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Everyone connected with Burnley Football Club has lost a very special friend today with the sad passing of Alan Beecroft at the age of 66.

Alan, or Beeky to so many, was a larger than life supporter who came to prominence over a number of years ferrying fans to and from away games under the banner of Colne Clarets. He was difficult to ignore to be honest but, my word, when you did get to know him you soon realised how special he was. Nothing was ever too much trouble for him and if you needed any help then, rest assured, Alan was always at the front of the queue, something I found to be the case so much myself.

With Skye, Aiden and Simon ahead of Simon’s sky dive to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease

It was in late April 2018 that Alan told a group of us at lunch that he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease. We’d thought for some time that he wasn’t a well man but never thought for one moment it would be as serious as this.

For some time it didn’t stop him doing the things he enjoyed so much in and around Turf Moor, getting to the games and involving himself with Burnley FC Supporters Groups. His away travel though came to an end in August 2018. One friendly apart, his final away trip was to our Europa League game against Olympiacos after which he then made the decision not to travel again simply because he’d become unable to stand at games.

He continued his involvement with BFC SG until last August. I was amazed he felt able to part compère our player of the year evening in 2018 but he was still there doing it a year later. However, at our August meeting he announced he was having to stand down.

Thankfully, despite his failing health, he was still able to go to home games, sitting in his new seat in the disabled stand, and was planning to be at the Leicester game this Sunday. Sadly, instead of being there and standing in silence to remember those who have passed away in the last year (and Alan did not like a minute’s applause at all), we will now see his name come up on the big screen.

I’m just so pleased I had the privilege to have known Alan for as long as I did and been able to call him a friend. I’ve missed not seeing as much of him in recent months and I was absolutely devastated when I received the terrible news this afternoon. I’ve found it so hard seeing him deteriorate and can’t imagine how his family and close friends have coped with it. My thoughts are with them at this sad time, his wife Georgina, along with Simon and Francesca and grandchildren Layton, Skye & Aiden.

RIP Beeky – the mould was broken when they made you my friend.

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