The Burnley players stepped out at Turf Moor for their opening friendly of a season that was to end in memorable fashion, promotion back to Division One, the second tier of English football.
The Clarets’ opponents were Premier League Everton, then managed by Walter Smith, and their squad included a player who would spend a season at Turf Moor eight years later, at the end of his career, defender David Unsworth.
It was the first chance for the Burnley fans to see manager Stan Ternent’s new signings, defenders Dean West, who had arrived from Bury, and Mitchell Thomas, transferred from Luton Town. There were also two new frontmen, Stephen Grant, a Republic of Ireland under 21 international on trial from Stockport County, and Alan Lee, who had joined the Clarets from Aston Villa.
Grant played only briefly, with just two sub appearances in the League Cup, before he departed, later becoming a professional golfer. However much was expected from the 20 year old Lee, who had failed to make the breakthrough during his four years at Villa Park, after beginning as a trainee.
The friendly with Everton was a low-key affair, with the only goal coming from Lee himself. Sadly he was unable to consolidate after his promising start, spending 14 months at Turf Moor, making 20 appearances, but only four starts. He scored just one competitive goal for the Clarets, in a Football League Trophy clash with Wigan Athletic, and was transferred to Rotherham United in September 2000.