Date and Place of Birth
16th September 1987 - ENNISKILLEN
Transfers to and from Burnley
youth player from summer 2004
to RANGERS - 19th June 2008 (£3.25 million)
First and Last Burnley Games
CREWE ALEXANDRA (a) - 6th August 2005
sub: replaced Garreth O'Connor
SHEFFIELD UNITED (h) - 12th April 2008
DARLINGTON (loan from Burnley)
RANGERS, FC SION, PALERMO, NORWICH CITY, CAYKUR RIZESPOR
Burnley Career Stats
|Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Others||Total|
Profile by Tony Scholes
Thursday 19th June 2008 was a significant day for Kyle Lafferty. That was the day he got his wish and signed for Rangers. Along with his agent and the Irish press he'd engineered the move he wanted for himself and in the end there was no doubt that his departure was good news for Kyle Lafferty and also for everyone involved with Burnley Football Club.
It was a sad end to his four year Burnley career, one that had seen him come through the youth team to the first team and break into international football, but it was made sadder because of the nature of the departure. He laid the blame with the manager at first, then the fans, but not too long before he'd been blaming himself for getting too big for his boots. There were so many mixed messages it was difficult to believe what was the truth in the end, if in fact any of it was.
The first time I saw Lafferty play was during the latter stages of the 2003/04 season. Still a schoolboy in Northern Ireland he came over to play in two Lancashire FA Youth Cup ties as the Clarets reached the final. Younger than most of the players on the pitch he didn't impress too much but there was soon more to come.
In the summer he joined the club as an apprentice and in that first season he vied with Alex Taylor and Cayne Hanley for the forward positions. Taylor was the goalscorer but Lafferty chipped in with ten goals and overall had enjoyed a very good first season.
In July 2005, as our coach passed through Padiham on the way to a pre-season friendly at Cheltenham, Lafferty was stood at a bus stop along with Chris McCann. What we didn't know is they were on their way to get to the team coach and were set for their first team debuts. Lafferty got on two minutes from the end, replacing captain Frank Sinclair.
He got his league debut on the opening day of the season at Crewe, again coming on as a sub, and set up Gifton Noel-Williams right at the end of the game but the effort came back off the bar. There were other substitute appearances and he was beginning to impress but his first league start was to come elsewhere.
Steve Cotterill sent him out to Darlington on loan and he did well. On his return he got that first Burnley start, and incredibly partnered Michael Duff up front against runaway leaders Reading. His season ended with his first Burnley goal in our last match of the season, a 1-1 draw against Luton.
That summer he won his first cap for Northern Ireland against Uruguay and Romania in two friendlies played in America and then got his first goal for his country in August against Finland in Helsinki.
He was involved with the first team at Burnley throughout the 200607season and featured in 35 of the league games although there were still more substitute appearances than starts. He had a particularly impressive game at Crystal Palace (playing wide) and got his first goal of the season. But he got his chance up front when Andy Gray was injured. He scored three times in the first three games but then as we went into an almost terminal decline he struggled to make an impact and there were to be no more goals from him all season.
On the international front, along with Michael Duff, he'd certainly got a lot of Burnley fans watching Northern Ireland games on television. He became a regular in the side and had some excellent games for his country.
Then came what proved to be his last season at Burnley, and how that divided opinion. Both Cotterill and his replacement Owen Coyle elected to play him largely down the left hand side of the pitch. Some fans claimed he should be playing up front, others believed he was fortunate to keep his place in the side.But he did keep his place in the side and the only time he was missing was because of a couple of suspensions and illness. A ridiculous red card in Austria followed by the sending off against Arsenal cost him seven games in total and he went on to miss the last few games following an appendix operation.
Lafferty has the ability to frustrate but also can leave you enthusing about him. He's got enough pace for the modern game, there's no doubt about that, and he's got, to use today's terms, good feet. He can run at players and defenders don't like that.
Is he a striker? Should he play up front? That was the question always asked and much will depend on whether he can add goals to his game. Someone said to me last week that he's a scorer of good goals but he's not a goal scorer. That made sense to me.
But no matter what, he was a player who attracted attention from elsewhere. Celtic were the first club to make an offer for him and that's eighteen months ago, and then Fulham came storming in with a big bid as Lawrie Sanchez wanted to recreate the Healey/Lafferty partnership that had done so well for him at international level.
Add Wolves, Ipswich and of course Rangers and he was a player in some demand. He always wanted it to be Rangers and although he didn't go about it the right way he's got what he wanted.
He's still only 20 and has his full career ahead of him and I can't believe any of us wouldn't wish him the very best in his career. I'm sure we'll all be keeping an eye on it.
Lafferty enjoyed four years with Rangers, quite often grabbing the headlines and not always for the right reasons. He ended his time in Glasgow at the end of June 2012 when he became one of the players who refused to have his registration transferred to the new club. On the last day of June he signed a three year deal with Swiss club FC Sion.
He played just one season for FC Sion, scoring 8 goals in 28 appearances. There was considerable speculation that he might return to England with Championship club Millwall but on 26th June 2013 he signed a three year contract with Italian club Palermo.
Lafferty scored 11 goals during the 2013/14 season in helping Palermo to a return to Serie A but he moved on again after a blasting from club president Maurizio Zamarini, describing him as a womanising, out of control Irishman. One day later Lafferty completed a move to Norwich on a three year deal with the club having an option for a fourth year. By January in his first season he was on the move again. After scoring just one goal for Norwich, he was loaned out to Turkish club Caykur Rixespor for the remainder of the 2014/15 season.