Last updated : 05 February 2012 By Tony Scholes

Date and Place of Birth

15th May 1962 - Kettering


Transfers to and from Burnley

youth from summer 1978

to Birmingham City - 11th June 1986

from Stoke City - 1st August 1996

released - 31st May 1998


First and Last Burnley Games

Orient (h) - 3rd November 1979


Hartlepool United (a) - 9th December 1996

replaced by Gerry Harrison


Other Clubs

Birmingham City, Stoke City


Shrewsbury Town (loan), Halifax Town



Burnley Career Stats


Season League FA Cup League Cup Others Total
  apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls
1979/80 22 - 2 - - - - - 24 -
1980/81 39 1 3 - 1 - - - 43 1
1981/82 36 4 6   1 - 2(1) - 45(1) 4
1982/83 2(4) - - - - - - - 2(4) -
1983/84 38 - 5 - 1 - 4 - 48 -
1984/85 42 1 3 - 4 1 4 - 53 2
1985/86 28 - - - 2 - 2 - 32 -
1996/97 6(2) - - - 1 - 1 - 8(2) -
Total 213(6) 6 19 - 10 1 13(1) - 255(7) 7


Profile by Tony Scholes


Some players get nicknames that frankly are difficult to understand, and some get ones which are a little more straight forward. I think 'Big' Vince Overson's fits into the second category.

Back with the club he started with he's now had an association with Burnley Football Club for over thirty years. He joined the Clarets straight from school and joined a club where his elder brother Richard was already making progress as an up and coming centre half.

Richard, it was said, was the better of the two, but that was not the case and it was Vince who was to go on and play well over 200 league games for the Clarets.

The younger of the two Oversons made rapid progress and in November 1979 reached two milestones by winning his first professional contract and making his first team debut. I won't tell you of his meeting with chairman Bob Lord following his signing of his first deal, I'll leave that one for him to tell, but his debut came in what was Brian Miller's first home game in charge of the Clarets.

We'd lost heavily at QPR the week before and Miller gave debuts to two of his younger players, the other was winger Phil Cavener, when we played Orient at home. Into November and we'd not won a game all season, and we didn't win this one either going down 2-1 with right back Tony Arins scoring our goal.

When Jim Thomson was replaced during that game big brother Richard came on and they ended the game as our two central defenders and in doing so became only the second set of brothers to play together for Burnley. The others were Jack and David Walders who played for us between 1904 and 1906.

He soon established himself in the first team but unfortunately we were still relegated at the end of that season and dropped into the third division for the first time. He partnered Martin Dobson for much of the 1980/81 season as the Clarets failed to go back up but in 1981/82 he was part of a teenage back four that won the title.

After a difficult start to the season, although Vince did score his only away league goal for us at Millwall, we switched Dobson to a sweeper role behind the four youngsters Brian Laws, Overson, Micky Phelan and Andy Wharton.

And how it worked, we went twenty games without defeat to storm through to the title but it came at a cost with Vince suffering a serious groin injury. He limped off during a televised 3-0 win against Reading and missed the run in, but worse still he missed virtually the whole of the following season.

Up a division we played with Dobson and Phelan as central defenders in a back four. Two great players without a doubt but without the presence of a strong centre half alongside one or the other we struggled. I remain convinced that had Vince not been injured that season we would not have been relegated.

It could have been worse still for him. Before the following season started we signed his replacement in West Ham's Joe Gallagher. The Gallagher story is for another day but suffice to say it didn't take Vince long to win his place back and for the next three seasons he was one of our few shining lights.

Relegated again in 1985 he was captain under Martin Buchan and then Tommy Cavanagh despite being on a week to week deal. His relationship with Cavanagh was not good, and that's something of an understatement I can tell you, and he finally left the club just a few days before the end of that season and rejoined John Bond at Birmingham who he credited with resurrecting his career.

He had five years with the Midlands club, ending his time there with a winning performance at Wembley in the Leyland Daf Trophy. When he left Burnley for Birmingham he rejoined a former manager and he did just that again by signing for Lou Macari who was now at Stoke.

He had some great success at Stoke. He captained them to the Second Division Championship in his second season and three years later the reached the play offs as they looked for a place in the Premiership.

He missed the run in again through injury and in the summer of 1996 made a return to Turf Moor when he was signed by former Stoke team mate Adrian Heath. I know just how much our club means to him and I know just how much he wanted to succeed again at Burnley but it was not to be as injury all but ended his career.

He played just eight times for us and the last of those appearances was in an Auto Windscreens game at Hartlepool during which he was stretchered off. He never regained full fitness but did have a loan spell with Shrewsbury before ending his career at Halifax.

He eventually returned to Burnley, working within the community programme and coaching within the youth set up, and in December 2004 was appointed as the club's Head of Youth Development.

In almost four years since there is no doubt that Vince and his team have moved our youth system forward by some considerable distance, and it has been an absolute pleasure over the last two and a half years to be involved with them in our fundraising.

Recently Martin Dobson has been brought in as the Director of Youth Development and in a reshuffle Vince took taken charge of the Centre of Excellence.

However, in October 2011, it was reported that he'd left the club as we prepared for the implementation of EPPP. He was placed on gardening leave but on 4th February 2012 Burnley Football Club confirmed his departure from his position as Centre of Excellence Manager.



New role for Vince as Dobbo reshuffles (14/10/08)

Big Vince leaves Burnley (04/02/12)