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0506 burnley michael duff 01 400x600In the summer of 2004, defender Michael Duff made the move from Cheltenham Town to Burnley, one of five new signings as Burnley prepared for a season in the Championship with new manager Steve Cotterill.

Cotterill went, all of Owen Coyle, Brian Laws and Eddie Howe came and went and then came Sean Dyche. Throughout all that, Duff remained until he finally hung up his boots at the end of the 2015/16 season. He’d been involved in three promotions to the Premier League, had won himself a testimonial and played over 380 games for us.

I think everyone was delighted that he remained with the club. He was youth coach in 2016/17, almost taking us to the Youth Alliance League title, and last season moved up to the under-23 team where he started this season.

He’s been a two club man, Cheltenham and Burnley, so it is probably no surprise that now he’s decided to leave us it is to return to his only other club Cheltenham, this time as manager. They recently dispensed with the services of Gary Johnson and the suggestion was that they were looking for someone who knew the club.

Duff was right up there in the betting from day one and he certainly knows the club. He scored the goal that won them promotion to the Football League, was in the team that reached League One and was their first ever full international.

Although Belfast born, he was brought up in the area as was his wife Jess and so there was always going to be a pull from them when they offered him his first opportunity at management.

His 14 years at Burnley is over. I can’t think of a Burnley fan who won’t wish him well and send him off with our thanks for his contribution to our club over these past 14 years.

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