Warren Graham a poster on this site under the name of ‘Spaceman’ contacted Vital Burnley and asked if we could promote the ‘Burnley Former Players Association’ . We are of course delighted to do so.
The BFPA held their first meeting on Wednesday 14th October where former Clarets Ian Britton, Roger Eli and John Francis (pictured above in his Clarets playing days)attended along with Warren Graham (Longside Reference), Peter Briggs (Clarets Museum) and Chair person Veronica Simpson.
BFPA is backed by the FA, the PFA and UEFA and we provide one of their articles below:
Bill Haywood Memorial Trophy: A Vintage Draw-Commercial Old Boys 2 – 2 Vintage Clarets
The sight of Ashley Hoskins flying down the wing took me back to 1986, when he was a ‘willow the wisp’ winger with a pocket full of tricks, now in 2010, the will to win is still there, although his hair sadly is not. Ashley Hoskin and the Vintage Claret’s came form two goals down to claim a draw in this first ‘Bill Haywood Memorial Trophy’.
The game had its fair share of action, with only one of the goals coming from open play, that by Pilkington after Chris Pearce misjudged the flight of the ball, Pilkington rose to head in.
Ian Britton’s side who had the newly formed BFPA Committee members John Francis and Roger Eli in the ranks started as much as you would expect, nice controlled passing, using the intuitive and willing running of Nathan Peel on the right wing and Graham Lancashire marauding up front, the running was there for all to see and the pass masters in midfield in Gerry Harrison and Roger Eli picking out 30 and 40 yard balls, dropping them in just behind the back four, the legs are getting on a bit.
Very early in the game, the speed king of old, John Francis had to be replaced after collecting an injury (don’t think it was from one his 100 mile an hour runs, we all remember, but just an over stretch), his replacement was once Burnley’s record signing in Liam Robinson.
The Commercial old boys started to boss the game, with Chris Pearce to Clarets rescue after a great one handed save after a break by the Old boys. Early on in the first half Jay Rodriguez’ father Kiko who is a very good player in his own right brought down the Old boys striker in the penalty area. Although Kiko appealed to the ref that the Colne player dived the ref was quite correct, Andy Wilson netted past Chris Pearce who he sent the wrong way.
Just after half time that floated cross which alluded Pearce left Pilkington with a simple header, it wasn’t looking good for Brittons side, even at 2-0 down Commercial were still getting in behind the Clarets back line witch had Chris Scott and Kiko in the heart of the defence, and Ian Britton and Paul Atkinson (minus the tash) in the full back roles.
But with a break by the Vintage Clarets against the run of play saw another foul in the box and this time it was Ash who sent the keeper the wrong way making it Commercial 2-1 Vintage Clarets, with about twenty minutes still to play.
It should have been 3-1 to the old boys, when twice they had Chris Pearce beaten all ends up, hitting the bar on both occasions.
The Vintage Clarets were living a charmed life, when Jonathan Irvine went one on one with Commercials keeper Simon Burrows, Burrows taking out the Claret as he rounded him, giving Ashley Hoskin the chance to draw the Clarets level, which he did.
In the dying minutes both sides had chances, Burnley putting more and more pressure on the exhausted keeper, who was looking lovingly over to the Colne supporters in the bar. Hoskin tried to finish with aplomb when he curled a shot from just inside the eighteen yard box, that almost decapitated a burger seller.
The game ended as a draw, with Chris Scott poll-axed on the floor after being hit in the face with the ball on 90 minutes, with Ashley Hoskin also ending the game limping as a hard challenge left him in a little pain, the game was far from being just a friendly as both teams went all out to win the trophy on offer, but in the end a draw was the fairest result.
Commercial old boys contacted Veronica Simpson and hired the Vintage Clarets, to play against, in order to raise funds, once the game was over back at the club house, raffles and auctions took place and the former Clarets stayed and enjoyed the post match feel, while drinking Orange Juice and the odd Coke.
The Vintage Clarets are all members of the non-profit organisation ‘Burnley FC Former Players Association’ where the mission statement is to look after the welfare of former players.
If you want to hire or look into finding out more about the BFPA, or if your a former Claret and just want to get in touch, vist the website:
Burnley FC Former Players Association
You can also contact Veronica Simpson on 07974 310099 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Warren ‘Spaceman’ Graham