Last updated : 06 February 2013 By Tony Scholes

Date and Place of Birth

23rd October 1967 - WHALLEY


Transfers to and from Burnley

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN - 16th January 1998

released - 6th May 2003


First and Last Burnley Games

BRISTOL ROVERS (a) - 17th January 1998


GRIMSBY TOWN (h) - 14th January 2003

sub: replaced Robbie Blake


Other Clubs





Burnley Career Stats


Season League FA Cup League Cup Others Total
  apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls
1997/98 19 9 - - - - 5 3 24 12
1998/99 39(1) 20 1 2 1 1 - - 41(1) 23
1999/2000 39(2) 27 4 - 1 - - - 44(2) 27
2000/01 18(22) 9 1(1) 1 2(2) 5 - - 21(25) 15
2001/02 0(15) 4 - - - - - - 0(15) 4
2002/03 0(1) - 0(1) - - - - - 0(2) -
Total 115(41) 69 6(2) 3 4(2) 6 5 3 130(45) 81


Profile by Tony Scholes


On Saturday 4th April 1987 I was one of just 1,874 to witness a 2-0 home defeat against Cambridge United. It was our third successive defeat in our second season in the fourth division. We were just four points ahead of bottom club Stockport County in what was the first season when the club that finished there would be relegated to non-league football.

It was a worrying time for Burnley fans, but elsewhere in the Football League that day Stoke and Hull drew 1-1 at Stoke's old Victoria Ground, and it was a vital point for Hull who were themselves hovering just above the relegation places in the second division.

Garry Parker, who went on to play for Leicester, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa, was in the Hull side but during the second half was substituted by manager Brian Horton. The player brought on was a 19-year-old debutant by the name of Andy Payton.

I would hazard a guess that very few of that 1,874 Turf Moor crowd would have even heard of this youngster at Hull, but he was a local lad, a Burnley fan, and a story to tell. He'd been with the club as a schoolboy but when it came to making a decision on apprentices at the age of 16 he was turned down by the club he supported. Arthur Bellamy was the youth coach who made the decision.

Through the coach of the boys team he played for he'd been to Hull for a trial previously and when he contacted them again he was offered an apprenticeship and so the start of his career was at Boothferry Park.

Payton was a midfielder then, and as part of his development he was sent to New Zealand one summer to play for Porriua United and it was there he moved to a striker role and started scoring goals.

Back at Hull he started to play up front for the reserves and finally his opportunity came in the first team. He did have a spell on the wing but for the most part was now used as a striker, and he was scoring goals with his first hat trick coming in the 1989/90 season.

Just over three years on from that debut the crowds had started to increase at Burnley and 3,967 saw us play out a boring 0-0 draw against Southend. It was six days over the three years to be exact and on this day I would presume more Burnley fans did have an interest in Hull's game. They beat Blackburn Rovers 2-0 and Payton scored one of the goals.

Manager Brian Horton left and was replaced by a former Claret in Stan Ternent. In the 1990/91 season Payton netted no fewer than 25 league goals for them and that was some achievement given that Hull were relegated. That goal return was to be his best for a few years.

He was on the move early in the following season and signed for Middlesbrough but his time there was less than a year and in the summer of 1993 he joined Celtic and he became a hero there when he scored the winner in an Old Firm game.

From Celtic he moved back to England with Barnsley and joined the side in 1994 at a time when things were starting to go well for the Yorkshire club. By then I think most Burnley fans knew the Andy Payton story but even so the day I sat next to him waiting for a haircut I had to be told it was him.

He finally made is Turf Moor debut in 1994, playing for Barnsley, and he scored the only goal of the game as the Clarets continued to have a difficult start to the season after promotion. His reaction to the goal said it all, there was no celebration whatsoever. How could a Claret possibly celebrate a goal scored against us?

His next move saw him sign for Huddersfield in 1996. He had a good first season at the McAlpine but was out of favour in 1997/98 when he finally got the opportunity to pull on the Claret and Blue shirt. Even so, it was a big decision because it meant a drop of at least one division and potentially two.

Burnley were struggling under Chris Waddle's management but the lure of Turf Moor proved to much and in January 1998 he became a Burnley player in a swap deal that saw Paul Barnes join Huddersfield.

I think it is fair to say that in the next two and a half years his contribution to Burnley was vital as his goals twice kept us up and then took us up. Under Waddle he played nineteen league games and netted no fewer than nine goals in those games.

During March and April, on four successive Saturdays, we played clubs who finished in the top six. They were Grimsby, Northampton, Bristol City and Fulham. We won all four games, and he scored the winning goal in all four.

His former Hull boss Stan Ternent took over in the summer of 1998 and as we continued to struggle you wonder just where we might have finished but for Payton's 20 league goals. I think we would most probably have been looking at relegation again.

Then, in the 1999/2000 season he broke his own personal seasonal best with 27 league goals. He scored two hat tricks on the Turf against Colchester and Oxford with the second coming in the last game of the Millennium. And he scored his 200th career goal in a 1-0 win at Wrexham and promptly displayed a t-shirt with the slogan 'Natural Born Claret'.

There was much debate in the latter part of that season, as the Clarets stormed to promotion, as to whether he would get another contract. The very thought that he wouldn't seemed unthinkable and eventually he agreed a deal for the next three seasons.

They weren't to be as successful. He was in and out in the first half of the 2000/01 season but did get a League Cup hat trick against Hartlepool after coming on as a substitute. Unfortunately for Payton the signing of Ian Moore for £1 million dropped him down the pecking order and by January 2001 he'd started his last game for us in a 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace. And yet he was still the leading scorer.

For the rest of that season, and the whole of 2001/02, he was used only as a substitute and yet there were still more goals and you do wonder if we might just have made those play offs had he been in the side, after all we only missed out by one goal.

His last season at Burnley saw him make just two substitute appearances, and after some widely publicised off the field problems he was even banished to Blackpool on loan. He scored one goal for the Seasiders and that proved to be his last in league football.

Prior to our last home game of the 2002/03 season against Sheffield Wednesday he took to the pitch alongside Paul Cook before kick off as they both said their goodbyes. He'd been released, and that was hardly a surprise given that he was no longer considered for the first team.

The reception was amazing, as befitting our Natural Born Claret, a player many Burnley fans still wanted to see in the team. But it was not to be and after suggestions he might play for Stalybridge he did have a short time with Colne and even played in a pre-season game against our youth team in 2004.

Today his involvement with football is still at Turf Moor. Like the rest of us he's a Burnley fan and like the rest of us he can be found at Turf Moor watching the Clarets.

There are good players and not so good, and there are centre forwards and there are goalscorers. You can never undervalue the contribution of a goalscorer, they can make or break a season. Payts did it for us for three seasons and without his goals the outcome could have been so different in each of them.

Whatever people may think of Chris Waddle and his attempts at management, he did sign Andy Payton. It was without doubt his best decision. We've established ourselves now in the second tier of English football, but I wonder if we would have ever made it in the first place without Andy Payton in the number 10 shirt.



Payton and Farrell to play for Clarets again (11/06/09)