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Clarets v Red Devils at Turf Moor 1976-Style

Clarets v Red Devils at Turf Moor 1976-Style

Our first home game in the Premier League is coming up soon against League Champions, Manchester United and what a baptism of fire that will prove to be!

Sitting through a pretty dire friendly match against Leeds recently, my mind began to wander after seeing the billboard on the ground announcing that our next home game would be against Manchester United on Wednesday 19th August (7:45pm KO)

My mind went back to the last time we were in the top flight, 33 years ago to 1976.

Your editor was just 22 back then and about to embark on a career down in London after graduating from University (UMIST in Manchester)

However that season (1975-76) we were relegated and the team that sent us down would be Manchester United at Turf Moor on one Monday night in April. The match was our penultimate game of the season with just Coventry City to play at home and realistically we needed two points to stand any chance of staying up.(You only got two points for a win back then)

On the night we played them Manchester United were flying high in third place in the League and that's where they would finish behind second placed QPR and Champions, Liverpool.

Burnley on the other hand were languishing second from bottom and would stay there being relegated rather co-incidentally along with Wolves and Sheffield United with Birmingham just surviving 4th from bottom.

Birmingham and Wolves of course were promoted along with Burnley last season and we all know what happened to the Blades at Wembley!

Although my mind is hazy about that fateful game played on the night of 19th April 1976, I remember we played well and did not deserve to lose against United. It was Lou Macari who broke the Clarets hearts that night scoring a goal to give United a 1-0 victory and condemn Burnley to Division 2 football. Little did we know that day, it would take another 33 sodding years to get back to where we belonged!

I dug out the old programme to look for clues and reminders and it made interesting reading.

Back then the match day magazine was still called a programme although we did name it 'Claret&Blue News & Views' that season. By the way it only cost 15p!!

The Clarets back then were managed by Joe Brown and United by the infamous, Tommy Docherty. The United side had a number of big names in their squad including Alex Stepney in goal, Brian Greenoff, Martin Buchan, Steve Coppell, Sammy McIlroy, Stuart Pearson, Gordon Hill and Lou Macari.

In those days of course we were only allowed one substitute and that day it was Billy Ingham as we lined up as follows:

Peyton, Scott, Newton, Noble, Thomson, Rodaway, Morris, Flynn, Hankin, Fletcher, Summerbee.

Of course we have played Manchester United at Turf Moor since that fateful night in 1976 although not in a league game. We have played them just twice in fact both in the League Cup. Clarets fans will also want to forget both those games as well. We got tonked 7-0 on aggregate in the 1984-5 season going down 3-0 in October 1984 after getting thumped 4-0 at Old Trafford. The Red Devils also beat us 2-0 at Turf Moor in December 2002 during Stan Ternent's tenure.

Oh well I hope you enjoyed the brief trip down memory lane to a different era, when the Premier League was but a distant dream and Burnley could compete on a level playing field with the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal!

Yes, a return to the top flight has been a long time coming and how fitting our first match at Turf Moor should be against Manchester United.

However there is still the little matter first of Stoke City at the Britannia on Saturday August 15th....

Come on You Clarets!!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday August 9 2009
Time: 6:50PM


I will be bringing you a mini-review of our home games in 1976 when we do our match previews for 2009 so watch this space! Hope you like the idea, both the young 'uns born after 1976 and those old enough to remember the era [Edited by turfmanphil]
09/08/2009 18:58:00
I was there as a 21 year old, cant remmember to much about it though.
Grimsby Claret
09/08/2009 19:35:00
I was only a young 'un in those days but remember the result coming through on the radio. Seem to recall United played in yellow that night but not sure why I remember that or even if I'm right. Think this is a great idea by the way - great to look forward but sometimes it is nice to remember days gone by.
09/08/2009 20:06:00
I was six then! Payton has stood the best of times seems he was a goalie back then ;-) interesting read tmp it's just a shame our game won't go to penaltys i would fancy our chances after today
09/08/2009 21:16:00
Oops just noticed typo now corrected! Gerry PEYTON was keeper at Burnley from 1975-77 before being transferred to Fulham. He was a Republic of Ireland International and played for many clubs including AFC Bournemouth, Everton and West Ham. Also had loan spells at Southend, Bolton, Norwich, Brentford and Chelsea. Now aged 53 he is GK coach at Arsenal
10/08/2009 08:52:00
Like you, tmp, I graduated that year, and until this year Clarets have not started a season in the top flight in my adulthood (if you take 21 to mean 'adult'), whilst that is where they were when I was a child and teenager. 76? Wasn't that also the year of stagflation, 2 general elections and the Yorkshire Ripper? Or was that 75? I drifted to USA, visited my father's cousin in Baltimore (Homicide Life on the Street, The Wire, Diner, Tin Men, Hairspray), and ended up staying for 12 years. No internet in those days, so staying in touch with the Clarets was not easy, and I confess to having paid rather more attention to baseball and American football. I heard the result of the Orient game about a week after the event in a letter from my father. I returned to England the next year. Things have been looking - mostly - up ever since.
Couch Potato
10/08/2009 09:11:00
Yes, that was the key to being out of touch in the 70s/80 and to some degree 90s for me! Once I went down to London, I did not have a car or money to travel for ages and couldn't go to my beloved Burnley. no internet of course and who in the London press cared about the Clarets? Remember going to a few away games to see the Clarets around London in the late seventies Fulham, Orient and the scary Old Den with Klu-Klux Klan in bovver boots but I lost touch and entered what I call my Wilderness Years. Still of course loved Burnley to bits and still had all the emotions listening to results come through. Remember the Orient game stuck in Surrey. Did not dare look at the result for a day after and avoided all news till I plucked up courage to look, Got the bug to go to games again in 2004/5. First match Liverpool at home in was abandoned due to rain! First match in 30 years and they frigging postpone it. Returned a week later to take in Reading at home and then the resheduled Liverpool game! Rest they say was history!!
10/08/2009 09:52:00
Like you, tmp, I have been making up for lost time over the last few years. I read of the promotion at York in a fortnight old Times in a British Council Library in Kathmandu, having been walking up in the mountains for 5 weeks. News of promotion at Scunthorpe reached me on a rooftop bar in Granada, Spain.
Couch Potato
10/08/2009 13:48:00
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