‘We Are Going Up’, that’s Burnley Football Club. I have never followed football at all, I just about know what the offside rule is, but don’t ask me to explain.
So why on earth am I writing about football? Please read on as all will be revealed, I really felt a fraud and that I shouldn’t have been there, but I loved every minute of it.
UTC I learn’t last night means ‘Up The Clarets’ and they are now in the Premier League. I attended ‘The Players Player of the Year Awards’ at ‘Turf Moor’. The footballers with the attitudes (well some of them), the wags and the wages, I just can’t comprehend.
Would these lovers of football really adore it that much if the pay cheque at the end of the month wasn’t quite as big? Or they had to take on a second job to support themselves?…hhmmmm…I do wonder.
However, we have bred and turned these ball kicking professionals into huge stars with money that we all dream off. Burnley, as you may or may not know, is my home town.
My colleagues at BID TV used to have huge amounts of fun with taking the michael..to put it politely out of my accent. Sorry to repeat, like an old football song in the terraces, but I have never followed any team at all.
But this season I have listened to him in doors (the boyfriend) talking about how great the first love of his life was doing (no, not me, the team). Also listening to Peter Simon tell me every Saturday, when we worked together, what they were achieving.
So what exactly have they achieved? For a town of just 70,000 people, there average attendance makes them the best supported team per head of the population.
Burnley are now after 5 years back in the premiership. Before the play offs in 2009, they hadn’t graced there personalised boots on the well turfed pitches of the premiership since 1976, this was before I was born!
Danny Ings was the player who scored the most goals for Burnley this season, his muddy, lime green, embroidered boots last night, brought £1300 for charity.
Burnley were one of the 12 founder members of the football league back in 1888. This makes the Burnley v’s Blackburn Rovers derby the oldest of all time. Burnley have lived in the shadow of ‘money bags’ Blackburn Rovers’ for over 35 years.
So on Sunday the 9th of March 2014, Burnley town centre had horns a pipping, as the ‘Clarets’ won 2-1 at Ewood Park, 1979 was the last time this had happened. No wonder every Burnley fan went to bed that night with a huge grin and a wopping hangover.
I was kindly invited last night with my other half, by one of the associate directors. Not quite understanding the enormity, until I was there.
The players were called in one by one and if they had spoken to me before the event, I would not have recognised any of them. Except the face and the hunky gravelly voiced ‘Sean Dyche’ or the ‘Ginger Mourinho’ as they have nick named him.
After catching a few of the players, I can imagine what you are thinking I am about to write and what I thought I was going to be typing. How wrong we both could be.
They were charismatic, friendly, easy to talk to and incredibly polite…my favourite, Tom Heaton the goalkeeper. Let’s hope they stay grounded on and off the pitch as there twinkled toes head on to some of the most famous mowed grass in history.
A few interesting facts about Burnley…
Burnley were the first team to play before a reigning monarch in an FA Cup Final. This was when they beat Liverpool 1-0 in 1914 at Crystal Palace.
This season they only spent £450,000 on players. This is roughly what Wayne Rooney earns in less than two weeks…crikey.
Not a lot of people know why Burnley play in Claret and Blue. The reason is, they were struggling in the early 1900’s. So they said they would change there strip to the colours of the team who won the league that season, that team was ‘Aston Villa’.
Michael Duff joined an elite club by completing 300 appearances for Burnley.
The player of the night voted by the fans themselves, went to Sam Vokes. Appearing on crutches with almost 600 people in the James Hargreaves Suite singing and dancing the infamous ‘Vokesy’ song.
Congratulations, get polishing those boots, washing that kit and let’s hope UTC doesn’t turn into DTC (Down The Clarets) next year.