Last updated : 06 February 2013 By Tony Scholes

Date and Place of Birth

22nd January 1976 - EASINGTON


Transfers to and from Burnley

youth from summer 1992

released - 8th May 2001


First and Last Burnley Games

EXETER CITY (a) - 7th May 1994

sub: replaced Ted McMinn


SHEFFIELD UNITED (a) - 28th April 2001

sub: replaced Paul Cook


Other Clubs






Burnley Career Stats


Season League FA Cup League Cup Others Total
  apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls
1993/94 0(1) - - - - - - - 0(1) -
1995/96 3(7) - - - - - - - 3(7) -
1996/97 30(7) 4 4 - 1(1) - 2 - 37(8) 4
1997/98 8(6) - 0(1) - - - 3 - 11(7) -
1998/99 11(1) - - - 2 - - - 13(1) -
1999/2000 17(7) - 1 - - - - - 18(7) -
2000/01 10(4) 1 1 - - - - - 11(4) 1
Total 79(33) 5 6(1) - 3(1) - 5 - 93(35) 5


Profile by Tony Scholes


For over a decade there had been little come through the once famous youth system at Burnley. From the early 1980s, a period that gave us such as Micky Phelan and Trevor Steven, two players who went on to play for England, things had not been good.

Then eventually, in the early 1990s, there was some excitement with four players in one youth team showing some potential and by the end of the 1993/94 season two of them had already made first team debuts.

John Mullin was first with both Chris Brass and Paul Weller to follow, when, on the last Saturday of the season, Paul Smith got his first game in the Burnley first team at Exeter, coming on as a substitute for Ted McMinn who a few weeks later would become a real Burnley hero.

There was some real excitement about Smith, a tall left winger with some pace and a great ability to cross the ball from the left hand side, but he had a long wait for his next appearance in a first team shirt.

Six footer Smith is from Easington in the North East, later to be the setting for the film Billy Elliot. He  joined the Clarets as an apprentice, working his way through into the reserves and onto that first team appearance. That won him his first professional contract but, with manager Jimmy Mullen considered reluctant to give young players an opportunity, it was almost two years before he pulled on a first team shirt again.

That opportunity came after Mullen had gone. He was used as a substitute again in a home game against Blackpool with Clive Middlemass in charge and started the next game at Bristol City in what was Adrian Heath's first game as Burnley manager.

Heath was good for Smith. He gave him his opportunity and in the next season he started 30 of the 46 league games. He would probably have started more but already injuries were starting to have an effect and they were injuries that would blight the rest of his career.

That meant he didn't get another full season in and his best return was in the 1999/2000 promotion season when, including substitute appearances, he played in over half of the games including some at left back.

The 2000/01 season proved to be his last at Burnley . He didn't play a first team game until December, by which time he'd been on loan at Oldham. He played four games for the Latics but had an accident at home, falling down a manhole, which resulted in more time out with injury.

Smith was released in May 2001 and for many fans there was always the thought of what he might have been able to achieve but for the knee injuries that hit him so badly.

Without a club, he had a trial with Torquay before eventually signing for Hartlepool in November 2001. Back in the North East he enjoyed a productive time in almost two seasons with Hartlepool .

They reached the Division Three (now League Two) play offs in his first season before missing out in the semi-final against Cheltenham but a year later stormed to promotion, ending the season as runners up to Rushden & Diamonds.

By then he was out of contract and Chris Turner, who had signed him for Hartlepool, had moved to Sheffield Wednesday. In the summer of 2003 he signed Smith for a second time but it proved to be another difficult two years with injuries once again hitting him hard.

At the end of his second, and ultimately last, season at Hillsborough they reached the Division Two (now League One) play off final against his old club Hartlepool but he missed out again with injury.

He had three more league games to play, as a substitute for Kidderminster in the 2005/06 season before he dropped into non-league football with such as Alfreton, Sheffield, Quorn, Hucknall Town and Stocksbridge Park Steels.

His last club, Stocksbridge, announced on Christmas Day 2010 that he had left the club to pursue a career outside of the area. That took him back to his native North East to work in recruitment. However, in July 2011, in that same role he returned to work in Burnley.



Paul Smith signs for Hucknell Town (17/06/10)

Ex-Clarets on the move (02/11/10)