Today a small town in the old industrial heartland of Lancashire celebrated its football team, the “Clarets” achieving promotion to the Premier League. Burnley turned out in force to watch the civic reception and celebration parade.
The mayor made a short celebratory speech then Sean Dyche, the manager (affectionately known to fans as “Ginger Mourhino“) and all the players were introduced to the crowd from the Town Hall balcony before the Chairman displayed the trophy.
The bookies had Burnley one of the favourites to be relegated so it was really against all odds with the smallest squad in the division and having bought only one player and one loan signing all season.
They also had the meanest defence in the division and a year-long record of being undefeated at Turf Moor.
And die-hard fans will also savour the fact that Burnley beat arch-rivals Blackburn Rovers for the first time in 35 years (having been robbed last year by an off-side equaliser).
So not only do Burnley have the bragging rights but ascendancy over Blackburn who failed to make the play-offs and a chance to return to the Premier League.
But today was about Burnley FC and here are earlier posts from Turf Moor.
Last week Burnley FC secured promotion to the Premier league by beating Wigan Athletic at Turf Moor. This weekend they beat Ipswich, who needed to win to gain a play-off place, and after the game received the trophy and well deserved medals.
The crowd were introduced to the back room staff and players as they came out of the tunnel before they posed for the press and opened a few bottles of bubbly.
Burnley has probably the smallest squad in the championship having used only 23 players with only one bought and one on loan all season.
And don’t forget they went a whole year without losing at Turf Moor and had the best defensive record in their division.
Burnley Football team was promoted to the Premier League today. The picture above was taken as the final whistle blew on a 2-0 defeat of FA Cup winners Wigan Athletic at Turf Moor.The manager Sean Dyche takes the applause from an ecstatic crowd.
Promotion to the Premier League is something I thought I’d never see in my lifetime. A small town club, albeit one of the founder members of the football league, competing against millionaire players at foreign-owned clubs with one of the smallest squads around.
Burnley did it in 2009 via the playoffs and did it in fine style this time going unbeaten at home for over a year in the process and having the best defensive record in the division.
What will next season bring?