Clarets Legend Series (Jimmy McIlroy MBE)

Jimmy McIlroy – Clarets Greatest Ever Player

James McIlroy MBE, was a Northern Ireland international footballer who played for Glentoran, Burnley, Stoke City and Oldham Athletic. He was regarded as the Clarets greatest ever player, having made 497 appearances, scoring 131 goals for the club.

McIlroy, was born in Lambeg, County Antrim and he was introduced to football at an early age as his father, Harry who played for Lisburn Distillery whilst his uncle, Willie played for Portadown. After leaving school he joined Glentoran Football Club making 18 appearance scoring 8 goals in the 1949-50 season.

Burnley signed the inside-forward in March 1950 from Glentoran just £7,000 and he soon cemented his reputation as the finest inside forwards since World War II. A perfectly balanced, highly intelligent player with excellent ball control and the ability to make a telling pass he soon became a favoruite at Turf Moor. He struck up an immensely fruitful partnership with his great friend Jimmy Adamson, contrasting characters the two were the inspiration of a fine team that won the First Division championship in the 1959-60 season.

McIlroy’s other great partnership came in the remarkable Northern Ireland side of the late 1950s, where he made a wonderful relationship with captain Danny Blanchflower. The two of them shared great technical skill and a sophisticated approach to the game that made them the creative force in a side which, astonishingly, beat Italy in Belfast to knock them out of the World Cup eliminators in 1958.

Subsequently, in the 1958 FIFA World Cup finals in Sweden, Jimmy McIlroy played in all Northern Ireland’s games as they reached the quarter-finals, only to be knocked out by France. McIlroy’s first cap for Northern Ireland had come at Wembley against England in 1951 and he did not miss a home international until 1960. He retired from International football in 1965 he had won 55 caps and scored 10 goals.

Aside from the First Division title win, he helped Burnley to fourth, second and third places in the league over the next three seasons, and was instrumental in getting them to the 1962 FA Cup final, which Burnley lost 3-1 to Tottenham Hotspur. Such was his status that when the footballers’ maximum wage was abolished in 1961, he became one of the first players to be paid £100 a week.

Early in 1963, McIlroy fell out with the Burnley manager Harry Potts, after which the club chairman the abrasive Bob Lord unexpectedly allowed the forward to be transferred to Second Division Stoke City for a derisory £25,000. At Stoke City, McIlroy found himself partnering the great Stanley Matthews quickly striking up a partnership which enabling Stoke City to return to the First Division. He also played in the 1964 League Cup final at Wembley Stadium, which Stoke City lost 4-3 to Leicester City.

McIlroy remained at Stoke City until 1966, when he became player-manager at Oldham Athletic in the old Third Division. After guiding them to a 10th place finish in the 1966-67 season, the team slumped to a sixteenth place finish the next campaign and he resigned as manager on the opening day of the 1968-69 season after a 4-0 loss to Luton Town. He then moved to Bolton Wanderers as assistant manager to Nat Lofthouse. McIlroy took over as manager in 1970 but departed after only two games in charge in a row over selling players.

After leaving Bolton Wanderers he returned to the town he loved working as a bricklayer before later became a football writer for the Burnley Express covering the Clarets. In 2008 he was given the Freedom of the Borough of Burnley which he was honoured to received before the club give him a testimonial match in 2009. Perhaps his biggest honour came in 2011 New Years Honours List, when he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to football and charity.

Such was the man, that instead of attending Buckingham Palace to be presented his MBE by the Queen, he made the decision to accept his honour at Turf Moor in front of the Clarets supporters so that they could be part of his celebrations. Having been part of Burnley Football Club for seventy years the club and its supporters came out to bid farewell to this true gentleman and club legend, when he sadly past away on the 20th August 2018. However, he will always be remember as both new and old supporters watch the Clarets from the Jimmy McIlroy stand in years to come.

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Blades Manager Chris Wilder Chasing Jeff Hendrick

Sheffield United Considering January Bid For Jeff Hendrick

According to reports in both the national and local Sheffield press, Sheffield United are planning on making a move for Burnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick in the January transfer window. The summer transfer window may have only just closed but Blades manager Chris Wilder is already looking to who he can sign next.

Premier League clubs will be able purchase new players from the 1st January 2020, when the window reopens for a month. Hendrick is supposedly high up on Wilder’s wish list, the midfielder has now entered the final year of his current contract at Turf Moor. He was an unused substitute in the Clarets’ opening day 3-0 win over Southampton and therefore there are doubts about whether he is in Sean Dyche’s plans.

Sheffield United believe they can sign the Republic of Ireland international in a cut price deal. The Clarets can either sell in January or face losing Hendrick on a free transfer the following summer. The Sheffield Star has reported Chris Wilder wanted to add a box to box player to his squad before the window shut.

Hendrick, meanwhile operated throughout midfield for Sean Dyche last season. The Irishman also played on the right-hand side towards the end of the 2018/19 season. That ability to operate anywhere in the middle of the park could prove to be very appealing to Wilder, especially if he chooses to play a 3-5-2 formation more often.

That was how the Blades lined up at Bournemouth on the opening day, it was a more cautious approach than the 3-4-1-2 that became commonplace last term and proved successful, as they left the Vitality Stadium with a 1-1 draw. Hendrick could easily slot into that three-man central midfield. He also boasts Premier League experience, having played almost 100 games in the division.

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Burnley v Southampton

Burnley 3 v 0 Southampton (FA Premier League)

After an excellent pre-season campaign the Clarets got the new Premier League season underway against Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Southampton, which was a repeat of last seasons opening fixture when the sides drew 0-0 draw at St Mary’s Stadium. The biggest change from last season was the introdcution of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in Stockley Park designed to assist the officials in making correct decisions.

Southampton got the game underway and had the first effort of the half after just two minutes, when full-back Yan Valery went down the right wing before crossing the ball to the back post were Che Adams poked the ball just wide of Nick Pope’s right-hand post.

The visitors won a corner on eight minutes, which came to nothing as Oriol Romeu fired his shot over Pope’s crossbar from just inside the area. Both sides struggled to find their rhythm in the opening fifteen minutes due to heavy rain and strong winds at Turf Moor.

The Clarets had the ball in the net on sixteen minutes as Vestergaard slipped allowing Ashley Barnes to run clear into the Saints area before sliding the ball across the six yard box for Chris Wood to tap into an empty goal. However the goal was reviewed by VAR before being disallowed for offside against Ashley Barnes earlier in the move.

On twenty-six minutes, the Clarets nearly took the lead as Matthew Lowton found Johann Berg Gudmundsson at the edge of the Saints box, Gudmundsson riflied a shot inches wide of Gunn’s bottom corner and out for a goal kick. Just three minutes later, VAR was called upon again as Che Adams went crashing into captain Ben Mee as the defender headed the ball clear. However the officials at Stockley Park said the late challenge was not a red card.

Chris Wood went close to opening the scoring on thirty-five minutes with an acrobatic effort that was well saved by the visitors goalkeeper Angus Gunn in the Southampton goal.

The visitors had the final effort of the half as Nathan Redmond cut into the area before forcing an excellent save from Nick Pope who tipped the strikers fierce effort just over the crossbar to make the half-time score 0-0.

The Clarets took the lead just after the hour mark, when a long ball over the top was missed by the Southampton and Ashley Barnes took one touch before sending a half-volley past Gunn to make it 1-0.

The Clarets extended their lead just four minutes later, when Erik Pieters moved into the Southampton half before sending a curling cross into the Saints penalty area, for Ashley Barnes to volley past Gunn to make it 2-0.

Former Clarets striker Danny Ings was replaced by Obafemi jusr after Barnes goal, but to be fair he had very little impact on the game, as the Clarets managed the conditions far better than the visitors in the second-half.

The home side added a third on seventy minutes, when Johann Berg Gudmundsson tackled Jamie Ward-Prowse in the middle of the park before taking the ball down the right-wing and cutting into the area and curling the ball past Gunn into the far corner of the goal to make it 3-0.

The Clarets should have added a fourth goal on seventy-nine minutes, when Ashley Barnes latched onto a Southampton error before rounding goalkeeper Angus Gunn and hitting a shot from a tight angle. Saints goalkeeper Gunn however managed to get a hand to the ball and turned it away for a corner.

The biggest cheer of the day came on eighty-four minutes, when Jay Rodriguez replaced the Clarets Man of the Match Ashley Barnes. The game so Rodriguez make his Clarets Premier League debut after returning to his hometown club in the transfer window.

Speaking after the match manager Sean Dyche said, “Southampton are a tough side and they have some good players and energy, it was a tight game and there wasn’t much in it, but I was so pleased with our mentality to stick at it. We started asking more questions in the second half and lifted the tempo and without putting them on the back foot we suddenly made it awkward.

You could sense the game start to change and of course it was a fantastic goal from Barnes, it’s a brilliant touch and hit that settled us down, from that moment we kept at it and went after them on the front foot. It was brilliant football for the second goal and to top it all off it’s a brilliant piece of play and finish from Johann. It was clinical finishing all round and very pleasing to see.”

Match Details

Burnley – Pope, Lowton, Pieters, Tarkowski, Mee, Gudmundsson, Cork, Westwood, McNeil, Wood, Barnes (Subs) Hart, Bardsley, Long, Gibson, Lennon, Hendrick, Rodriguez

Southampton – Gunn, Bednarek, Stephens, Vestergaard, Varley, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Bertrand, Adams, Redmond, Ings (Subs) McCarthy, Cedric-Soares, Yoshida, Djenepo, Boufal, Obafemi, Hojbjerg

Goals(Burnley) Barnes (63, 70) Gudmundsson (75)

Attendance – 19,784

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Match Preview – Southport Football Club

Southport Match Preview and Raul Correia Interview

The Lions will be looking to make it three consecutive league victories this weekend as they travel to Haig Avenue to face Southport Football Club in the latest National League North fixture. Guiseley AFC currently set top of the league table on six points following victories over Kings Lynn Town and Bradford Park Avenue, whilst the home side have registered two goalless draws against Gateshead and Curzon Ashton.

Joint managers Russ O’Neill and Marcus Bignot will be pleased with the club’s start to the season, in the last five fixtures the Lions have scored eighteen goals against Parkgate FC (4-0), South Shields (6-0), Kings Lynn Town (3-0) and Bradford Park Avenue (5-0) whilst conceeding just four goals against Hyde United.

Liam Watson’s men will have to be switched on to deal with in-form striker Aaron Martin and midfielder Jamie Spencer who will provide a goal threat from midfield having scored three times so far this season.

Southport came away with 1-0 victories in both meetings last season with both goals from Jack Sampson. The weather is expected to play a big part in this weeks fixture with heavy rain and strong winds forecast on Saturday afternoon.

Raul Correia, will be hoping that he is included in Liam Watson’s starting eleven tomorrow against his former side Guiseley AFC. Chadwick Media caught up with the former Lions striker to discuss his time at Nethermoor Park and his hopes for the coming Vanarama National League North season.

INTERVIEW

Southport are one of the favourites in the Vanarama National League North to gain promotion come the end of the season. How do you think the club will compete in the league this season ?

I think the club will have a good season and promotion is by no means out of the question, right now our aim is to focus on one game at a time and try to get the best result possible and hopefully we will be up there come the end of the season.

Southport have had an unbeaten start to the season with two goalless draws could you tell us what the club’s strengths are and which players should we look out for in the coming Vanarama National League North campaign ?

There isn’t a particular player to look out for in the squad as we have a tight knit group and everyone in the team wants to do their best for the club and each other. I would say that is the club’s biggest strength working as a team.

Having previously played for Guiseley AFC could you tell us about your time at the club and what you enjoyed about being at Nethmoor Park ?

Guiseley is like a big family that welcomes you in with open arms making you feel at home from day one. The fans are great and always support the team and I have made some great friends for life whilst at the club.

In terms of this season what will be a successful campaign for you and have you set yourself any targets for the coming season ?

For me this season is about playing football and scoring goals, I haven’t set myself any targets for the season as I just want to keep on improving game by game.

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The History of Wycoller Hall

Charlotte Bronte Writes Jane Eyre at Wycoller Hall

Wycoller Hall dates back to the end of the 16th century and was built upon the site of a house occupied in 1507 by Piers Hartley. But by the 1590’s a substantial house had been built probably sometime in the mid 16th century. The estate then came into the possession of the Cunliffe family, after the marriage of Pier’s daughter Elizabeth to Nicholas Cunliffe in 1611. They had a number of children, one of which John, married Grace Hartley in 1628.

The Cunliffes settled at Wycoller in the 1720’s after losing their ancestral home to debts. The estate then passed through several brothers, before passing to the grandson of one of the sisters. Henry Owen took the name Cunliffe and became the new squire. He embarked on a large building project for the hall, to create a home that he felt would be worthy of his position and that would attract a new wife.

The building project took over a year to complete during which time Henry moved out and lodged at the nearby public house. The work included the fitting of a new porch, a large range of mullioned windows and the modernisation of the interiors. By the time it was complete Henry had married and the couple moved into the hall to enjoy a new lifestyle.

Henry was however a keen sportsman and gambler and ran up heavy debts. On his death in 1818 the property passed to his nephew Charles Cunliffe Owen, but he could not afford to pay off the debts and the estate was parcelled off to the creditors. The hall passed to a distant relative, John Oldham and then to the Rev. John Roberts Oldham. The latter then arranged for large parts of the stonework to be sold off to build a cotton mill at Trawden.

Despite this much of the hall survived into the late 19th century though it was unoccupied and steadily crumbling, with considerable amounts of the stonework being removed for local buildings. The entire village subsequently passed into the ownership of the local Water Board, but continued to decline. A conservation group, ‘The Friends of Wycoller’ was founded in 1948 and began a campaign to conserve the historic village.

The work on the hall included the restoration of the fireplace in the 1950’s. The entire area was sold to Lancashire County Council, who declared the entire village a conservation area and designated the surrounding 350 acres (1.4 km2) as a Country Park. The ruins of the hall were designated as a scheduled monument and are Grade II listed and an exhibition about the history of the hall, the village and the surrounding area was established in the aisled barn close to the ruins.

The house had a grand two storey porch which was removed in the 1870s and re-erected in Trawden. The porch led into the great hall dominated by a large stone fireplace, the house contained the drawing and sitting rooms, and the bedrooms. Behind the main hall was the kitchens. Beyond the main building of Wycoller Hall was a courtyard with coach-house and stables. Gardens were laid out in Henry Owen Cunliffe’s period of occupancy, as was a cock pit. During the last years of occupancy the house was divided in two and lived in by two different families.

Wycoller Hall is said to be the inspiration for Ferndean Manor in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Charlotte is believed to have spent time staying at Wycoller Hall writing the book Jane Eyre. Parallels have also been drawn with the owner of Ferndean, Mr Rochester’s father and Henry Owen Cunliffe. One of the occupants of the hall, Elizabeth Cunliffe also became Elizabeth Eyre through marriage.

The Brontës lived in the nearby village of Haworth and the family visiting Wycoller on their walks. Wycoller Hall was even used to illustrate the cover of the 1898 edition of Jane Eyre.

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Nahki Wells Leaves Turf Moor On Loan

Nahki Wells Re-Joins QPR On Season Long Loan

Burnley Football Club have this afternoon confirmed that striker Nahki Wells has left Turf Moor on loan to re-join Queens Park Rangers on transfer deadline day.

Wells, who spent time on loan at QPR last season scoring nine goals for the club in the Sky Bet Championship during the 2018 – 2019 season at Loftus Road.

Having joined the Clarets from Huddersfield Town in August 2017, spent pre-season back with Burnley after playing for Bermuda in the Concacaf Gold Cup earlier in the summer. Wells featured in a number of pre-season games but has been allowed to return to QPR for the chance of more regular first-team football.

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Chelsea Midfielder Joins Clarets On Loan

Danny Drinkwater Joins Clarets On Loan Until January

Burnley Football Club have this afternoon completed the transfer deadline day signing of Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater to add another Premier League winner to the squad. Drinkwater, was a key player in Leicester City’s epic 2016 title triumph joins the Clarets on loan until the 6th January 2020.

The central midfield player who has also been capped three times by England, returns to the North West after starting his career at Manchester United. Drinkwater didn’t make a senior appearance for United but gained first-team experience out on loan at Huddersfield Town, Cardiff City, Watford and Barnsley. Whilst at Watford he played Clarets boss Sean Dyche who was assistant manager at Vicarage Road.

Drinkwater, then left Old Trafford in a permanent move to Leicester City in January, where his career took off with the Foxes. He was a near permanent fixture in the starting line-up and helped the club regain their place in the top-flight for the first time in 10 years in 2014 when going up alongside Burnley as Championship winners.

Drinkwater helped Leicester survive in the Premier League under Nigel Pearson in 2014/15 thanks to a remarkable late run of results. Then following the appointment of Claudio Ranieri the Manchester-born midfield man played a leading role in one of the greatest title wins of all time.

Drinkwater started 35 Premier League games as Leicester City defied the odds to become English Champions for the first time in their history. He made three England appearances ahead of the European Championship Finals before missing out on a place in the final squad for France.

After helping Leicester City recover to finish 14th in the Premier League in 2016/17 season, Drinkwater was signed by Champions Chelsea in the summer transfer window, leaving the King Power Stadium after playing 214 times for the Foxes.

In his first season at Stamford Bridge, Drinkwater made 22 appearances helping the Blues towards their FA Cup-winning success and featuring in the Champions League against Barcelona. He appeared as a substitute in the 2018 Community Shield at Wembley before falling out of first-team contention under the new manager Maurizio Sarri.

His arrival at Turf Moor, see’s him wear the number eight shirt and it will strengthen the Clarets midfield options ahead of a fourth successive season in the Premier League.

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