Date:Friday April 21 2006
As this topsy-turvy season comes to an end ,Burnley are officially playing out the rest of the season but with nothing to play for apart from bragging rights.
Therefore with all the Promotion, Play-Off and Relegation spots all confirmed, some might assume going to the Turf for the final home game of the season against Luton might be somewhat of a non-event.
However, after fishing around some of Clarets messageboards, I want this season's Luton game at the Turf to be remembered. Well OK I don’t think anything will overshadow the superb Ade Akinbiyi show and the nail biting performance by John “Mini-Beast” Spicer at Kenilworth Road, but I want the return game to be in the fans memories for a different reason.
Love him or not-rate him, Clarets Utility player Graham Branch has this season surpassed a milestone in a Claret and Blue shirt by making over 250 appearances for Burnley Football Club.
Forgetting the “boring” debate of Branchy being rewarded with a new contract or not,I think supporters should show some recognition of his commitment at Turf Moor.
Arranged with messageboard user Den_Perry, while most of you will be queuing up for next seasons tickets (go on you know you wanna!) there will be some volunteers with “Special Branch” banners situated around the ground for fans to collect and to display at the match.
Similar has been done, but on smaller scale last season, with some supporters forming the Special Branch Fan Club, signing up to it via a Clarets messageboard. The printed list was handed in at the Turf Moor reception a day before the Plymouth Argyle game.
During the lap of honour, and over the cries for Steve to sign up Gary Cahill, Branchy spotted a banner, and he was chuffed to bits, it was worth all the effort and I’m sure all supporters would want him to see the appreciation of his hard work again this season.
But the Luton game is not just about Graham, Sunday 30th April 2006 should be a celebration of achievement and hard work given this season. With limited resources, a small squad and injured players, the team, management and the board successfully kept the club in 2nd tier of English Football, something what most bookies, pundits and critics said wouldn’t happen before the Crewe game in August.
Steve Cotterills “pick and mix” team have survived in a league, which to be fair we should have really struggled in. Some could say at one point we were really punching above our weight, and the few weeks in the play-offs exited some supporters.However avoiding relegation was always our main priority.
A pat on the back to Steve and the boys therefore and who knows what next season might bring…
Date:Friday April 21 2006
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