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Heaton Swaps Claret To End Turf Moor Era

Club captain joins Aston Villa after magical six-year stay at Burnley

1 August 2019

Tom Heaton has today left the Clarets to signal the end of an era at Turf Moor.

The club captain has completed a move to Aston Villa after joining the newly-promoted Premier League club for an undisclosed fee.

Heaton’s switch to the Midlands brings to an end a memorable six-year stay at Burnley.

The goalkeeper was the first permanent signing of manager Sean Dyche when he joined the Clarets from Bristol City as a free agent in May, 2013.

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Heaton, 33, went on to make 200 appearances for the club – as well as earning a first call-up to the England senior squad in May 2015 – and shared in two promotion successes from the Championship under Dyche.

“Tom has been a terrific servant to the club, as an individual, for the team and for the fans,” said the Burnley boss.

“He was a real ambassador around the place.

“Quite simply a situation arose this summer, where he is in the final year of his contract, there was contact from Aston Villa and I believe he has been offered a very good contract for him and his family.

“And there is a business model at Burnley Football Club, which everyone has come to understand.

“It’s a very good fee for a very good player, but who is 33 with 10 months left on a contract, which has to be balanced up.

“For me, more on the personal side, Tom is a fantastic bloke, a fantastic player and my first ever signing at Burnley Football Club.

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“Without a shadow of doubt, for many, many years to come, I’m sure he’ll be remembered very fondly, not just on the pitch, but off the pitch as well as a top professional and a top person.”

Heaton’s first taste of promotion came at the end of his first season at Turf Moor.

And then following the Clarets’ relegation from the top flight in 2015, Heaton captained Dyche’s side to the Championship title.

In an outstanding run of form that earned the keeper a first England cap in May, 2016, Heaton helped Burnley gain a foothold in the Premier League before he was struck down by a long-term shoulder injury in September, 2017.

That allowed Nick Pope to lay a claim on the keeper’s jersey and force his way into the England set-up as the Clarets went on to finish seventh in the top flight in 2018 and earn a place in the Europa League.

The signing of former Premier League winner and England number-one Joe Hart also added to the competition for places last season.

And after Hart had been a regular for the first half of the campaign in place of the injured Pope, Heaton then returned at the turn of the year to play a big part in helping the Clarets secure their Premier League status for a fourth season.

Heaton, also back in the international fold and capped three times by his country, made his 200th appearance for the Clarets on the final day of last season.

And the 33-year-old former Manchester United and Cardiff City keeper now gets the chance to start a new phase of his career at Villa Park after playing for the final time in a Burnley shirt in Tuesday night’s friendly win over Nice.

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