Ex-Clarets boss Steve Cotterill has described Michael Duff as one of the ‘best lads and players’ he has ever worked with.
Cotterill, who managed the Clarets between 2004 and 2007, signed Duff from Cheltenham Town for a mere £30,000.
And ahead of Duff’s testimonial against Bradford City at Turf Moor, the current Bristol City boss talked about why he thought the centre-back had stood the test of time.
“I think consistency and loyalty are two main factors, he’s definitely got that in him.
“To be as consistent as he has been throughout the leagues, throughout his career is a real credit to him.
“He’s been at a good football club and when people get embedded into Burnley, they quite often have a long stay.
“I’m not sure that when I took him there if you said to me he’s going to be there for ten years plus that would have been the case.
“He’s been a magnificent servant and it is a credit to Burnley that they’ve realised that and never let him go out of contract and recognised what a player he’s been.”
Cotterill will return to Turf Moor next season with his Bristol City side, after they were crowned Sky Bet League One champions in 2014/15.
Duff is entering his 12th season with the Clarets and having known him from a young age, Cotterill insists it is no surprise that a ‘born-winner’ is still a key part of Sean Dyche’s plans.
“I remember him as a young player when I first when to Cheltenham and he was out on loan at Cirencester, who were a league below Cheltenham at the time.
“I recall a conversation back then where he said he wouldn’t get in his team and I didn’t know whether he was trying to be clever so I recalled him from his loan.
“I used to beat Michael at head tennis all the time and I could see in him that born winner, that when it happened it got right under his skin.
“The roles reversed as he got older and better!”
“He brings courage, commitment, composure. He’s a fantastic header of the ball and his position sense is absolutely first class.
“He’s a fantastic professional and one of the best lads I’ve ever had.”