Burnley Football Club is sad to report the death of former Clarets midfielder Paul Comstive.
Paul, who lived in Southport, suffered a suspected heart attack over the Christmas period and passed away at the age of just 52.
Following consultation with his family, the club will hold a one-minute applause to celebrate Paul's life ahead of the New Year's Day game at Turf Moor.
Paul was one of eight players making Clarets’ debuts in the opening match of the 1987-88 season as the club began to rebuild following the traumatic events of the previous campaign, and “the Great Escape” against Orient in May 1987.
Paul signed for Burnley from Wrexham, along with goalkeeper Chris Pearce, and both players went on to contribute to the beginning of the renaissance at Turf Moor.
He formed a key midfield partnership with Andy Farrell, another of the newcomers, and scored some crucial goals in his first season, including two in the exhilarating Sherpa Van Trophy campaign of 1987-88.
He tucked away the winner, a vital penalty, in atrocious conditions at Bury and then sealed Preston’s fate in the second leg of the Northern Area final, with the Clarets’ third goal in a 3-1 win, just minutes from the end of extra time.
On a joyous day out at Wembley, just a year on, but light years away, from “the Orient Game”, Paul twice hit the woodwork with headers as Wolves edged out the Clarets 2-0 in the final.
In 1989, following 103 games and 23 goals for Burnley Paul moved on to Bolton Wanderers, and later played for Chester where he ended his league career. He later played at non-league level for Southport, Morecambe and Chorley, and also coached when his playing days were over.
Paul began his senior career with Blackburn Rovers in 1979 and before he joined Wrexham he had a spell with Wigan Athletic.
He passed away on Sunday 29 December, on the very day that two of his former clubs, Wigan and Burnley, met in a Championship fixture.
The thoughts of all of us at Turf Moor are with Paul's wife Jill, daughters Lauren and Eilish and all his family and friends at this difficult time.