Date: 20th February 2008 at 9:38am
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Plymouth Argyle Preview

This weekend we travel to Plymouth in a crucial 6 pointer as we aim for the top 6. It is a very long journey which sees some supporters` coaches setting off as early as 6am.

Plymouth Argyle – The Team

Plymouth are known as the Pilgrims. The nickname comes from the Pilgrims who sailed to the New World from Plymouth on the Mayflower. Along with Yeovil Town they are one of only two Football League teams to play in a mainly green home kit. They are managed by Paul Sturrock and currently sit 7th after a recent 2-0 away win at Southampton. Their ground is called Home Park. Their nearest away fixture this season is Bristol City and that is a staggering 116 miles away from them. The club was founded in 1886.

Plymouth Argyle Vs Burnley – A History

Just a matter of weeks have passed since we beat Plymouth 1-0 at Turf Moor. Plymouth were exceedingly poor that day and we should have won by a much greater margin. We can surely expect a much tougher test this time out.

There have been some interesting tussles between the sides during the years there are two in recent times which any Burnley and Plymouth fan of a reasonable age should recall.

The first was a great day for us away at Plymouth in the Division Two (3rd Tier) Play-Offs in the 1993/1994 season. The match was played on Wednesday 18th May. After a 0-0 stalemate at Turf Moor against a 10 man Plymouth the Pilgrims were the favourites to go through, but it was to be a memorable day for the travelling Clarets fans as Jimmy Mullen’s Claret and Blue Armada set sail for Wembley by trouncing Plymouth 3-1 after coming back from being 1 goal down. Our goals were scored by John Francis (the first two) and Warren Joyce. We went on to beat 9 men Stockport 2-1 in the final at Wembley to win promotion.

The second was at the wrong end of the division in a battle for survival on the last day of the 1997/1998 season at Turf Moor. It was Saturday 2nd May and we amazingly escaped relegation from Division Two (Tier 3) to Division Three (Tier 4). We had looked like dropping for most of the season, but a 2-1 victory over Plymouth courtesy of two Andy Cooke goals ensured it was Plymouth and not Burnley who plummeted.

Plymouth – The City

If you’re heading down to Plymouth early or perhaps staying the weekend here is some information for your trip.

Plymouth is a City and a port it is located in South West England in the county of Devon. It has 243795 inhabitants according to the 2001 census.

The University of Plymouth has 30000 and as a result is the fourth largest in the United Kingdom.

In 1403 Plymouth was occupied for a short period by the French and burnt.

During the English Civil War Plymouth sided with the Roundheads against King Charles I and his Cavaliers.

Plymouth has a history steeped in maritime. Sir Francis Drake was Mayor of Plymouth from 1581 to 1582. It has a large natural harbour called Plymouth Sound and it has a Royal Navy base ranked as one of the most important in the United Kingdom. As a result it was a prime target for the Luftwaffe in the Second World War.

The City suffered massive damage during the blitz in 1941 and it was rebuilt under the watchful eye of the architect Patrick Abercrombie.

The city was blitzed extensively during World War Two. There were 59 bombing attacks between 1940 and 1944. The main target was the dockyards. However civilian casualties were very high, 4448 civilians were injured and 1172 were killed.

In addition almost every civic building was destroyed along with forty one Churches, the two main shopping centres, twenty six schools and eight cinemas. Also amongst the damages were 18398 houses which were seriously damaged and 3754 which were destroyed.

In June 1944 Plymouth was one of the first staging posts of the Normandy landings. The 1st US Army with Genera; Omar Bradley embarked for landings at both Omaha and Utah Beaches. After initial bombardments some American battleships came to the dockyard to be repaired.

Plymouth has seen many famous faces arrive and depart. Catherine of Aragon landed there in 1501 and Pocahontas arrived in 1616. Perhaps the most famous departure from Plymouth was that of the Pilgrims when they left England for the New World in 1620 on the Mayflower. Napoleon Bonaparte visited Plymouth aboard HMS Bellerophon. The vessel remained in Plymouth Sound for two weeks before he was exiled to St Helena in 1815. The surviving crew of the Titanic disembarked at Millbay docks on their arrival back in England in 1912. Sir Francis Chichester returned to Plymouth on 28th May 1967 after he became the first man to single handed Clipper Route circumnavigate the world. He was greeted by an estimated million spectators.


Plymouth has a large shopping area and in terms of retail floor space it is ranked in the top five in the South West and twenty ninth nationally.

Landmarks and places of interest in the City are:

Devonport Royal Dockyard (one of three UK operating bases for the Royal Navy)

The Royal Citadel (A fortress built in the mid 1660s and the most important English defence for over 100 years)

The Barbican (which is the name now given to the western and northern sides of the old harbour area from which the Pilgrims left for the New World in 1620)

Plymouth City Airport

Plymouth Railway Station (for all the train spotters out there)

Millbay Docks (A regular international ferry service is provided here)


Many thanks to EET for providing this background, it will be a useful supplement to our Official Match preview to be provided by Vital Burnley later this week