Date and Place of Birth
26th February 1964 - LIVERPOOL
Transfers to and from Burnley
from BLACKPOOL - 29th July 1993 (£90,000)
to PRESTON NORTH END - 28th October 1997 (£80,000)
First and Last Burnley Games
PORT VALE (h) - 14th August 1993
BOURNEMOUTH (h) - 25th October 1997
PRESTON NORTH END, OLDHAM ATHLETIC
Burnley Career Stats
|Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Others||Total|
Profile by Tony Scholes
On Sunday 29th May 1994 there were two firsts for Burnley Football Club. We won at Wembley for the first ever time with a 2-1 win against an undisciplined Stockport County to reach Division One and in doing so scored goals for the first ever time on a Sunday.
The scorer of that first ever Sunday goal, which brought us level after Stockport had taken an early lead, came from David Eyres who was completing his first season as a Burnley player after a move from Blackpool.
He'd played all but one of our league games that season and despite playing wide had scored no fewer than 19 goals, albeit that six of them had come from the penalty spot.
Eyres had become a hero with Burnley fans in that first season and that made a refreshing change because he'd been a pain in the backside at times against us playing for Blackpool.
Eyres' introduction to league football came late. He was a non-league footballer playing for Rhyl when then Blackpool manager Jimmy Mullen signed him for a £10,000 fee. That was just ahead of the 1989/90 season and he was already six months past his 25th birthday and wondering whether his chance had passed him by.
Blackpool were in the Third Division at the time but were relegated at the end of that first season for Eyres but he'd established himself in the side that went on to reach the play offs in each of the next two seasons. After losing out to Torquay in 1991 they beat Scunthorpe in the 1992 final. Both went to penalties and in the winning final against Scunthorpe they benefited from a young Graham Alexander missing.
Jimmy Mullen had been and gone by that time at Blackpool and in the previous October had taken over as Burnley boss. Both clubs had won promotion to what was now the new Second Division following the introduction of the Premier League and one step up Eyres really came into his own.
He was Blackpool's leading scorer during the 1992/93 season. They comfortably avoided the drop back down whilst Burnley did considerably better back up a league after seven years in the bottom division.
By now at the age of 29, Mullen agreed a deal with the out of contract Eyres to bring him to Turf Moor. Back then, fees were still applicable for all players out of contract and this one went to a tribunal. Burnley insisted on a conditional tribunal which would allow us to back out if they set a value too high, but we couldn't play him mean time.
They set it at £90,000 on Friday 23rd July 1993, we signed him immediately and he made his first appearance in claret and blue the following day in a pre-season Lancashire Cup tie against his former club. Burnley won the game 4-3 and Eyres scored the first goal.
It was the start of a season that would end with his Wembley goal and a second promotion in two years for the Clarets. He suffered an injury in pre-season at Falkirk and he started only one of the first nine games.
Once fit he was back in the side and Mullen often played him in a more central role in the side during that season. He wasn't anything like as prolific in front of goal and it proved to be a disappointing season for him and the club as we went straight back down.
Over the next two seasons he continued as a regular in the side and in the second of those he was employed mainly as a left wing back by new manager Adrian Heath. It seemed a strange idea and certainly curtailed his goalscoring. He scored just three times that season with one from the penalty spot and one directly from a free kick.
Summer of 1997 brought with it a new manager in Chris Waddle and the new boss gave Eyres the captaincy. At a supporters forum night he sat alongside local media on the top table and it was evident things weren't as they should be.
Just a few weeks later he scored an early penalty in a 2-2 midweek draw at Plymouth and four days later made a final appearance for Burnley in another 2-2 draw at home to Bournemouth.
Burnley had accepted an £80,000 offer from Preston boss Gary Peters and Eyres was gone. Some would say it was good business. We got just £10,000 less than we'd paid for him after getting over four seasons out of him. Also he was now 33 and surely coming towards the end of his playing career.
I suspected he'd play for a short time for Preston and then hang up his boots. How wrong could I, and so many others, have been. That short time became three years during which he notched up over a hundred league games for them.
Both Preston and Burnley won promotion in 2000 and in October of their first season following the promotion they allowed him to move to Oldham Athletic on a free transfer.
Amazingly he clocked up a further 200 league appearances for the Latics before leaving in the summer of 2006, a few months after his 42nd birthday. His last ever league appearance came on 6th May 2006 at Boundary Park against Scunthorpe. Fittingly he scored the opening goal right on half time but Oldham had to settle for a point when Billy Sharp scored two minutes from the end.
David Eyres had played 651 league games, scoring 128 goals. Add cup games and the totals become 783 and 170. That is one hell of an achievement for any player but for one who didn't come into league football until he was 25 it is remarkable.
After Oldham he had a trial with Bury before playing non-league football for a short time. Now he's still involved in the game on the agency side and over the last two or three years has often been seen at Burnley reserve games whilst he also takes in a number of our first team games as a co-commentator on local radio.
Blackpool fans are strange, so they can be ignored. But you'll be hard pushed to find a Burnley fan, a Preston fan or an Oldham fan with a bad word for David Eyres and that says everything about him.