Last updated : 05 July 2011 By Tony Scholes

Date and Place of Birth

20th August 1961 - Eglin


Transfers to and from Burnley

from Volendam - August 1992

retired - May 1994


First and Last Burnley Games

Stockport County (a) - 22nd August 1992


Bolton Wanderers (a) - 28th November 1992

replaced by Roger Eli


Other Clubs

Derby County, Bulova (Hong Kong), Chesterfield,

Tranmere Rovers, Plymouth Argyle, Fortuna Sittard, Volendam



Burnley Career Stats


Season League FA Cup League Cup Others Total
  apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls
1992/93 3 1 - - 1 - - - 4 1
Total 3 1 - - - - - - 4 1


Profile by Tony Scholes


After winning the Fourth Division Championship in 1992, Burnley started the following season in the new Second Division with a 1-0 against Swansea. There was just one new signing in the team that day but a week later at Stockport there were three more new players in the line up.

One was defender Les Thompson and up front was a new look strike force of Adrian Heath who had signed non-contract and John Clayton who Jimmy Mullen had snatched from under the noses of Reading.

That debut came two days after his 31st birthday but it wasn't the start of a long and fruitful career in the Claret & Blue of Burnley and so infrequent were his appearances that he became known as Burnley's Lord Lucan.

He'd had a good career and on paper looked as though he might be a good signing, but a back injury was the main problem and for weeks on end he was ruled out with injury.

His career had started with Derby County. He'd won schoolboy international honours in his native Scotland but moved down to the Baseball Ground where he joined initially as an apprentice before being offered full professional terms.

Just 17, he made his debut for Derby in the old First Division in a 2-2 home draw against Spurs in October 1978 but it was his only appearance in the top flight of English football in his career.

He remained with Derby until the summer of 1982, but never established himself as a first team regular, and he spent a year with Bulova in Hong Kong before returning to Derbyshire and signing for Chesterfield in the summer of 1983.

In his one season at Saltergate he played against Burnley for the first time. We were drawn against them in the FA Cup 2nd round and after a 2-2 draw there we won the replay at the Turf 3-2. He played in both games but didn't score in either.

His career as a goalscoring striker had hardly taken off. He'd netted just four times for Derby in 24 league appearances and in his one and only season with Chesterfield scored five times in 33 league games.

But his summer move in 1984 (by now he was moving once a year) to Tranmere changed all that. He played 47 league games for the Wirral club and scored an incredible 35 goals. That certainly brought him to the attention of other clubs and again, a year on, he was on the move. This time it was Plymouth and there was a fee involved of £24,000.

He spent three seasons with Argyle and although he was never anything like as prolific as he'd been at Tranmere he still averaged a goal every three games.

The summer of 1988 saw him on the move again. This time he chose to play his football in Holland and for the next four years played for Fortuna Sittard and then Volendam with some success. His transfer from Plymouth involved a fee of £65,000.

At the beginning of the 1992/93 season he was looking for a club back in England. He had a trial with Reading but it was Mullen who moved in to offer him a two year deal, but it was to be a difficult time at Burnley, and we proved to be the last club of his playing career.

After that debut against Stockport he played against Carlisle in the League Cup three days later. Then the injuries started and he disappeared until November. He came back in for two games when Mike Conroy was suspended.

The first was at home and he scored a stunning free kick in awful conditions in a home win against Huddersfield but a week later was substituted early at Bolton with Roger Eli, returning from his own injury, replacing him.

That was the last we saw of him. He remained with the club for the rest of the season and the following season as the Clarets enjoyed a trip to Wembley and a second promotion in two years. But Clayton's football was mainly restricted to A team appearances at Gawthorpe.

The back injury had beaten him and after being released by the Clarets in May 1994 he retired as a player.

He decided to leave the game altogether but by chance made a return to do some coaching a year later. Because of his wife's business they moved to the south west and in 1995 his ten year old son was recruited by Bristol City.

That led to John doing some coaching with the youngsters at the club, but initially it was just one night each week. That was soon extended to more nights and he took charge of the Under-19 team.

It all progressed from there and in 2003 he joined Bristol City's Academy on a full time basis and a year later took charge of the youth team (under-18s), working alongside Academy Manager Tony Fawthrop. In the autumn of 2006 Fawthrop left the club and Clayton was appointed as the new Academy Manager whilst still continuing as the youth team coach.

He's been instrumental in bringing through such as David Cotterill who was transferred to Wigan for big money.

John Clayton is not a player who will really be remembered by Burnley fans but he had a decent enough career before ending his playing days at Turf Moor, and he's certainly established himself as a youth coach since hanging up his boots.