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Having been beaten at Chesterfield a week earlier, and then gone out of the League Cup at the hands of Stan Ternent’s former club Bury, the plan was to get the season moving upwards again when York came to Turf Moor, but it was another defeat on what proved to be the most dramatic of days.

There was a looming problem in Burnley and the wider area with concerns that there could be a major shortage of family doctors. Much of this was due to the number set to retire within the next twelve months and the lack of new doctors moving into the area. A meeting of the East Lancashire Health Authority was told by Blackburn with Darwen Council member Susan Reid that many potential new doctors would not come due to the image of ‘cloth caps, whippets and cobbled streets’. It did make me wonder just how people such as Susan Reid actually persuade people to vote for them in the first place but then I saw again where she was a councillor.

I booked an appointment for my flu jab earlier this week, unaware that a quarter of a century ago it was big news with the local health authority launching a new campaign to reveal that all people over the age of 65 and those in ‘at risk’ groups would be receiving one for the 1998/99 winter. It wasn’t quite new but there had not been the biggest take up in recent years and there were concerns it might be somewhat lower in 1998 with Dr Roberta Marshall, consultant in communicable disease control, explaining: “Last year, influenza activities were very low, but there was a mild winter.”

If the old and vulnerable were at risk, then so were a farmer’s deer herd in Burnley and he vowed to do something about it by installing electric fences to protect them from animal rights protesters who he believed were behind recent attempts to free them. The farmer, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I can only come to the conclusion this is the work of animal rights protesters. The deer could have ended up anywhere. There is free access to the moors from the farm and we were lucky to get them back.”

He admitted he’d had problems with this group before when he set up an ostrich farm and he concluded: “Installing electric fences is drastic but I have been left with no alternative.”

If you want a quiet life then best not to behave like Robert Lawson Radcliffe should you receive a visit from the police. The police had been called by his wife who said he’d been pushing her around. When they arrived, Radcliffe pull a six-inch knife from his sleeve, allowed his far from friendly Staffordshire bull terrier off its lead and then ran towards the officers brandishing the knife. The police responded by spraying him with CS gas.

It led to a court appearance who were told by Mr Philip Holden, his defence, that he hadn’t been to prison since 1988 and there had been a marked deceleration in his offending. He also claimed that Radcliffe had been under the influence of a significant amount of prescribed medication and wasn’t thinking clearly. Radcliffe admitted affray and the case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports.

You can’t beat a good local radio station and people in Burnley and Pendle received news that trial station 2BR would be returning to the airwaves for another short stint in September. “We know from the response from the two pilot stations which have already been run that the people of Burnley and Pendle have a strong appetite for their own radio service,” Neil Beecham, the chairman of Two Boroughs Radio, said, and added: “Our final transmissions next month come as a direct result of pressure from the population of the two boroughs for just such a service.”

Stan Ternent was looking to strengthen his squad and during the week a goalkeeper had arrived on trial from Norway. Unfortunately, due to a hitch, he wasn’t able to play in the reserve team game but the manager was hoping he’d be back.

The keeper was Norwegian Frank-Petter Kval who had just ended a loan at Fana from Brann Bergen. Ternent said of the player who was due to come out of contract at the end of the season in Norway: “The lad did well in training and we would like to get him back as soon as possible. Unfortunately, he had to go back as we couldn’t get clearance for him to play, but we would like to have another look at him.”

He also spoke for the first time about Paul Weller who had signed a three-year deal on the morning of the Bury game and gone straight into the team. “It is like signing a new player and, hopefully, should give us a boost. He did well against Bury on Tuesday, especially considering he has only played two pre-season games with West Ham United.”

We had some injury issues ahead of the York game. Steve Morgan was ruled out and had to visit a specialist over the knee injury he’d picked up against Bury. Andy Cooke was racing against time to recover from the injury he sustained against Chesterfield. To add to that, all of Lee Howey, Ronnie Jepson, Glen Little and Mark Robertson were facing fitness tests.

Of that group, only Howey came through to play on what was the most dramatic of days in the history of Burnley Football Club, one that will always be remembered by supporters of the time, not for the game but the aftermath when Ternent spoke after another 1-0 defeat.

Michael Williams bows out with Phil Eastwood replacing him

Paul Smith was close to giving us the lead with an inswinging corner that York just about cleared off the line but then, in truth, the visitors took over. They were so much the better side although we had just gone past the half hour when that was reflected in the scoreline. Man of the match Alan Pouton swapped passes with Richard Cresswell to set up Gordon CONNELLY to slide the ball home just past Gavin Ward.

They went on to smash another shot against the bar and twice failed to find the target when they looked certain scorers. Burnley trooped off for half time somewhat fortunate to be just one goal behind and there was a shock for the fans when they came back for the second half. Both Steve Blatherwick and Howey remained in the dressing room with 18-year-old rookie debutants Chris Scott and Matt Heywood replacing them.

Both of the youngsters did well, despite both receiving early yellow cards, and there was a third substitution before the hour when Phil Eastwood replaced Michael Williams. But as the half progressed, York threatened to run riot and it was a relief that the game ended in only a 1-0 defeat.

Supporters gathered outside the main entrance of the Bob Lord Stand after the game in protest at the way the club was being run, totally unaware of what was about to unravel inside at the post-match press conference. Ray Ingleby had been there to watch the match; Peter Shackleton, still very much the board’s preferred option, seemed to have vanished off the face of the earth.

Back inside and firstly Ternent spoke about the five young players involved in the game, kicking off with Scott. “Some good comes out of bad, and Chris Scott was excellent,” he said. “His mum and dad, and his grandparents Mary and Brian must be proud of him.

Fans protest outside the Bob Lord after the game

“The centre back Matty Heywood also did well, but isn’t ready yet, while Carl Smith had a go in the middle. Phil Eastwood and Colin Carr-Lawton are all part of the future of the club, and in a year to eighteen months will be stronger and wiser.”

Then he spoke of some of the more senior players and stunned those members of the press corps who were there when he told them: “I would like to apologise to the fans for what happened today. It is nothing personal, it is business, but Steve Blatherwick, Lee Howey, Mark Winstanley and, to a lesser degree, Michael Williams, because he will never win the fans over, will not play for Burnley FC again. They are not right for Burnley FC and are not coming from where I am coming from.

“I have told the players, and I am telling the fans what is happening. If you want to come to games, come, give up your hard earned twelve and fourteen quid, but you must be naffed off with it because I am. We can sink or swim. I will swim and get Burnley where they rightfully belong.”

He added: “I have to bring new bodies in. If I have money, I will spend it, and if not I will get loan players, but I won’t put up with that. I have got the nucleus of a reasonable side, but I need some players.”

The four players, of course, were still under contract at Burnley with WInstanley only having signed a new deal weeks earlier. He said of them: “We have an obligation to these four players and I will honour that obligation and do everything I can to get them fixed up somewhere else which will allow me to bring players in which I need to do sooner rather than later. I have had a right good look at it now and it’s not forced medicine. It’s nothing I didn’t know perhaps after two or three weeks.”

Was he regretting leaving Bury to become manger of Burnley? Not for one minute, and he concluded by saying: “I won’t get a better club if I live to be a million.”

The teams were;

Burnley: Gavin Ward, Chris Brass, Neil Moore, Steve Blatherwick (Chris Scott ht), Lee Howey (Matt Heywood ht), Mark Winstanley, Michael Williams (Phil Eastwood 59), Carl Smith, Paul Smith, Colin Carr-Lawton, Andy Payton.

York: Bobby Mimms, Andy McMillan, Wayne Hall, Mark Tinkler, Barry Jones, Neil Thompson, Gordon Connelly, Alan Pouton, Richard Cresswell, Neil Woods, Steve Agnew (Martin Garrett 14). Subs not used: Martin Reed, Neil Tolson.

Referee: Tony Bates (Stoke).

Attendance: 9,715.

The only ex-Clarets to score on this day were on the losing side. Kurt Nogan scored twice for Preston with David Eyres also netting for them. It was all in vain though, despite leading 2-0 and 3-1, they fell to a 4-3 defeat against Stoke at Deepdale.

Three teams had started the season with three wins. Bournemouth led the table with a goal difference that was one better than both Stoke and Fulham, the other two clubs on maximum points. Wycombe, beaten at home by Walsall, were now the only team without a point with Macclesfield having earned their first from a 0-0 draw against Lincoln and both Oldham, Reading and Wigan having won their respective games.

Division Two Results

Saturday 22nd August
Bournemouth 3 Millwall 0
Burnley 0 York 1
Colchester 0 Fulham 1
Gillingham 0 Bristol Rovers 0
Macclesfield 0 Lincoln 0
Manchester City 0 Wrexham 0
Northampton 1 Notts County 1
Oldham 2 Chesterfield 0
Preston 3 Stoke 4
Reading 3 Luton 0
Wigan 3 Blackpool 0
Wycombe 1 Walsall 2

Burnley Goalscorers

2: Andy Payton

Leading Goalscorers

4: Dean Crowe (Stoke)
3: Graham Kavanagh (Stoke), Kurt Nogan (Preston)
2: Stuart Barlow (Wigan), Karl Connolly (Wrexham), Ian Cox (Bournemouth), Jamie Cureton (Bristol Rovers), Sean Farrell (Notts County), Dirk Lehmann (Fulham), Andy Payton (Burnley), Peter Thorne (Stoke)

League Table

Pos Team pld w d l f a gd pts
1 Bournemouth 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
2 Stoke 3 3 0 0 9 4 5 9
3 Fulham 3 3 0 0 5 0 5 9
4 Walsall 3 2 1 0 3 1 2 7
5 Colchester 3 2 0 1 5 3 2 6
6 Millwall 3 2 0 1 3 4 -1 6
7 Preston 3 1 1 1 7 5 2 4
8 Bristol Rovers 3 1 1 1 5 3 2 4
9 Notts County 3 1 1 1 5 4 1 4
10 Wrexham 3 1 1 1 5 4 1 4
11 Manchester City 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
12 Lincoln 3 1 1 1 1 2 -1 4
13 Luton 3 1 1 1 2 4 -2 4
14 York 3 1 1 1 2 4 -2 4
15 Wigan 3 1 0 2 3 2 1 3
16 Burnley 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1 3
17 Chesterfield 3 1 0 2 1 3 -2 3
18 Reading 3 1 0 2 4 7 -3 3
19 Blackpool 3 1 0 2 3 6 -3 3
20 Oldham 3 1 0 2 3 6 -3 3
21 Gillingham 3 0 2 1 1 2 -1 2
22 Northampton 3 0 2 1 2 4 -2 2
23 Macclesfield 3 0 1 2 0 3 -3 1
24 Wycombe 3 0 0 3 2 5 -3 0
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