Last updated : 06 February 2013 By Tony Scholes

Date and Place of Birth

3rd October 1968 - PONTEFRACT


Transfers to and from Burnley

from WEST BROMWICH ALBION - 18th November 1998 (£100,000)

to NORWICH CITY - 23rd June 2001 (£150,000)


First and Last Burnley Games

BRISTOL ROVERS (h) - 8th August 1998


WEST BROMWICH ALBION (a) - 4th November 2000

sub: replaced Nik Michopoulos


Other Clubs










Burnley Career Stats


Season League FA Cup League Cup Others Total
  apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls
1998/99 29 - - - - - 1 - 30 -
1999/2000 46 - 4 - 2 - 1 - 53 -
2000/01 7(1) - - - 2 - - - 9(1) -
Total 82(1) - 4 - 4 - 2 - 92(1) -


Profile by Tony Scholes


The summer of 1998 had seen Burnley make a third managerial change in just over two years. Chris Waddle had gone to be replaced by Stan Ternent and as we all made our way to Turf Moor we were expecting to see veteran goalkeeper Tony Parks make his debut.

Chris Woods had ended the previous season in goal, but Ternent had released him from his contract. Parks and youngster Craig Mawson were the only two goalkeepers and they'd shared duties during pre-season.

Inside Turf Moor that afternoon the teams were announced and in goal for Burnley was a name not on the team sheet. That morning Ternent had secured the services of West Brom goalkeeper Paul Crichton on loan and he'd gone straight into the side.

We won the game 2-1 but there was a blow when West Brom recalled him on the following Monday. His loan had lasted just one game and Parks was in goal for the League Cup tie at Bury in midweek. By the second Saturday another loan keeper had arrived in Gavin Ward and he played every league game until November.

His loan came to an end but by now we'd signed Norwegian Frank Petter Kval and he stepped in for the FA Cup tie against Darlington. Suffice to say it proved to be his only game in goal and the search for a new goalkeeper started.

Burnley had a new director in Barry Kilby and he made a major contribution in helping the manager strengthen his squad over the next couple of months. The first Kilby assisted signing was the goalkeeper who'd started the season for us, namely Paul Crichton, but this time he cost us £100,000 when we took him on a permanent basis from West Brom.

He was just past his 30th birthday and it is fair to say he'd done the rounds. His career had started at Nottingham Forest although the young man never played a first team game for Brian Clough's team. Whilst at Forest he did go out on loan and played for Notts County, Darlington, Peterborough, Swindon, Rotherham and Torquay.

It was Peterborough who finally signed him on a permanent basis but he moved another few times to Doncaster, Grimsby and then to West Brom. He played close to 200 games for those four clubs with around two thirds of them for Grimsby. Burnley fans will certainly remember him from his Doncaster days, he was in goal on that sunny day in Donny when we picked up a 4-1 win at the start of the promotion season.

At West Brom he wasn't the most popular of goalkeepers. That followed a disappointing performance in a Black Country derby against Wolves and the Baggies fans found it hard to forgive him as we were to find out on the day he made his last Burnley appearance.

Back at the Turf, he made his debut as a permanent player in a 5-0 defeat at Bournemouth. It's fair to say his early days weren't good. Another four were conceded at Fulham, five at home to Gillingham and even worse six went in against us in the home game against Manchester City.

In all fairness much of it was down to what was in front of him and not the keeper but even so he would have been disappointed with his start at Turf Moor.

Then, things all started to go right. We had a run of eleven games without defeat to end the season well clear of what had become an expected relegation and in the following season we stormed to second place and promotion.

Crichton hadn't missed a single game for the Clarets since signing and by now the only thing going wrong was the inability of the club to get his name right on the back of his jersey - it read CHRICHTON and not CRICHTON.

He'd turned in some excellent performances when needed during that promotion and thankfully he'd also stayed injury free. Not once during that season did we name a goalkeeper as a substitute and one injury in one match could so easily have cost us.

Once promoted a new threat arrived. He'd started the new season where he'd finished the last one, in the first team, but Greek goalkeeper Nik Michopoulos arrived on trial and was given a contract.

For our League Cup tie against Crystal Palace at home the new keeper was given his chance with Crichton on the bench. He had a shaky debut but retained his place for the league game at Huddersfield when Crichton was caught in traffic.

It signalled the end of Crichton's first team career at Burnley, well almost. In November 2000 Michopoulos was injured at, of all places, West Brom and Crichton came on as a substitute. 'Dodgy keeper' cried the Baggies fans but it was home keeper Brian Jensen who made a mistake that allowed us our goal in a 1-1 draw with the Burnley fans chanting the same at him.

It proved to be his last game for us and at the end of that season he moved to Norwich for £150,000 as cover for Robert Green. He was at Carrow Road for three years. He played just six times, one of them at the Turf against us in a game that ended 1-1.

From Norwich he dropped into non-league football with York but was sacked by the Conference club after an altercation with a fan. He moved around in non-league football to Gainsborough Trinity, Stafford Rangers, Leigh RMI and Accrington Stanley before returning to the league with Gillingham, signed by former Burnley team mate Ronnie Jepson.

He played just the one game for the Gills before moving back to non-league with Cambridge and then King's Lynn. He looked all set to continue there but at the start of the 2007/08 season he finally hung up his boots and took up the role of goalkeeper coach with Brighton, and that's where he is at the time of writing (November 2008).

Crichton wasn't the best goalkeeper we ever had but he was a more than reliable last line of defence as the Clarets finally escaped the lower divisions, that is if you forget the home game against Brentford when he was beaten from almost the half way line.

He played almost 450 games in the Football League for his various clubs, the first for Notts County back in 1986 and the last for Gillingham against Yeovil in October 2005, and he kept a clean sheet.

On 9th February he left Brighton and returned to Carrow Road to become the new goalkeeper coach at Norwich City, the club we sold him to in June 2001.

Crichton has since moved to Sheffield United and then, in July 2012, joined Huddersfield Town as their new goalkeeper coach.



Crichton back at Norwich (09/02/09)

Crichton in cup action (11/08/10)

Crichton makes Yorkshire move to Huddersfield (19/07/12)