Burnley Football Club is saddened to hear of the loss of former Claret Ivan McAuley at the age of 79.
Belfast-born McAuley was spotted playing junior football for Glentoran Olympic at the age of 15 by Burnley scout Tommy Coulter.
He arrived in England a year later and soon become a regular in the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams during the 1956/1957 season.
He featured in the Clarets’ FA Youth cup tie against Manchester United in October 1956, alongside future first-team stars John Angus, Jimmy Robson, Ian Towers and John Talbut.
Ivan was a versatile forward and signed on professional terms at Turf Moor the age of 18. He continued to play for the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams during the 1957/1958 season and again featured in the FA Youth cup, also against Manchester United.
He finally broke in to the reserve team and made his debut at home to Leeds United in September 1958. Several weeks later, McAuley hit a hat-trick at Oakwell to help the Clarets beat Barnsley 4-2.
The following season Ivan continued to play for the reserve and ‘A’ teams before released at the end of the campaign.
In total, Ivan played 116 competitive games for the Clarets, scoring on 30 occasions.
After leaving Burnley, he returned to his native Northern Ireland and continued to play football for Ards before unfortunately suffering a serious leg injury which ended his footballing career.
McAuley returned to England in 1961, where he remained until he sadly passed away on 4 December. His funeral will take place on Friday, 21 December in Warrington.