Oh Deary, Deary Me, John!! Part 1
I started watching the Clarets in October 1990 and one of the first players I can remember watching (along with Ron Futcher & John Francis) was John Deary. John signed for Burnley from Blackpool in 1989 and was a very popular player during over 200 appearances for the Clarets.
Thankfully, John agreed to answer a few questions for When the Ball Moves about his career.
1. For our younger readers, in your own words describe yourself as a footballer?
An honest hardworking player with an eye for goal. A player who gave 100% for the team and could be relied on to play in the majority of games. Popular with both the players and fans.
2.If you could have given yourself one additional attribute - what would it have been and why?
I would say more pace as it can get you out of trouble. It can also help you get into creative positions on the pitch
3.Was moving from Blackpool to Burnley an easy decision?
Yes. I had been at Blackpool for 10 years and it was time for a change. I remember being offered a contract and a testimonial by Jimmy Mullen who was the Blackpool manager at the time but Mick Docherty who was the assistant at Burnley had been in touch. I knew Mick from my time with him at Blackpool so arranged to meet with Frank Casper at Burnley. I liked what they both had to say but it was when I walked out onto the Turf that I decided to sign there and then. I had a feeling that was right and wanted to be part of the restructuring of the team.
4. Which club would you have liked to play for if you could?
I have loved every club I have played for but as a young lad I used to watch Liverpool. I suppose it would of been a dream come true to pull on the red kit and touch 'This is Anfield` as you walk out. I have been lucky enough to touch the famous sign playing for Burnley & Rochdale.
5. Who was your room mate on away trips? Any funny (repeatable stories)
I use to room with Joey 'The Cabbage` Jakub who was a great little Scottish character. The lads would let us get our room first as none of them wanted to be near as we could never sleep on away trips and stayed up talking and reminiscing most of the night. We always finished with a rendition of Joey`s favourite song 'Sylvia`s mother` by Doctor Hook at the top of our voices (usually in the early hours of the morning). It helped us get to sleep. I still miss overnight trips.
6. Who was the best player you played with at Burnley?
There were some great players I played with over my 5 years at Burnley and although I am trying to pick a best one, I can honestly say not one springs to mind. They tend to come in pairs but it would be an injustice to all the players if I could pick out one.
7. Who was the toughest midfielder you faced?
Chris Kamara away at Swindon whilst playing for Blackpool. We were having a few verbals in midfield when he took offence to something I said which fired him up -he was then all over me like a rash. I apologised after the game and realised sometimes it`s best to keep your mouth shut.
8. Who was the best player you played against?
I remember playing against a young lad who was an apprentice with me at Blackpool a few times and one game when he received the ball - I went to tackle him and he stood firm and was solid and at that moment I thought hes gone from a boy to a man. It was Trevor Sinclair who later went on to play for QPR, Man City and England. The most awkward and one I did not look forward to meeting was Kevin Francis of Stockport County. He was a massive 6'7' dangly centre forward who had legs nearly as big as me! Whenever they had a free kick Pender and Davis use to shout me back to get in front of him and try to win the header which was impossible. He was like an octopus all over you when you went to challenge for a header. It was said that he was a relation of John Francis - little & large - how true that is I don`t know.
9. Who was the best manager during your time at Burnley?
I only had 2 managers in my time at Burnley. Jimmy Mullen was the most successful winning 2 promotions in 3 years but I will always be grateful to Frank Casper for bringing me to Turf Moor. Whenever I see Frank I always remind him that I was his best ever signing!
10. Which away ground did you most and least like visiting?
The ground I did not like visiting was Stockport County as it seemed we were playing them every other month. They were our bogey side at the time, up until Wembley that is! The ground I like visiting was Wembley where we beat Stockport.
11. At which stage did the 91-92 season did you truly believe promotion/the championship could be achieved?
We were all disappointed to see Frank Casper leave but when Jimmy took over he played a more direct route and we went on a run of about 9 straight wins. After that run the confidence was sky high and I knew we would go up. It was after Xmas that I really started to believe that we would go up as champions and 'one night in York` will be remembered throughout Burnley history.
12. With the poor away results for most of the 93-94 season, what was the general mood/confidence like ahead of the play off second leg at Plymouth?
The mood and confidence going into the second leg was pretty good. We went down to Plymouth a few days before the game but it was looking at the local news that fired us all up. It was full of how there was not a coach available anywhere for the Wembley play off final date as they were all booked by Plymouth Argyle. The team did not need much of a team talk before we went out as the atmosphere was like a carnival - they thought it was a foregone conclusion they would beat us and be going to Wembley. It was quite a hostile place around the ground after the final whistle.
Watch out for Part 2 of the interview later this week!!