Wembley Claret is special guest

Last updated : 01 March 2002 By Tony Scholes

Together they cost less than £20,000 in transfer fees so it wasn't as though Brian was given lots of cash to turn things round. The new signings did improve things at Turf Moor and in both of the following two seasons we spent time at the top of the league.

One of the nine players was Steve Gardner who joined on a free transfer from Manchester United and Steve is the Clarets Foundation special guest tomorrow. Steve was the youngest of the nine signings, just 19, and had been released at Old Trafford. After trials with Everton and Sunderland he finally joined the Clarets.

Miller had brought in both Gardner and Zelem to play at the back but injuries meant Zelem was hardly seen. A couple of months later with some financial help from the Supporters' Club he splashed out a whole £15,000 to bring in Steve Davis from Crewe and we had our two central defenders.

Gardner's first season saw the Clarets reach Wembley and he became one of the small number of Clarets to have represented the Club there. He played in front of an 80,000 plus crowd as we lost the Sherpa Van Trophy Final against Wolves 2-0.

Things were looking a lot better for the Clarets and Gardner had established himself as a first team regular and important member of the side and although things didn't go quite so well in the following season he was without doubt one of our better and most consistent players.

However after two seasons disaster struck and a broken leg in pre-season kept him out of the side until February and after just a few games that season he was released. He had played 95 league games for the Clarets and a couple of seasons later he had a short spell with Bradford City. In the 1992/93 season he made one appearance for Bury, his last ever Football League game.

There is no doubt that Steve Gardner played a major part in pulling Burnley away from the depths of near relegation from the league and but for the injury in 1989 could have been a Claret for a good number of years.

Welcome back to the Turf Steve.