Newcastle United Target Andre Gray

Rafael Benitez targets Clarets striker

Burnley striker Andre Gray is currently a target of Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez, who hopes to land the Clarets centre forward for a cut-price £12m fee as Gray is currently refusing to sign a new deal at Turf Moor.  Benitez is hoping to sign at least six players capable of making an immediate impact on the first team this summer, with Gray and Bournemouth’s Joshua King currently his leading attacking targets.

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Gray’s contractual situation makes him an especially appealing option, with him entering the final year of his current deal this summer.  Burnley officials have tried to tie him down to a new contract, but his refusal to agree to their proposed terms has significantly increased the likelihood of him moving elsewhere once the transfer window reopens.

The Clarets will not want to lose Gray on a free transfer in 12 months’ time and the Newcastle officials will attempt to exploit the vulnerability by tabling a £12m offer.

Gray scored ten goals in all competitions as Burnley successfully retained their top-flight status this season, but while his current employers will be looking to receive as high a fee as possible if they look to sell, Mike Ashley’s willingness to pay Newcastle’s transfer fees up front could enable them to push through an agreement for a price that suits them.

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Tottenham and West Ham have also been linked with a possible move for Gray, but the former are understood to have alternative attacking options they want to pursue first and the latter would ideally like a staggered fee with a series of add-ons.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche remains hopeful of retaining Gray, along with centre-half Michael Keane, who is also entering the final year of his current deal, although he accepts the Clarets will always be vulnerable to clubs targeting their leading stars.

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Crusaders Sign The Beast

Brian Jensen Signs for Crusaders

Irish Premier League side Crusaders have today confirmed the signing of “The Beast” the former Clarets goalkeeper has signed a one year contract with the Belfast club with Sean O’Neill needing shoulder surgery.

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Jensen brings a wealth of experience to the team, after playing in the Premier League with West Bromwich Albion and Burnley during his career, the forty-one year old has just finished a contract with Mansfield Town in Sky Bet League Two.

Speaking about signing for Crusaders Brian Jensen said, ” At the end of the day,  I din’t want to hang my boots up and that is what I would have had to do if I was to continue at Mansfield Town, so it gives me another year in football.

My age is always going to be against me, but I still feel there’s life in me yet,  I didn’t miss a training session last year, I was training hard and I didn’t fall behind.  Coming to Northern Ireland has given me an opportunity that he thought had passed, it’s always been a dream to play in the Europa League. I thought I was too old for that and it was a dream that just flew away.  But I’ve been given the opportunity to do it and it’s another tick in the ‘dream box’ if you can call it that.

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Clarets Sign Non League Goalkeeper

Burnley Sign Aidan Stone

Burnley Football Club have today confirmed the signing goalkeeper Aidan Stone from non-league Brocton Football Club in the Midlands Football League, he joins defender Harry Flowers who also signed for the Clarets from same Staffordshire club last month.

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Stone was this week names Brocton’s Young Player and Player’s Player of the Year, with a massive 95% of the vote.  It has been a terrific season for the youngster as was named in the 2017 English Schools Football Association under-18 squad back in January.

Brocton boss Dave Berks said at the time: “Everyone at the club is so pleased for Aidan on his selection for the ESFA final squad. Aidan has been outstanding this season for us and has been rewarded by this selection.

Aidan has a real level head on him and will in my opinion go on to play levels higher in the game. As a club and a manager I am proud to have him in the team and influence his career positively.”

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Former Clarets Captain Passes Away

Peter Noble (1944 – 2017)

Burnley Football Club have today confirmed the sad news that former Clarets Captain Peter Noble has passed away at the age of 72.  The Sunderland-born midfielder made a total of 299 appearances for the Clarets between 1973-1979, scoring 80 goals.

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Burnley were promoted to the First Division in 1973 and manager Jimmy Adamson made one signing in the summer that of Peter Noble from Swindon Town for £35,000 which proved to be one of the Clarets best-ever bargain buys.

He was a late starter in the League football, combining playing as an amateur for Consett in the Northern League with work as a painter and decorator before joining Newcastle at the age of 20 late in 1964.  His progress to the first team was gradual and in January 1968, before really establishing himself as a regular he was sold to Swindon Town for £10,000.

He was a major figure in the good times that soon came to the County Ground; as well as winning the League Cup, Swindon won promotion to the Second Division for the first time and established themselves at the higher level, also winning the Anglo-Italian Cup in 1970.

He joined Burnley in 1973 and in the clubs first game back in the top flight, at Sheffield United, Noble was named as substitute as Adamson kept faith with the promotion-winning side. He was called into action when Mick Docherty was injured, replacing Docherty at right-back. Amazingly he remained in that position for the rest of the season. His displays gave no clue that the role was new to him, but his only goals in 1973/74, five of them, came in the Texaco Cup as Burnley reached the final of that competition.

Noble took over his more familiar midfield role early in the 74/75 campaign after Martin Dobson’s move to Everton and soon broke his League duck, his fourteen in total that season including a hat-trick against his old club Newcastle United at Turf Moor.  He bettered that early in the following season with four in a home game against Norwich, but sadly failed to end on the winning side as the game ended 4-4.

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By this time, though, Noble was firmly established as a crowd favourite, affectionately nicknamed “Uwe” in reference to the famous German international forward, with whom he shared a similar hairstyle (ie, not much of it!).

He remained consistency itself after the Clarets slipped into the Second Division in 1976, and took over as club captain a year later. In 1978/79, by now in his mid-thirties, he enjoyed his best League goals return for Burnley with 14 and played in every game of the Clarets’ run which culminated in the winning of the Anglo-Scottish Cup.

He also maintained his amazing record from the penalty spot in his Turf Moor career he scored 27 from 27 attempts.  Noble was sold to Blackpool for £25,000 in January 1980 after finally losing his place in a struggling Burnley side as new manager Brian Miller opted for youth. He continued to play regular League football at Bloomfield Road, but the Seasiders were struggling and sank to the Fourth Division in 1981, and he finally called it a day in 1983.

He subsequently ran a sports shop in Burnley Market Hall for almost twenty years and remained a familiar figure around his adopted home town.  Peter Noble was never a “big-name” player, but he was superb in his time with Burnley and is remembered at least as fondly as many who had far more glittering careers with the club.

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Neil Grewcock Interview

Neil Grewcock Interview 

Neil Grewcock was born in Leicester on the 26th April 1962, he started his career with Leicester City, his home town club were he quickly progressed through the ranks at Filbert Street making his first team debut in March 1979 at the age of sixteen.  He went on to make 8 appearances, scoring 1 goal for the Foxes.

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In the summer of 1981 after two seasons with the Gillingham, Grewcock dropped into the non-league with spells at Kettering Town and Shepshed Charterhouse before being spotted in a reserve fixture at Wolves by the new Burnley manager John Bond.

In the summer of 1986 he arrived at Turf Moor were he spent over five years working under five different managers, Grewcock made over 240 appearances, scoring 32 goals but there is no doubt that one that is remember the most is the first goal on that dramatic day in May 1987 when we beat Orient at Turf Moor to retain our Football League status.

His release from Burnley saw his professional career end at 29, and he played for Burnley Bank Hall for a time before hanging up his boots.

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Interview

1. League Debut?

My league debut came in March 1979 at the age of sixteen, it was Leicester City against Cardiff City and we lost the game 2-1.  However I do remember the game well as I did score my first league goal in the game.

2. Career Highlight?

I have two highlights, the first would be making my football league debut for my home town club Leicester City and scoring in that game and my second is of course scoring in the Orient game to help Burnley stay in the football league.

3. Career Lowlight?

Again I have two lowlights, the first being ruled out of the Sherpa Van Final at Wembley because of injury, which meant I spent a year out of the game and the second would be losing 3-0 to Telford United in the FA Cup First Round in 1987.

4. Best player you played with and why?

I played a long side Gary Lineker whilst at Leicester City who always know were to be in the box to tap in the goals and of course he went on to be an excellent striker, but I think the best player I played with was Tommy Hutchinson whilst at Burnley.  He was a great  professional, captain and player and could do anything with the ball at his feet, but as a captain he was a great motivator.

5. Best Burnley manager you played for and why?

John Benson – I really enjoyed playing under John, he was of course John Bond’s assistant before becoming manager so he know how to get the best out of the players and he improved my game.  I thought he was unlucky to get relegated with the team of players we had at the club.

Brian Miller – Brian had limited resources but again he know how to get the best out of the players, he was not the best tactically, but he was a great man manager and I really enjoyed playing for him, I think I played my best football under Brian Miller.

6. What do you remember about the run up to the Orient game?

During the week before the game we had lots of media coverage with press and TV at the training ground and Turf Moor, but remember the fans all week stopping us in the street wishing us well and talking to us about the game.

7. Was training any different for the Orient game?

I wouldn’t say it was different in terms of what we did, but there seemed to be more pressure around the training ground and Turf Moor.  However Brian Miller was first class and did an excellent job deflecting all the attention and pressure away from the players, he took all the pressure on his shoulders and in my opinion handled the whole thing really well.

8. Were you aware of the big crowd whilst in the dressing room?

Yes, we know it would be a full house for the game and the noise was deafening even inside the dressing room.  The support on the day was fantastic, but I dread to think what would have happened if we had lost the game.

9. Talk us through your goal that afternoon against Orient?

If I remember correctly, I collected the ball out on the right wing and cut in on my left foot. A gap just seemed to open up in front of me and from about eighteen yards (edge of the box) I curled  the ball into the bottom corner just passed the goalkeeper.

10. After leaving Turf Moor did you carry on playing and did you keep in touch with anyone from the club?

After leaving Burnley I stayed in the area and signed for Burnley Bank Hall Football Club in the non league but made the decision after a season to hand up my boots due to injury. I then moved back to Leicestershire but i have stayed in contact with Steve Davis who has just left Crewe Alexandra.

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The Orient Game – 9th May 1987

Burnley Football Club Thirty Years On 

It’s hard to believe that in just seven days time from today it will be 30 years to the day that the Clarets beat Orient 2-1 at Turf Moor to maintain their Football League status, over the years the club has changed in some many ways both on and off the field with a new look Turf Moor, Training Ground and now Premier League football.

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We must also take the time next week to remember the team members from that day against Orient who helped to save our club, but are sadly no longer with us Chairman Frank Teasdale, Manager Brian Miller, Assistant Manager Arthur Bellamy, players Ray Deakin and Ian Britton.

Despite the fact there has been a number of changes to Turf Moor its still the heart beat at the centre of the community.  A small mill town club punching above its weight as Sean Dyche manages Premier League survival with a small squad and limited budget just like Brian Miller did in the old Fourth Division thirty years ago.

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So this weekend at Turf Moor lets get behind Sean Dyche and his squad for the final push to stay in the Premier League, whilst thanking the team that kept a club alive on the 9th May 1987.

The Squad – Joe Neenan, Peter Leebrook, Peter Hampton, Billy Rodaway, Joe Gallagher, Ray Deakin, Neil Grewcock, Phil Malley, Leighton James, Phil Devaney, Ian Britton, Ashley Hoskin, Brian Miller and Arthur Bellamy.

How strange that 30 years on Leyton Orient have this weekend been relegated to the Vanarama National Conference League.

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Guiseley AFC v Solihull Moors

Guiseley AFC 1 v 1 Solihull Moors (Vanarama National League)

It was a familiar feeling for Adam Lockwood’s men as for the second consecutive season Guiseley AFC went into the final match knowing they would need a result to retain their Vanarama National Conference League status.

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Adam Lockwood squad was down to the bear minimum as Will Hatfield, Jonny Maxted and Marcus Williams were all ruled out through injury although Jake Cassidy made a welcome return following his three match suspension.

In a nervy first half the home side were soon under pressure and when Ash Palmer conceded a dubious looking penalty it looked ominous, however, Dan Atkinson guessed right and saved the spot kick.

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Palmer then came to his sides rescue after Amari Sterling-James had left Connor Brown for dead and drawn Atkinson for what looked like the opener before the defender’s timely intervention that cleared the danger.

Not to be denied however Solihull were awarded a free kick twenty yards out on 26 minutes which Omari Sterling-James lifted over the wall and beyond Atkinson to give the visitors a deserved lead.

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In reply Kevan Hurst’s cross just evaded Michael Rankine and Derek Asamoah as the home side struggled to build any momentum clearly missing the energy of Hatfield in midfield.

Manager Adam Lockwood decided to ring the changes at halftime as Jordan Preston and Danny East replaced Palmer and Hurst from the restart which had an almost immediate impact as Rankine headed just wide from a corner.  Lowe then cleared off the line from the lively Nathan Baxter as Guiseley went for broke and replaced Rankine with Adam Boyes.

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James Wesolowski’s header was just wide of the target after some good work from Derek Asamoah’s to get the cross in as the Lions finally hit their stride with twenty minutes remaining.

Solihull were not finished and as the home side pushed forward in search of an equaliser Nortei Nortley flashed a shot across goal before Regan Charles-Cook rattled the crossbar only to see Atkinson dive on the loose ball.

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In a last throw of the dice Jake Lawlor was pushed up front and went close as he forced Danny Lewis to palm his header away to safety. The visiting custodian then saved Simon Walton’s free kick at the foot of the post and pulled off a superb one handed save to turn Jake Cassidy’s effort round the upright.

Now with their tails up Easts long ball saw Lewis and Lowe go for the ball with the Guiseley skipper converting the header to send the home support into raptures.

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On ninety minutes, Guiseley AFC drew level when a free-kick was headed clear by the Solihull Moors defence, the ball was then sent back into the area from the half way line by Danny East and the ball was headed passed his own goalkeeper by Kristian Green to the full time score 1-1.

As the full time whistle sounded at Nethermor Park, the home supporters had a further tense five minutes to wait for the full time result from Bootham Crescent.  However the game finished 2-2 and York City were relegated confirming Guiseley AFC position in the Vanarama National League for next season.

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The Lions can now look forward to games against FC Flyde, Leyton Orient and either Hartlepool United or Newport County in the Vanarama National League next season.

Match Details

Guiseley AFC – Dickinson, Brown, Lowe, Lawlor, Hurst, Palmer, Walton, Rankine, Asamoah, Wesolowski, Cassidy (Subs) Boyes, Preston, Purver, East, Atkinson

Solihull Moors – Baxter, Franklin, Kettle, Cook, Byrne, Brown, Green, Maye, Nortey, Sterling-James, Carling (Subs) Coyle, Mwanyongo, Shade, Action, Endall

Goals(Guiseley) Green (Own-Goal – 90) (Solihull Moors) Sterling-James (26)

Attendance – 1,519

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