Derby County v Burnley - FA Cup 3rd round replay, Saturday 25th January 1992
Feature by Tony Scholes
Updated Monday, 5th November 2001
There is one article from the National press that features on most web sites run by Burnley fans, an article written by John Sadler for the Sun newspaper.
I was inside that ground that day and I have never, before or since, witnessed anything quite like it. Going out of the FA Cup is one of the lower points of any season but the atmosphere in the Burnley end that day was just incredible.
The final whistle blew and nobody moved at one end of the ground, the players applauded the fans and left the field but the chanting just kept on and on. Nobody was ready to leave.
Eventually manager Jimmy Mullen brought his players back out to the sort of reception reserved for Cup winners and Champions, not for a side just gone out of the FA Cup.
I have discussed it with some of the players and they still talk about it in almost amazement. It's what's being a Claret is all about.
This is what John Sadler had to say about it all.
Burnley Roar Out Warning to the Top Dogs
by John Sadler
Jimmy Mullen is due in court this morning to answer a drink-drive allegation. On Saturday, he watched his goalkeeper inexplicably drop the ball to present Derby with a decisive second goal that swept his team out of the F.A. Cup.
Derby v Burnley was a match in a time warp. A third round replay played on fourth round day. But the real blast from the past came from far more distant days, when fans came only to back their beloved team, not fight their opposite numbers. When fences weren't needed and policemen merely smiled in approval. Burnley took 4,000 Lancashire lads and lasses to the Midlands. And they were sensational.
Soon after goalkeeper Chris Pearce dropped his dreadful clanger they set up one of the loudest, sustained dins I've ever heard on a football ground anywhere in the world. "Jimmy Mullen's claret-and-blue-army" was the chant from the terraces and double-decker stand that housed Burnley's admiration society.
But it is something far more important than that. I wanted others to see and hear it. Big men, important men who are making decisions that could alienate the game from ordinary working folk. I wanted Graham Kelly to be there to prove to him that those who talk of Super Leagues should not underestimate the passion of the so-called little clubs. I wanted Sir John Quinton to be there so that the bank chairman chosen to preside over the elite could learn something of life at the other end of the scale. I wanted officials of Manchester United and Arsenal, Liverpool and the other fat cats behind the move to change the face of football to hear the voices of the people.
English football has no right to dismiss or take lightly the support of people like those who raised their voices so valiantly at the Baseball Ground. This, remember, was the support of a team who lost to a deflected free kick and a goal handed on a plate by a goalkeeper who couldn't catch the ball. The frost that caused so many postponements had the managers and scouts flocking to Derby. Brian Clough, David Pleat, Neil Warnock, Ian Branfoot together with scouts from Villa, QPR, Norwich, Portsmouth, Leicester, West Ham, Leeds, Manchester United, Oldham, Coventry, Cambridge, Blackburn to name but a few. Some will report back about individual players or one side or the other. But all will first tell the story of those incredible Burnley supporters.
So at last the message will be cast far and wide. The cry from the Fourth Division will reach high places. "In all my 23 years in the game I've never witnessed anything like that," Jimmy Mullen gasped. "It left my players feeling they were prepared to die for those people."
It left Arthur Cox thinking out loud: "Burnley have had a reminder of how things could be. It was a demonstration of potential. They now have to try and make sure they get promotion and don't let those people down."
And that is a sobering thought.