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Father-Figure Mee Delivers Again

Family affair as Clarets captain heads Burnley to big win in race for Europe

29 June 2020

Ben Mee delivered a special celebration after heading the Clarets up to eighth in the Premier League.

The Clarets’ skipper steered home the 62nd-minute winner with his first goal since January, 2017 securing a 1-0 triumph at Crystal Palace which put Burnley into a possible European qualification place.

And his reaction to scoring – as if cradling a young baby – was a nod back to the north-west where he and his wife Sarah have been dealing with the premature birth of daughter Olive Grace, who is still in hospital after being born 16 weeks early.

“It’s been an emotional time for us as a family but she’s growing stronger each day,” said Mee, who dived to superbly head home an Ashley Westwood free-kick as Burnley won for just the second time in 14 league games at Palace.

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“She’s six weeks today, so it was nice to celebrate that as well.

“The family were watching back home which was nice.

“She’s growing well and the NHS have been fantastic for us. It’s going to be a long road but hopefully everything will be okay.”

Alongside his family commitments, Mee has been a colossus for the Clarets in handling tough issues around lockdown, fronting up over the players’ Black Lives Matter stance and performing on the pitch.

He helped Sean Dyche’s men secure back-to-back wins with a second successive clean sheet – and 13th in total this season – and a week on from a 5-0 loss at Manchester City further undermined by the overhead protests praised the collective spirit that is pulling the injury-hit Clarets through.

“It’s great to be talking about football and what happens on the pitch and the lads were fantastic tonight,” Mee told Clarets Player HD.

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“It’s nice to get the winner and nice to see all the smiles on the boys’ faces and we’ll have a good trip home now.

“It was really enjoyable and shows the togetherness of the squad. The injured lads will be raring to come back in and make the squad even stronger and see where we can go.

“Credit to the boys. We showed our character and togetherness and it was a fantastic way to end a big week.”

Two years on from finishing seventh to earn a place in the Europa League, only goal difference is keeping the Clarets behind seventh-placed Tottenham this time around.

Their total of 45 points is nine less than their tally of 54 in 2017/18 with six games to go.

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And European football is a possibility again if the Clarets – who lost Jack Cork to injury to go with the six players absent at Selhurst Park – can somehow keep a run of just one defeat in 10 games going.

“Why not?” added Mee. “We’ve got a group of players here who fight hard for the club and fight hard for each other and that takes you a long way, so who knows what can happen?

“We will keep going, as we are doing and we’ll give everything we’ve got. It’s great to play in and great to be involved in when you are alongside someone you know is going to play like that and put everything on the line.

“Sometimes it’s not your day but it gives you the best chance to go and win a game.”

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