CHRIS PEARCE 

Date and Place of Birth

7th August 1961 - Newport

 

Transfers to and from Burnley

from Wrexham - July 1987 (£4,000)

released - April 1992

 

First and Last Burnley Games

Colchester United (h) - 15th August 1987

 

Scarborough (h) - 20th April 1992

 

Other Clubs

Wolverhampton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Rochdale (loan),

Barnsley (loan), Rochdale, Port Vale, Wrexham

----------------------------------------

Bradford City

 

 

Burnley Career Stats

 

Season League FA Cup League Cup Others Total
                     
  apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls
1987/88 46 - 1 - 4 - 8 - 59 -
1988/89 39 - 1 - 4 - 3 - 47 -
1989/90 39 - 6 - 2 - 2 - 49 -
1990/91 43 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 55 -
1991/92 14 - 4 - 2 - 6 - 26 -
                     
Total 181 - 15 - 16 - 24 - 236 -

 

Profile by Tony Scholes

 

Some players have memorable careers at a club, sometimes because they become great players and sometimes because they become real cult figures. With no disrespect to Chris Pearce, he definitely fits into the latter category.

In five years at Turf Moor, almost from day one, Chris was a goalkeeper who had a fantastic rapport with the Turf Moor crowd that just grew and grew, and this for a player who cost us just £4,000 at a tribunal when we snatched him from Wrexham in the aftermath of the Orient game in 1987.

I didn't know too much about him when Brian Miller swooped to bring him and Paul Comstive from the Racecourse Ground and my only recollection of him was an appearance on Granada's Kick off programme doing Max Wall impressions in the dressing room at Rochdale. I wondered what on earth we might be getting.

It was at Rochdale where he made his league debut but they were his third club. He'd started with Wolves as an apprentice but when he wasn't offered a professional deal he moved to Lancashire and signed for our rivals Blackburn Rovers.

He was loaned out to Rochdale in August 1980 when he finally got a debut. He had a loan at Barnsley the following year without getting a game but in August 1982 he returned to Rochdale, this time on a permanent basis.

Two more moves saw him play for both Port Vale and Wrexham and in his one season at Wrexham (1986/87) he played in the European Cup Winners Cup. They defeated Żurrieq of Malta 7-0 in the first round and were then paired with Real Zaragoza. Wrexham held them to a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Spain and that was the 90 minute score at Wrexham in the second leg. Both teams scored twice in extra time giving Zaragoza the tie on away goals.

Pearce played in all four of those games and it was considered something of a coup for Miller when he was able to sign him as a replacement for the departed Joe Neenan.

He made his Burnley debut on the opening day of the 1987/88 season and was one of eight debutants that day as we lost 3-0 at home to Colchester. He was an ever present in that much improved season that ended at Wembley in the Sherpa Van Trophy Final against Wolves. His opposite number that day was Mark Kendall who would replace Pearce temporarily in the Burnley side four years later.

A second ever present season looked on the cards a year later but on the coach over to Grimsby in April 1989 I was told by Burnley Express reporter Granville Shackleton that both he and striker George Oghani had been ruled out although he wasn't sure why.

It transpired that Pearce had a facial injury, a fractured cheek bone I recall, that ruled him out for the rest of the season. Oghani never played for Burnley again.

Pearce remained first choice for the next two seasons and the second of them, 1990/91, saw us come close to escape from the fourth division when we reached the end of season play offs. It wasn't to be but there was one game that season for Pearce that no one there will ever forget.

It was a Leyland Daf Trophy game against Bradford City at Valley Parade and he turned in what had to be his finest ever performance. It included a penalty save but he made a string of top class saves  and ensured, along with a Ron Futcher goal, that we won the game.

The 1991/92 season proved to be his last at Burnley and it was a bitter sweet season. He was part of the team that won the fourth division title but it was also a frustrating one as he lost his place during that season on no less than four occasions to four different goalkeepers.

Pearce started the season but was then replaced by Andy Marriott. He was back in when Marriott returned to Nottingham Forest but was out again when Kendall arrived. He was quickly shunted out after a nightmare at Blackpool and Pearce was back in again.

Nicky Walker was the third goalkeeper to displace him but when his loan was over he was back again before finally losing his place to understudy David Williams.

There were no substitutes then so Pearce, who played 14 of the league games that season, had a watching brief as promotion and title were won at York. By the time we played Wrexham on the following Saturday he'd been released.

It didn't stop him dancing for the fans or joining in the celebrations and on what was his last public appearance as a Burnley player, in suit and tie, he jumped onto the old dug out in front of the Longside to salute his fans.

"Pearce, Pearce, give us a dance," they sung and he duly obliged.

A season with Bradford City followed but despite being just 32 his career quickly came to an end due to a back problem and he was forced to hang up his boots and gloves.

He played a few games at non-league level for Chorley, Fleetwood and Accrington before retiring from the game completely.

Chris Pearce is remembered at Burnley and he's always a very popular visitor when he makes the half time draw, and yes he still dances.