Oh Deary, Deary Me, John!! Part 2
1. Favourite Burnley goal during your time? (any player)
That has to be Gary Parkinson`s Wembley winner against Stockport in the old division 3 play off final. I played him the ball for him to toe poke it where it spun and bobbled into the left hand corner and the picture of Parky, Eyresy and myself celebrating is still one of my favourite Burnley Photos.
2. Which game did you play in that provided the best atmosphere at Turf Moor?
V Blackpool at Turf Moor in April 1991 on a Tuesday night in front of nearly 18,500. It was a great game with a fantastic atmosphere which we won. I remember going into the box only to be brought down by Andy Garner for a penalty which Ron Futcher converted for the winner.
3.Other than the two promotions - what is your best memory from your time at Burnley?
I only have fond memories of my time at Burnley with great fans, a great stadium and great people around the club - but it must be the win on Wembley that comes out on top.
4.Which player did you most enjoy playing alongside?
The player I connected most with was Andy Farrell. I could rely on to be there when I was out of position or needed help. We always supported each other and worked as a unit but had our disagreements on the pitch. I remember once when Faz won a tremendous header in the middle of the pitch and I went ballistic with him but he did not understand why. I told him that he was on my side of the pitch and to f@@k off to his side. He did not want to discuss it when we were walking off at half time and told me to f@@k off but we both laughed about it after the game.
5. Other than yourself, who was the biggest character in the Burnley dressing room?
The 91/92 promotion season was the best dressing room I have ever experienced and most of the time resembled a mad house. When we were discussing a topic there would be 15 players screaming and shouting their views all at once. Although we had some seasoned hard pros who would disagree and argue their point I cannot remember any fallouts and we all accepted when we were wrong and held our hands up - which was hard at times because you would never hear the last of it.
6. Any regrets from your time at the Turf?
None - it was a pleasure playing for Burnley and have great memories of a great ground, great fans and great people.
7. What do you miss most about playing?
I still miss meeting up with the lads and training
8. With the changes in football, do you wish you had played the game 20 years later?
I loved my time when I played and always say that I would not swap my memories or experiences for 1 million pounds. There is an argument for playing on better grounds, better training facilities, better coaches but I loved the rawness of it all back then.
9. Which player later to wear the claret shirt would you have liked to play with?
There have been a lot of fantastic players to play for the clarets especially climbing to the premier league. I always liked knowing that we had a player capable of netting 20+ goals a season in the team so I would go for Andy Payton or Charlie Austin up front. I am constantly getting reminded that they have not replaced me which is very flattering and the fans appreciated my competitive nature so it would of been interesting pairing up in midfield with Kevin Ball. I played against Kevin a few times and he was tough cookie and I don`t think many players would have relished coming up against us two.
10. With how many of the players you shared the Turf Moor dressing room with do you still have regular contact?
I am the Captain of the Burnley FPA which is the vets team so we have between 5 - 10 matches against local opposition every year. The team consists of Roger Eli, John Francis, Andy Farrell, Graham Lancashire, Peter Mumby,John Mullin, Liam Robinson to name a few and I have recently joined twitter (@LoafyDeary) and made contact with a few more such as Marlon Beresford, Les Thompson, Jamie Hoyland.
11. Did you ever look at coaching/managing after you retired?
No. I had already started my Home Improvement Company - Astraglaze. Between business and family life I did not have enough time or commitment needed to make a success of it.
12. Where do you now live? And what do you do?
I have always lived in Southport -even when I was playing for Burnley. As mentioned previously I am the Managing Director of a home improvement company called Astraglaze (northwest) Ltd
13. How often do you get back to Turf Moor?
Not as much as I would like to due to family, work and radio commitments. The last time I was there was the opening day of the 2012/13 season co-commentating for Radio Lancashire. It was the match against Bolton where the clarets gave a terrific performance with a 2-0 victory. The fans were in fine voice as well.
14. Which manager in the game would you have liked to have played under?
Once when we played against Liverpool I was speaking to Jamie Redknapp after the game and he said his Dad always fancied me and tried to sign me. I always thought Harry tries to play the right way and brings out the best in players.
15. Who do you feel was often the unsung hero at the club? And on the pitch?
There was a lot of heroic work being done behind the scenes in the offices, the club shop, washing the kit etc but I always admired the hard work and dedication that the head grounds man Arthur Bellamy (and his assistant who is still there -Aidy) use to do. They spent hours on the turf and after the final whistle use to be tendering the pitch until every divot was replaced and put a lot of care and attention into every blade of grass.
16. During your playing days - what was your biggest/hardest sacrifice?
I do not consider playing football to be a sacrifice so have not got an answer for this question - but listening to some of the garbage that came out of managers/coaches mouths might come close.
A massive Thanks to John for his time during this interview!