Happy 65th birthday today to Paul Fletcher MBE who was born on this day in Bolton in 1951.
Paul was the Chief Executive at Burnley FC from 2008 until 2011 and is now a director and consultant of the University and College of Football Business based, in part, here at Turf Moor.
However it is probably as a former centre forward that Paul is better known to most Clarets’ fans, arriving at Turf Moor as a 20 year old from his home town club, Bolton Wanderers, in March 1971.
He went on to make a total of 352 appearances for Burnley, scoring 86 goals, and won a Second Division Championship medal in 1972-73, when he was the Clarets’ top scorer.
He followed that by topping Turf Moor’s scoring charts back in the old First Division in 1973-74, when Burnley also reached the FA Cup semi-final for the first time in twelve years.
In 1978-79 Paul was a member of the Clarets’ Anglo Scottish Cup winning side, playing in all nine of the ties, including the infamous “Battle of Turf Moor” against Celtic and Burnley’s historic 2-1 victory at Parkhead against the Scottish League Champions-elect.
During his time with Burnley he won four England under 23 caps, all in 1974, scoring one international goal at that level, in a 2-2 draw against France in Valence.
In 1980 Paul left Turf Moor and ended his playing career with Blackpool.
In recent years he has enhanced his reputation within football away from the playing side, leading new stadium developments at Huddersfield Town, Bolton Wanderers, Wembley and Coventry City and in the 2007 New Year honours list he was awarded an MBE for services to the game.
Burnley 4-3 Stockport County
The Clarets came from behind three times to edge out fierce rivals Stockport County in this seven goal thriller at Turf Moor.
County went ahead inside three minutes, Chris Vinnicombe equalised on six minutes with a 20 yarder, before the visitors went in front again with a header after 11 minutes following questionable marking from a corner.
On 17 minutes Andy Cooke equalized again with a fierce drive after good work by Kurt Nogan only for Stockport to be ahead at the interval with a goal on 33 minutes.
This was another header from a man who was to join the Clarets just weeks later, Ian Helliwell.
In the second half Burnley made two substitutions on the hour, David Eyres and John Francis, and they both contributed to the Clarets turning it around.
After 69 minutes Francis crossed from the left to the far post, Eyres nodded it back across goal for Kurt Nogan to crash his header into the net.
Ten minutes later the game was won when Warren Joyce put Francis through, his place taking him beyond the defenders, who had pushed up.
The County keeper strayed off his line and the sub looped the ball over his head into the net.
At the final whistle Burnley were still fifth in the Division Two table, seemingly with very real hopes of promotion.
However it was a false dawn, the next four games were all lost, without a goal being scored, and it was time for manager Jimmy Mullen to depart from Turf Moor.
At the end of the season Burnley finished in 17th place, just two wins above the drop zone.
It could have been much worse without top scorer Kurt Nogan, who hit 23 goals in league and cups and was included in the Division Two team of the season.
Burnley team (235):
Marlon Beresford, Chris Brass, Chris Vinnicombe, Peter Swan, Mark Winstanley, Gerry Harrison,
Jamie Hoyland (David Eyres), Warren Joyce, Andy Cooke, Kurt Nogan, Paul Weller (John Francis).