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Back in 1987, Burnley beat Orient at Turf Moor to retain a place in the Football League; today, among other games, we play league fixtures against Arsenal at the Emirates in the Premier League.

This story of Burnley’s remarkable recovery from the depths of despair in 1987 is the theme of the most recent Burnley book from Tim Quelch, appropriately titled From Orient to the Emirates – The Plucky Rise of Burnley FC which is now available.

from orientThe book tells the story of how a former leading club was brought to its knees in the mid-1980s by adverse economic circumstances and some imprudent management, how it narrowly escaped relegation to the Conference, and with it probably liquidation, to once again become a force at the top of English football.

The story has largely been told in the words of those who took part in the 30-year journey, from directors, managers, players, staff and supporters. It is an uplifting account of success achieved very much against the odds, founded on indomitable spirit, canny planning and, above all hard graft.

Tim looks at how Burnley fell so fast during the mid-80s when home attendances plummeted below 2,000 and then how the club rose again, winning two of three Wembley finals, achieving three promotions to the Premier League and all achieved on modest resources.

Those telling the story include

Former managing director Derek Gill
“We were so committed financially. We’d increased the wages bill enormously; everybody John Bond brought in was on top money which was £300 per week. So, we were letting go the likes of Lee Dixon on £140 a week and bringing in Gerry Gow on £300 per week.”

Former players Ashley Hoskin
“Before the Orient game, the police came into our dressing room. We knew that if we lost, they couldn’t guarantee our safety. If you go back to the Hereford home game [lost 0-6], we weren’t allowed outside of the dressing room, so God knows what would have happened, given the passion in the town.”

and Clarke Carlisle
“Owen Coyle taught us the power of positive thinking. It’s a confidence thing. ‘You fake it to make it’. You give people confidence, from that you play better, and from that comes more confidence and then you become a better player.”

Manager Sean Dyche
“I spoke to the team about Ed Moses, who was not beaten over ten years in 122 races. I said, ‘imagine getting to 50, then 70, then 90. What were his thoughts about the challenges, his opposition and all the science allowing everyone to get better and stronger?’ But he just kept winning. Now I’m not suggesting we will win forever, but you must be open-minded and push away that thought that we’re due a defeat because we’re not.”

and Chairman Mike Garlick
“Given how far we have come in these thirty years, it is an amazing journey, but one which is far from over in many ways. Maybe it’s just beginning. Up the Clarets!”


It’s Tim’s sixth book and his third on Burnley Football Club, the previous two being Forever and Ever and Never Had It So Good.

His intention with this book is to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK and all of his royalties will be donated to this cause, which is fitting given the great efforts made by Burnley FC, and by Barry Kilby in particular, in raising awareness of this insidious disease and arranging preventative screening sessions at Turf Moor.

Speaking to me this week, Tim told me: “I’m keen to draw all supporters’ attention to the book as it is essentially a stirring, good news story told largely by those who have taken part in the club’s 30-year upwards climb – the players, managers, directors, support staff, supporters and the local press.”

The book is well illustrated with 40 photographs of those who have contributed so much to the cause and while it has been commercially published by Pitch, it has now been endorsed as an official Burnley FC publication.

You can purchase the book, prices at £12.99 from Amazon, Tesco, Waterstones and WH Smith as well as the club shop.

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