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On the final day of August in 1946, Burnley kicked off the new season with a home game in the Second Division against Coventry City and a week later travelled to Birmingham to play the first away game.

The two fixtures had already been played some seven years earlier before the season was aborted because of World War II. We’d drawn 1-1 against Coventry and lost 2-0 at Birmingham first time round. In 1946, it was 1-1 again against Coventry but a 2-0 win at Birmingham.

Leading scorer Ray Pointer

Ron Hornby had scored the goal against Coventry in 1939 but in 1946 we were given an early lead through Peter Kippax before Fred Bett equalised for Coventry just before the half hour. A week later, a Harold Spencer penalty and a Jack Billingham goal gave us that 2-0 win at Birmingham.

Kippax was always an amateur player. If you look at any team list for the 1947 FA Cup Final, where surnames only are shown, he will be listed as F. P. Kippax to confirm his amateur status. Locally born, he was a member of the Kippax family who owned the mill on Eastern Avenue that later became home to Skipper’s, the Ford dealers.

Harold Spencer was another local although he started his career at Wrexham. This was his only Burnley goal, and it came from the penalty spot. He had two family members represent Burnley in later years although both were next door. His two grandsons, brothers Paul and Duncan Spencer, both played cricket for Burnley. Bowler Paul also played for Lowerhouse and Duncan, a batsman, went on to play for Nelson.

Billingham was the first non-local to score a post-war goal for us. He was originally from Daventry but signed for Burnley in 1938 from Bristol City.

List our post war league goalscorers and those three are numbers one, two and three and the reason for writing about it now is because, last Saturday, Hjalmar Ekdal took that list to 350. I don’t know how that compares with other clubs but it’s a significant, round number and I might not be around to write about 400, and definitely won’t when it reaches 500.

By the end of that season, the total had reached just eleven players. It included players whose names are familiar given many of them represented us in the FA Cup final that season against Charlton at Wembley. Notably Harry Potts is on that list; he’s number six and he was the first player post-war to score a league brace. Those were his first two goals for us against Newcastle in a 2-1 win at St. James’ Park. Later that season, and number nine on the list, Billy Morris scored the first post-war hat trick, coming in a 3-0 win at Coventry.

Moving on, it took almost fifteen years to reach fifty goalscorers. On 8th April 1961we beat Bolton 2-0 at home. Ray Pointer, number 42 on the list, scored the first and two minutes later Ronnie Fenton scored what proved to be his only league goal for the Clarets.

Fenton was only ever an occasional player for us, playing just eleven times in the league. He went on to play for West Brom, Birmingham and Brentford but had a long career in football in Nottingham. He managed Notts County for a couple of years before joining Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest. Fenton passed away in 2013 at the age of 73.

If it took some time to get to fifty, it took even longer to register the next fifty. On Boxing Day 1979, Billy Hamilton scored his first Burnley goal to become 99 on the list. Three days later he scored again in a 3-2 win against Notts County at Meadow Lane. The other goals that day were scored by Phil Cavener who claimed position one hundred. A winger, Cavener made 69 league appearances for Burnley, adding just two more goals. Now aged 61, he can included Bradford City, Gillingham, Northampton and Peterborough as the other clubs he played for.

Our first away game of the 1988/89 season was at Halifax. We’d beaten Rochdale 2-1 at home on opening day and recorded another victory by the same score at the Shay. Paul Comstive (no. 146) scored our first that day with Brendan O’Connell scoring the second and taking us to 150.

Andy Lochhead was the last to reach three figures

We’d signed him from Exeter but he was a player who the Burnley fans targeted. That led to a loan move to Huddersfield and after two years at Burnley he signed for Barnsley where he went on to have a really good six years before later playing for both Charlton and Wigan.

If you are going to go on the list of Burnley goalscorers, why not do it with five in one game? That’s what Paul Barnes did against Stockport in October 1996, scoring all our goals in a 5-2 win. Barnes signed for us early that season but left during the next season in a swap deal that brought Andy Payton to Burnley.

He scored thirty league goals for us. Prior to signing for the Clarets, he’d played for Notts County, Stoke, Chesterfield, York and Birmingham. He subsequently played for Huddersfield, who had sent us Payton, Bury and Doncaster. He was back at the Turf last season watching his son Harvey play against us for Leicester.

It’s another one goal player who won the 250th place on the list but it was a memorable goal on a memorable night at Elland Road in November 2004. We fell behind that night after 17 seconds but, with a depleted squad, we came back to win 2-1. Both goals were scored by right-backs playing out of position. Lee Roche, who had joined the goalscorers list at number 241 fifteen months earlier, equalised with Richard Duffy, signed on loan from Portsmouth, scoring his one and only Burnley goal to win the game for us.

I’m not going to list Richard’s other clubs, there were so many of them, but he’s still playing football at 37. He’s currently player/manager at Congleton Town.

By the time we reach 300, two current Burnley players have joined the list. Jay Rodriguez is number 284 having scored his first goal against Crystal Palace in March 2009, and Jack Cork is 289; his first goal was scored against Spurs in the final game of our first ever Premier League season.

Goalscorer number 300 came in November 2011. It provides a source of amusement for some of those I travel with to away games given I had to miss it due to illness. They tell me it was Burnley’s finest ever performance but I understand we were awful for virtually the whole of the game and trailed 2-0.

Then, and this was at Hull, David Edgar became number 300, scoring not once, but twice, before Jay Rod scored a late, late winner to keep us out of the bottom three in the league. Edgar scored just two more goals for Burnley. Both came in the following season, at Bolton in a 2-1 defeat and in a 1-1 home draw against Cardiff.

Hjalmar Ekdal – our 350th post-war league goalscorer

Although Scott Arfield could be considered a Canadian, I’ll stick with my belief that Edgar is the only Canadian to score a league goal for Burnley. Signed from Newcastle, Edgar also played for Swansea, Birmingham, Huddersfield and Sheffield United before returning to Canada. He later played for Hartlepool but a serious accident in the United States brought his playing career to an end. He’s currently coaching at Forge FC in Canada.

I thought the wait to get to 350 was going to be even longer than the eleven plus years since Edgar scored those goals at Hull. By the end of last season, it had reached 338. Three very influential players followed Edgar. Three days after that game at Hull, Sam Vokes netted in a 4-0 home win against Ipswich and in the following month Kieran Trippier scored the only goal against nine men Brighton. As the season was drawing to a close, Danny Ings became number 303 at Portsmouth.

Connor Roberts it was who took us to 338 with his goal last season against Southampton. Then, I couldn’t have believed that we’d reach 350 by now but twelve new signings have all scored league goals this season. Unlike Edgar, the first Canadian, Ekdal can’t claim to be the first Swedish player to score for Burnley; that honour goals to John Guidetti who scored for us at Barnsley on Boxing Day 2010. He can though, claim to be the 350th to score a league goal for us in post-war football.

How many goals Ekdal will score, we don’t know, but right now he’s one of 76 to have scored one goal including current team mates Samuel Bastien, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Halil Dervişoğlu, Josh Cullen, Jordan Beyer and Scott Twine.

Of the 350 players on the goal scoring list, there are twenty with over fifty goals, including Rodriguez, but just three to have reached three figures and there should be special mention of them – Ray Pointer (118), Jimmy McIlroy (116) and Andy Lochhead (101).

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