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Norwegian Rune Vindheim, who played for Burnley during the 1998/99 season is in a critical but stable condition in hospital following an accidental fall.

He was head coach of Fana IL back home in Norway but suffered serious head injuries in a fall in September on a stairway in the centre of Bergen. That left him in a coma in hospital for nine days after which his club chairman Kristian Jaeger confirmed that he was able to speak. He said: “We are delighted that he has awakened. It’s nice to hear that there are so many positive signals, but now we have to respect the fact that this may take time.”

His club have now confirmed Patrik Hansson as their new head coach but added that Vindheim will be given however long he needs in terms of rehabilitation with Hansson signing an initial one year contract.

Rune Vindheim arrived at Burnley on trial in the autumn of 1998. He impressed in a reserve game enough for Stan Ternent to give him an immediate debut in a 2-2 draw against Manchester City at Maine Road.

He scored in each of the next two games, getting our third in a 4-0 win at Colchester and then scoring a stoppage time equaliser at home against Notts County. However, his first team career at Burnley was a short one; he made just eight league appearances plus one in the FA Cup in the ill fated 3-2 defeat against Darlington at Middlesbrough.

He joined Hartlepool in the following season, the photograph shows him in action for ‘Pool against Hereford in the FA Cup, before returning to Norway to play and at the end of his playing career he became assistant coach at Fana IL ahead of the 2010 season but they were relegated which saw the head coach leave and him take over. He’s been in charge since having won an immediate promotion.

Rune did make a return to Turf Moor to watch the FA Cup tie against Liverpool which was disappointingly called off due to a waterlogged pitch, travelling from his home land with former Norwegian international and Burnley supporter Gabriel Høyland.

Up the Clarets would like to send best wishes to Rune Vindheim for what we hope will be a full recovery.

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