Clarets 100 Great Moments – 90 to 81

Last updated : 18 June 2002 By Tony Scholes

90. What a farewell to Harry

Harry Potts - lost his job after this big win
In February 1970 the Clarets entertained Nottingham Forest in a First Division game. We were on a good run with three wins and a draw from the previous four games. It hadn't been the greatest of seasons to date but things were getting better – or so we thought.

On this February day we turned in an excellent performance, our best of the season, as Forest were totally destroyed. Chief tormentor was Steve Kindon on the left wing who claimed his first Football League hat-trick.

Further goals came from Arthur Bellamy and a Bob Chapman own goal and the Clarets' fans went home looking forward to our visit to Hillsborough the following week.

Then came the bombshell, the biggest shock at Turf Moor since the departure of Jimmy McIlroy as manager seven years earlier. The club announced that Harry Potts was to be replaced as manager by coach Jimmy Adamson. Harry would move upstairs to a newly created position of General Manager.

The fans were stunned and during a poor performance and 2-0 defeat in Sheffield the following week there were chants for Harry's return. A 5-0 win had signalled a sad end to a wonderful Turf Moor era when we did things the Harry Potts Way.

89. John Pender gets in a tackle against Blackpool

In late February 1992 the Clarets entertained Blackpool at Turf Moor in a top of the table clash in front of 18,183 fans. Burnley took the lead through Roger Eli midway through the first half but within a minute the 18 year old Trevor Sinclair crossed for the Seasiders top scorer Dave Bamber to equalise with a diving header.

Although Burnley led the table by 3 points from Blackpool it would be fair to say that it was they who had the better of the chances in the second half. With time running out Burnley were on the attack when a tangerine defender hoofed a huge ball downfield.

The Burnley defence was taken by surprise and Bamber bore down on goal with the Clarets uncompromising defender and captain John Pender at his heels. As Bamber approached the box he looked like a certain scorer, especially when Pender stumbled. It looked all over but Pender's momentum carried him forward and just as Bamber was about to pull the trigger Pender stretched out his left leg around him and effortlessly knocked the ball back to Nicky Walker in goal. The match finished 1-1 and Pender's intervention was vital in maintaining the 3 point gap that would lead to our eventual promotion as Champions.

88. Clarets beat Preston 3-0

It is only just over a year ago but our 3-0 win against David Moyes' Preston was more than just three points and more than just three points in a late push for the play offs.

The game was played on a Friday night in front of the TV cameras, in the days of the league games being shown on Sky. It had been five days of hell for all Burnley supporters after a lunchtime defeat the previous Sunday.

The whole town was subdued, the fans were struggling hard and failing to get over the previous game and it looked as though Preston was a game too much and too early. In fact it was just what the doctor ordered.

We got off to a great start with an early goal from Ian Moore and that settled us down. It was clear that the players had got the last week out of the system. We were even treated to a rare treat just before half time, a goal from Kevin Ball.

A third from Blakey completed the scoring in a game that in years to come will look just the same as any other 3-0 win. For those of us who had suffered so much that week it was much, much more than that.

87. Roger Eli earns a replay

Is there a more exciting day than the 3rd round of the FA Cup especially when you are playing a team 3 divisions above you at home?

In January 1992 Derby County were in town with Peter Shilton in goal and a tricky winger by the name of Ted McMinn on the left. Burnley took an early lead through Steve Harper but despite more than matching our then illustrious opponents we had somehow ended up 2-1 down with 5 minutes to play and then…

Micky Conroy picked the ball up on the Clarets left wing and fizzed over a cross so hard that everyone was trying to get out of the way of it. Everyone that was apart from Roger Eli who was pounding at full pace into the box. His head connected with the ball 12 yards out and a nanosecond later the ball ripped into the net with Shilton still looking for the cross.

2-2 it remained and the result was to set up some rather special scenes in the replay of which you might hear more of later.

86. You are a liar Teasdale

He might have brought the club stability and he might well have seen us through to a brighter future but Barry Kilby has without doubt spoiled one of the great Turf Moor events – the Annual General Meeting.

Things are going so well that shareholders struggle to find anything to complain about but it wasn't always like that and two particular meetings come to mind.

The first was in 1995 when the whole meeting was like a circus. Basil Dearing resigned over the behaviour of Clive Holt whilst Bernard Rothwell and Bob Blakeborough had an argument over who could and couldn't tender for the club's kit contract. Needless to say Teasdale was unable to do anything about it.

Two years later though Teasdale was the centre of attention. Having told the meeting that there had been no offers made to buy the club a prominent local businessman and shareholder stood up and called him a liar.

There had been an offer which Teasdale then admitted had been derisory but he had to stand and admit that he had not told the shareholders the truth. The meeting turned on the chairman in no uncertain terms and so he manufactured Peter Shackleton. When that failed his days were numbered. But I can still hear those words, "Mr. Teasdale, you are a liar".

85. Billy Hamilton stars in the World Cup

Club football has always been far more important than international football. You certainly won't find many Burnley fans around who put England before the Clarets.

Of course we want England to do well and would love them to win another World Cup but the very presence of a Claret in any other side immediately guarantees them our support. Such was the case in the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain.

We all delighted as the Irish beat the host nation to qualify for the second phase (then another group) and even more so because Billy had laid the goal on for Armstrong. The pubs in Burnley though were just preparing for a special day when the whole town seemed to go Ireland mad, the day they drew 2-2 with Austria.

Never a prolific scorer for his country but the Clarets' hero netted both Ireland goals although they were unable to win a place in the semi-finals. Even during a World Cup we can put club before country.

84. Taffy in the snow

There is something magical about watching a match played with a red ball on a snow covered pitch. These matches tend not to take place today due to some nonsense about ‘the safety of the players'.

Thankfully that was not the case in February 1980 otherwise we would have been deprived of the sight of Leighton James, during his second spell at the club, slalom past the entire Fulham defence before effortlessly rolling the ball into the corner of the net from 15 yards to win the match 2-1 for Burnley.

On a normal pitch it would have been brilliant but in the snow it was truly magical.

83. Nik the Greek and Mark Robins

Goal scorers will always grab the headlines, after all it is often their goals that actually win the games and there names that go on the scoresheets.

Great saves are often dismissed although it is right to say that they are just as important as any goal. That was certainly the case early in the 2001/02 season at Turf Moor when the Clarets took on the already struggling Rotherham.

Our visitors had started the better and really should have already been in the lead when a cross from the right found the head of Millers' striker Mark Robins. He connected perfectly and headed in beyond the reach of Nik in the Burnley goal.

That's what Robins should have done and looked as though he had done but Nik pulled off one of those once in a lifetime saves to deny him. Robins could have done no more. He first stood in disbelief, then applauded the Burnley keeper before shaking his hand.

The response from Robins, not the first of its kind seen at Turf Moor, was as much a part of the moment as the save itself and the Clarets went on to win comfortably with a 3-0 scoreline.

82. The Gents Toilets at the back of the Longside

The Longside terrace formed part of Turf Moor for 50 years and many Clarets fans mourned its passing in 1995 when it was demolished along with a pile of bricks known as the Longside toilets.

Situated down the steps to the back of the terrace the sanitary arrangements consisted of a wall maybe 20 yards long with a channel at the bottom. To the rear was a wall without a channel. It was not blessed with that most modern of indulgences – a roof.

On a windy day you would be urinating into a spot some 5 feet to the left of where you were stood. On a big match not only would 20 or 30 people be performing this same feat but there was always a smaller number using the wall without a channel. In August and September the thistles growing out of the floor became worryingly high.

The Longside toilets are not so much an individual moment but a quick calculation of 1,000 urinations a match in a 20 odd game season for 50 years leads us to believe that there might have been around 1 million of such unforgettable moments.

81. A 5-3 win against Cambridge brings great relief

Paul Fletcher - this was his last game for the Clarets
A win against Cambridge shouldn't be making our top 100 moments, not even when five goals have been scored but this win although not special was important because it was our first league victory of the season.

No it didn't come on the opening day of the season, we had drawn at Orient 2-2 on the opening day, and neither was it our first home game, that was another draw 1-1 against Charlton.

In fact by the time we won our first game we had already drawn seven and lost nine games. The long wait for the first win had been seventeen games and had already cost us our manager, Harry Potts who left Turf Moor for the last time after a 2-0 home defeat against Cardiff.

Cambridge's Alan Biley scored an own goal but we were able to add to that with goals from Marshall Burke, Leighton James, Martin Dobson and Jeff Tate. It was Tate's first goal in his fifth game up front but he never played for the club again and neither did his partner that afternoon Paul Fletcher.

It was the start of a run of six wins in ten games but incredibly they were the only six wins all season as we ended the season as we started with sixteen winless games.