Date and Place of Birth
15th October 1971 - NOTTINGHAM
Transfers to and from Burnley
from SUNDERLAND - 29th January 2008 (loan)
returned - 5th May 2008
First and Last Burnley Games
WEST BROMWICH ALBION (a) - 2nd February 2008
sub: replaced Ade Akinbiyi
CARDIFF CITY (h) - 26th April 2008
ARSENAL, FULHAM (loan), BRISTOL CITY, NEWCASTLE UNITED,
MANCHESTER UNITED, BLACKBURN ROVERS, FULHAM,
MANCHESTER CITY, PORTSMOUTH,
BIRMINGHAM CITY, SUNDERLAND
Burnley Career Stats
|Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Others||Total|
Profile by Tony Scholes
Owen Coyle's second Burnley signing was a player who I think just about all Burnley fans will have been fully aware of before he ever pulled on our claret and blue shirt.
With the 2008 January transfer window just two days from closing Coyle brought in his second loan player from Sunderland, this time striker Andrew Cole. He joined the Clarets for the remainder of the season.
News had broken a couple of days earlier that Cole was the target, a player who had scored more Premiership goals than any player other than Alan Shearer. He'd started his career with Arsenal but was never able to break into the first team and made only two substitute appearances for the Gunners with just one of them in a league game against Sheffield United when he replaced Perry Groves.
Whilst there he had a loan at Fulham but in March 1992 made the move that really kick started his career. Bristol City boss Denis Smith paid £500,000 to take him to Ashton Gate and from that moment on the goals started to flow.
He was there for just a year before signing for Newcastle as they were ready to clinch promotion. They paid £1.7 million for him as his value continued to soar. More goals over the next two years raised his value to £7 million when he signed for Manchester United in January 1995.
In almost seven years at Old Trafford he won four Premiership medals and a Champions League winners medal in 1999 although he'd been substituted when the late goals came to turn the game around against Bayern Munich.
When the time came for him to leave Manchester United at the age of 30 he commanded his highest fee yet when Graeme Souness paid £8 million to sign him for Blackburn. From there he went to Manchester City, Fulham and Portsmouth which took him to the end of the 2006/07 season which he ended with a loan at Birmingham.
Released by Pompey in the summer of 2007 he signed a one year deal with Sunderland but he was unable to establish himself there and that led to his move to Burnley and he made his debut as a substitute at West Brom, coming on for Ade Akinbiyi.
It was very much similar to the Ian Wright and Paul Gascoigne stints at Burnley, seeing a top player of recent years playing for us and he soon made an impact. He scored in his first start, a 1-1 draw against Colchester, and followed that up with a hat trick in one of most memorable games in years at QPR.
We'd gone 2-0 down but he scored his first right on half time as he got on the end of a Joey Gudjonsson free kick. That led to a wonderful 45 minutes where he and Akinbiyi took centre stage in a superb half of football for Burnley. Cole got another two, Akinbiyi also scored as we won 4-2.
For a brief moment I had this vision of him scoring goals for fun for the rest of the season and the Clarets romping home into the top six, but that didn't last long. Just three days later came rumours that he was injured and would miss the next couple of games. They initially appeared to be dismissed by the club but it was eventually confirmed.
It was an achilles injury that required injections. He missed the next two games and later in the season missed one more game whilst being considered only for a place on the bench in three others.
That hat trick had come on 12th February at QPR, his next Burnley goal was scored on 12th April in a 2-1 home defeat against Sheffield United. By then any hopes of reaching the top six had long gone.
He scored in his last two home games but his Burnley career came to a sad and ugly end in the last home game of the season against Cardiff. With the score 3-3 and the game into stoppage time he fell victim to a horror challenge from Darren Purse that saw the Welsh side's captain sent off. Cole, initially receiving treatment on the touchline, suddenly set off in pursuit of Purse with subs, officials, stewards and police following. As Cole disappeared up the tunnel it was to be the last we'd see of him with the injury sustained ruling him out of the last game at Crystal Palace.
Owen Coyle had consistently said he'd like Cole to extend his stay at Burnley and when he was released by Sunderland we made him an offer. It wasn't what he was looking for and he turned us down.
There's no doubt at all that a fully fit Andrew Cole would be a major asset to any team at our level but the question mark against him will always be how fit he is and how many games he'd be able to play. It wasn't just the QPR game, there were other games when he was outstanding and despite that horrid injury inflicted by Purse he went out on one of those outstanding performances in that Cardiff game.
His stay was short, he started just eight games for us and scored six goals, but we saw enough to know just how good Andrew Cole has been. And we've got those Loftus Road memories.
Cole eventually agreed to sign for Nottingham Forest and on 7th July 2008 signed a one year deal with his home town club. Things didn't work out and at the end of October his contract with Forest was terminated and on 11th November 2008 he announced that he was retiring as a player.