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John Connelly: 1938-2012

27 October 2012

Clarets Legend Passes Away

Burnley Football Club is saddened to hear of the death of club great John Connelly at the age of 74.

Connelly played 265 games for the Clarets, scoring 104 goals and was the club’s top scorer as Burnley won the Football League Championship in 1960.

He also played for Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers and Bury and won 20 caps for England – including one in England’s successful 1966 World Cup finals campaign.

Ten of those came as a Burnley player after he arrived at Turf Moor from hometown club St Helens Town in November, 1956.

A right winger, Connelly had to wait for his first-team chance but by the 1958/59 season had become a regular under Harry Potts.

And the following season he played a key role in the Clarets’ Championship triumph, scoring 20 times in tandem with Ray Pointer and Jimmy Robson, who produced a staggering combined goal tally of 85.

Although injury kept him out of the title run-in, he was back the following season and scored one of his most memorable goals in a European Cup win in Rheims which earned the Clarets a quarter-final tie against Hamburg.

He also helped Burnley reach the FA Cup final in 1962 with another 20-goal season and in April, 1964 played his last game for the club before moving to Old Trafford.

With George Best on the opposite wing, Connelly helped Matt Busby’s side win the First Division title in 1965 as he added another League Championship medal to his collection on the way to his World Cup success as part of Sir Alf Ramsey’s England squad.

Following the 1966 triumph, Connelly moved to Ewood Park and gave four years of outstanding service to Rovers before ending his career with a three-year spell at Bury.

After his retirement in 1973, Connelly remained settled near Burnley and successfully ran a fish and chip shop in Brierfield.

One of Burnley’s most prolific and popular wingers, he died peacefully at home on Thursday morning.

The flag at Turf Moor will fly at half mast as a mark of respect to one of the Clarets’ favourite sons and Burnley's players will wear black arm bands in their Championship game at Cardiff City on Saturday.

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