Twenty-first century goals
When Scott Arfield scored Burnley’s winning goal against Watford in December 2017 I’m sure not many of us realised it was our 1,000th league goal since the turn of the millennium while Chris Wood’s goal in our most recent game against Spurs has now taken that total to 1,105.
It was watching the re-run of the 2000 promotion winning game at Scunthorpe that prompted me to take a look at our 21st Century goalscorers and it was Andy Payton, who had ended the 20th Century with a hat trick against Oxford, who kicked it all off.
We’d failed to score in our first game of the millennium at Notts County, beaten 2-0 at Meadow Lane, a result that left us in 5th place in the table but a long way behind the top three with leaders Wigan some 11 points clear of us.
Notts County are a non-league team now as were our next league opponents Chesterfield who included former Clarets Steve Blatherwick and David Reeves in their line up. Having ended the previous millennium, Payts opened the scoring in the next one with an fourth minute opener at Saltergate in a game that ended 1-1.
He scored four of the next five goals too; Andy Cooke getting the other, before Glen Little’s winner against Bristol Rovers. By the end of that season Steve Davis, Ian Wright, Graham Branch, Ronnie Jepson, Paul Weller, Ian Cox, Paul Cook, John Mullin and Micky Mellon had added their names to the list.
The mere mention of Wright, the sight of seeing him on the Scunthorpe re-run. It’s still hard to believe that a club in the third tier, a club who had spent twenty years struggling, could attract such an iconic player, but that we did and I think we all remain sure that he played a massive part in lifting the club and helping us get into second place and automatic promotion.
Wright scored four times for Burnley; by the time he scored his final goal for us, a penalty against Barnsley in October 2001, Payton had scored a total of 69 league goals in Burnley’s colours with 27 of those coming in the 21st Century. That total of 27 sees him in joint 13th place in a list that now includes no fewer than 122 Burnley players plus a further 25 players who have managed to notch own goals playing against us.
One player features twice too. Frank Sinclair scored once for us, in a win against Rotherham, but he also put through his own net on the Turf playing for Leicester in 2002/03 season although he ended on the winning side that night. He’d not been on the pitch long that night having come on as a substitute for Andy Impey.
Just looking back at that list from the second half of the 1999/2000 season and twelve names kicking it off; that’s the same number of players who have been added to the list in the last four years since that win at Charlton. Steven Defour was the first of them when he scored against Hull and the most recent addition was Ashley Westwood when he netted direct from a corner at Anfield last season.
So, Payton in 13th place, jointly with Chris McCann, but who is up there at the top. It’s no surprise to see recent Premier League goalscorers Sam Vokes (2nd), Ashley Barnes (3rd), Danny Ings (5th) and Jay Rodriguez (7th) in the list with Chris Wood also now in the top ten while there must be notable mentions for Charlie Austin, Ian Moore, Gareth Taylor and Andre Gray who make up that top ten.
Pride of place though goes to Robbie Blake who scored 61 league goals for us in two spells. Both Robbie’s first and last goals were away from home, the first from the penalty spot in a 2-1 win at Derby with his final goal coming at Ewood Park.
Robbie’s most prolific season came in 2003/04 as we battled against relegation. He scored 19 league goals during that campaign. He looked set to emulate it in the following season but left at the half way stage for Birmingham. During his second spell, with Owen Coyle as manager, he was used more often on the left hand side rather than as a striker as such and so his goal tally wasn’t quite the same although the 61 he did score means he’s 16th in the list of post-war league goalscorers for Burnley.
Who knows if and when Robbie will be replaced at the top. Rodriguez and Wood are some way behind yet but another three seasons of Wood at Turf Moor could see him offer a real challenge.
For now, I think we are all hoping life can get some normality back. It would be good to be able to see our 1,106th league goal of this millennium.
Our 21st Century Goalscorers
61: Robbie Blake
58: Sam Vokes
41: Charlie Austin & Ashley Barnes
38: Danny Ings
37: Ian Moore
36: Jay Rodriguez & Gareth Taylor
32: Andre Gray
31: Chris Wood
29: Martin Paterson
28: Andy Gray
27: Chris McCann & Andy Payton
26: Ade Akinbiyi
22: Glen Little
21: Scott Arfield
20: Graham Alexander & Chris Eagles
19: Wade Elliott
16: Steve Davis
14: Graham Branch
13: Steven Thompson
12: George Boyd & Ross Wallace
11: Chris Iwelumo & James O’Connor
10: Kyle Lafferty
9: Paul Cook, Jeff Hendrick & Dean Marney
8: Steven Fletcher
7: Lee Briscoe, Clarke Carlisle, Richard Chaplow, Jack Cork, Michael Duff, Joey Guðjónsson, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Michael Keane, Gifton Noel-Williams, Garreth O’Connor & Junior Stanislas
6: Andrew Cole, Arthur Gnohere, Steve Jones, Michael Kightly, Ben Mee, David Nugent & Paul Weller
5: Steven Caldwell, Luke Chadwick, Ian Cox, Delroy Facey, David Johnson, Dwight McNeil, John Mullin, Keith Treacy, Kieran Trippier & Dean West
4: Joey Barton, Paul Cook, David Edgar, Alan Mahon, David May, Alan Moore, Jason Shackell, John Spicer, James Tarkowski, Matt Taylor, Ashley Westwood & Ian Wright
3: Marvin Bartley, Andre Bikey, Robbie Brady, Tony Grant, Jon Harley, Paul McVeigh, Dimitrios Papadopoulos, Jean-Louis Valois, Matěj Vydra & Stephen Ward
2: Gordon Armstrong, Kevin Ball, Steven Defour, Nathan Dyer, David Jones, Kevin McDonald, Mark McGregor, Michael Ricketts & Lee Roche
1: Dele Adebola, Dean Bowditch, Gary Cahill, Tendayi Darikwa, Nathan Delfouneso, Drissa Diallo, Richard Duff, Brian Easton, Tony Ellis, Danny Fox, Ben Gibson, Phil Gray, John Guidetti, Rouwen Hennings, Micah Hyde, Ronnie Jepson, Lenny Johnrose, Christian Kalvenes, Aaron Lennon, Kevin Long, Matt Lowton, John McGreal, Josh McQuoid. Tyrone Mears, Micky Mellon, John Oster, Frank Sinclair, Paul Smith, Wayne Thomas, David Unsworth & Neil Wood
Barry Ashby (Gillingham)
Gareth Roberts (Tranmere)
Chris Morgan (Barnsley)
Warren Barton (Derby)
Calum Davenport (Coventry)
Frank Sinclair (Leicester)
Harry Ntimban-Zeh (MK)
Youssef Safri (Norwich)
Sean St Ledger (Preston)
Darren Ward (Wolves)
Chris Perry (Southampton)
Dale Bennett (Watford)
Ashley Williams (Swansea)
Sam Hird (Doncaster)
Nyron Nosworthy (Watford)
Gordon Greer (Brighton)
Shane Lowry (Millwall)
Jason Pearce (Leeds)
Paul Dummett (Newcastle)
Matthew Connolly (Cardiff)
Richard Keogh (Derby)
Karl Darlow (Newcastle)
Dennis Odoi (Fulham)
Conor Coady (Wolves)
Roberto (West Ham)