Ahead of Michael Duff’s testimonial against Bradford City on August, 1 at Turf Moor, we take a look back on three of his favourite games in Claret and Blue.
1. Burnley 1-1 Sheffield United, Championship, Turf Moor, August 7, 2004
The first game is an easy one; my debut! I’d just arrived in the summer of 2004 and I think it’s fair to say the club was in transition under Steve Cotterill. During the game Chris Morgan, a stereotypical, bone-crunching centre half who I have gone on to do my Pro and A coaching licence with, split my head open in the first half. I remember Micah Hyde scored from about half-a-yard out and it was a decent start for us.
It was important for me to get off to a good start because I was a little apprehensive, having made the step up. I wasn’t sure I was good enough, and it was the first time I had played at that level, after being in the lower leagues with Cheltenham, so it was a big thing for me.
2. Burnley 1-0 Sheffield United, Championship play-off final, Wembley, May 25, 2009
Same opponent, completely different circumstances! If you’d told me in 2004 we’d be playing United at Wembley for a place in the Premier League, I’m not sure I’d have believed you. But it was a huge opportunity, for the club and for me at 30 to finally achieve it. You don’t think that chance is ever going to happen, and we hadn’t been given a prayer that season.
Going into the play-offs, and the way we were going under Owen Coyle, I don’t think there was ever a doubt among the lads that we would get promoted. We had already proved we were a decent cup team and three cup finals were right up our street. It was a big day for everything that goes with a Wembley win, both personally and for the club, makes it THE biggest one-off game anyone could ever want to play in – and we got a clean sheet!
I actually don’t think the game was much to write home about, but I remember the party afterwards, and the dancing that evolved throughout the season. I was made to do it at Wembley, but I was more than happy to after that result!
3. Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Burnley, Ewood Park, March 9, 2014
I’d been here a while when the game came around and the gap between beating them had gone form 25 years to 35! It’s the one the supporters always went on about and I’d been made fully aware of it as soon as I signed for the club.
Having been here for 10 years and seen us come so close in recent seasons made it all the sweeter. To be honest I don’t know how we failed to beat them in the previous two or three games. There was one when I tried to clear it for a corner and it bounced off Jordan Rhodes’ knee and another when Paul Robinson played a worldie.
Just to finally get that monkey off our backs was a joy and it summed up last season, when we kept re-writing the record books and scoring things off people said we couldn’t achieve. It wasn’t a great game, but it was a magnificent win.
Tickets for Michael Duff's Testimonial are priced at £10 Adults and £5 for all concessions.
They can be purchased via the following options:
Visit: Turf Moor Ticket Office
Call: 0871 221 1914 (option 1)