Celebrating his 51st birthday today is ex-Claret Warren Joyce, son of Walter Joyce and one of comparatively few Burnley players who were the sons of former Clarets.
Warren was born in Oldham whilst his father was playing for Blackburn Rovers, and after playing rugby for England at junior level and cricket at county level, he eventually chose football as his preferred sport. He joined Bolton Wanderers as a junior, signing as a professional in 1982, and made his senior debut in April 1983, with one of his early team mates being Ray Deakin.
Warren made more than 200 appearances for Wanderers before leaving for Preston North End in 1987, playing his first game alongside future Claret Tony Ellis.
During his first season at Deepdale one of his team mates was another son of a former Turf Moor favourite, David Miller, son of Brian.
After over 200 Preston games Warren spent a season at Plymouth Argyle before Jimmy Mullen brought him to Burnley in the summer of 1993. After appearing in the pre-season Lancashire Cup games he made his league debut for the Clarets in the opening match of the new campaign, against Port Vale at Turf Moor. Other newcomers were David Eyres and Kevin Russell and Warren immediately endeared himself to the Burnley fans with a goal after just 14 minutes.
Following an equaliser from Vale, Warren Joyce won the game for the Clarets with his second goal after half time, becoming the first Burnley player since Fred Taylor in 1937 to score twice on his league debut.
He was not an automatic choice in his first season at Burnley and in fact never scored again at Turf Moor during that campaign.
However it is often forgotten that, during the John Francis show in the play-off semi-final at Plymouth in May 1994, it was Warren Joyce who got the crucial third goal against his former club to see the Clarets safely through to Wembley for the showdown with Stockport County.
Following a loan spell at Hull City early in 1995, he was back in the Burnley team as a regular during 1995-96. Then in the close season of 1996, after 90 Burnley appearances and 12 goals, he joined the Tigers permanently.
He went on to finish his senior playing career at Hull but was still a regular during the 1998-99 season when he was asked to take over as player-manager. At the time City were rock bottom of Division Three and looking certainties for relegation to the Conference.
However, under Warren Joyce’s leadership the team pulled it round and eventually avoided the drop comfortably. Hull City fans refer to this episode in their history as “The Great Escape” and
Joyce remains one of their heroes.
Such are the vagaries of football, he was relieved of his duties in 2000 and also retired as a player.
Warren later managed Belgian club Royal Antwerp and is currently under 21’s coach at Manchester United.