Wade Elliott will be remembered: A red letter day in Burnley history
Burnley made its top flight entry after 33 years of steadily falling through the cracks to the second, third, fourth divisions and in 1987, flirting with non-league extinction. They dodged that one by beating Leyton Orient. They do however, enjoy the distinction of winning except for the Premier League; every other division title, a rare feat with just Wanderers and Preston North End matching that record. And yes, they did win the FA Cup in 1914.
Owen Coyle’s men beat Sheffield United with Wade Elliott scoring a beautiful 25 yard curler in the 13th minute. After the match:
Asked whether his goal was the best of his career, the midfielder said: “In terms of importance – no contest. It’s far and away the best goal I’ll ever score, probably.
Mike Dean also turned down two appeals by United for penalties adding to the drama. Burnley join Wanderers and Birmingham in the Premiership from the Championship league. In the process, they enrich themselves by £60m. Not a bad chunk of change. Even more cheering was Coyle’s renewed commitment to managing the club after being scouted out as a possible replacement for Gordon Strachan who resigned from Celtic.
So what do we know about Burnley. It is one of the bigger North West towns located in Lancashire, population approx 88, 000 making it the smallest city to field a Premiership club since the league began 17 years ago. It was famous at one time for its textile industry but for many years now has suffered a serious decline in its traditional manufacturing base. It is better known now as a commuter town for cities like Manchester and Leeds.
Shahid Malik, the disgraced undersecretary of state for justice in Gordon Brown’s cabinet, the first minister to resign in the expense scandal sweeping England was born in Burnley. Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Magneto, Wolverine’s nemesis in the X-Men series is a Burnley native.
Chumbawamba is probably the most notable Burnley band.
Strangely enough, Burnley is well known amongst tipplers for ingesting the most amount of Benedictine, the French liqueur, in the world. The connection is no accident. The liqueur became a favourite amongst Lancashire regiments for warding off the cold while stationed in France during World War I. Apparently, they brought the taste back home.
Burnley’s entry is a great story. A celebration of a small blue collared club with strong roots to the community. For the Wembley playoff match, 36000 fans made the trip. That is 40% of the population. Victory was achieved without the additives of enormous amounts of money or foreign players.