John Pender is special guest

Last updated : 29 March 2002 By Tony Scholes

John started his career with tomorrow's opponents Wolves and made his first team debut for them 20 years ago this month, replacing another player later to become a Claret Joe Gallagher.

He was involved in Wolves promotion to the top flight in 1982/83 but it was to be their last season at the top to date. They were relegated three seasons in succession and John was part of the first two before leaving for Charlton Athletic in 1985 for £35,000. He made 117 league appearances for Wolves.

After two years at the Valley and 41 games he went to Bristol City for £50,000 where he played 83 games in three years before Frank Casper brought him to the Turf, initially on loan in September 1990.

He soon formed an excellent central defensive partnership with Steve Davis Mark I as the Clarets reached the play offs in his first season. Davis moved to Barnsley and John replaced him as captain for his second season and was then joined by Steve Davis Mark II.

The next three years were great years for the Clarets as we finally got out of the basement division under John's captaincy and two years later won the play offs at Wembley. He remains, for now, one of only two Clarets to captain two promotion teams alongside Martin Dobson and the only winning Burnley captain at Wembley.

Sadly he was discarded and played only another six games for the Clarets after the promotion before moving on to Wigan. He played a total of 171 games for us and it is fair to say did a great job for us.

It will be good to see him back at the Turf tomorrow.