A supporter-led project to recognise some of Burnley’s finest players and improve the look of the exterior of Turf Moor has been completed.
Life-size images of more than 30 of the club’s outstanding players – as voted for by fans – have been erected around three sides of the ground.
A written profile of their Turf Moor careers has also been mounted alongside the picture of each player, giving an insightful summary of their contribution to the Clarets’ proud history.
Wembley 2009 hero Wade Elliott
The players were chosen from five separate eras – pre-Second World War, post-war to 1960, 1960-1980, 1980-2000 and 2000 onwards – and selected as heroes via a fans’ poll, with various supporters’ groups sponsoring individual plaques.
The club-backed project has been co-ordinated by Tony Scholes, a member of the Burnley FC Supporters Groups and part of a small group of supporters put together to discuss potential ground improvements in consultation with Clarets’ Chief Executive Dave Baldwin.
“I don't think we ever thought that the project would take over two years to complete, but we wanted to ensure that we firstly selected the best players and, then, produced the best possible photographs to be displayed on the three stands,” said Scholes.
Billy Hamilton and Trevor Steven were heroes of the early 1980s
“Thousands of votes were received in selecting those players and you can now see the end result with the final group of players having been installed.
“The intention was always to reflect the history of the club with players selected from different eras and that's been achieved with players from the early part of the 20th-century through to players involved in our recent promotions.
“It's been very much a team effort and I'd like to place on record our thanks to Dave Baldwin for his initial support and guidance, to Adam Riding (Burnley FC) for the design of the images, to Creation Signs for the production and installation and finally to all those who sponsored the players, both individuals and supporters’ clubs.”
The first phase of the project was unveiled at the turn of the year, with a dozen striking images going up on the outside of the Bob Lord Stand on Harry Potts Way.
Further pictures were added on the Jimmy McIlroy Stand and the project has been finished with 13 players from the Clarets’ modern era now appearing on the outside of the James Hargreaves Stand.
They include club stalwart Michael Duff (above), who made almost 400 appearances for the Clarets in more than a decade of outstanding service before moving onto the Academy coaching staff.
“It’s an honour to be included in such company and many thanks to the fans who cast their votes,” said Duff, who is now in charge of the club’s under-23 side.
“It’s a fantastic idea by the supporters’ groups to recognise so many of our great players and credit to the club for helping to make it happen.
“It’s a lovely way to further reflect the history of the club and hopefully supporters will enjoy having their memory jogged, or finding out a bit more about their favourites, when they come to games to watch future and current generations of Burnley players.”
The 13 players whose images have been added to the James Hargreaves Stand are: Billy Hamilton, Trevor Steven, Ian Britton, David Eyres, Gary Parkinson, Glen Little, Andy Payton, Robbie Blake, Michael Duff, Wade Elliott, Graham Alexander, Jay Rodriguez and Kieran Trippier.