-1990s.[187]



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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 F.C. 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.

External links

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