Act IV:Renaissance

When I joined we’d sold the ground, we didn’t even own our ground; that was one of my most satisfying moments, negotiating with the then landlord to buy the ground back. We thought we had an option to buy it back, but due to a legal cock-up we didn’t. He could have held out and never sold us the ground back, but I managed to persuade him to sell it back. That was one of the first steps on the road to recovery. You want your own home don’t you? It’s just like buying your own house. If you don’t own it anything you develop is for someone else.
Mike Garlick

As secur’d was our survival
So began the club’s revival,
Far behind our biggest rival,
In the old Division Four;
Swearing oaths upon a bible
For the club we all adore,
‘Let us climb from football’s floor.’

Then came the famous Sherpa Van,
When all of Burnley, to a man,
Jumped on the Claret caravan,
Pals tripping off to war;
& tho’ we lost 2-0 to Wolves
Not one of us blew sore,
As our pride the lads restore.

Next up a cup-tie down Derby,
When Jimmy Mullen’s own ‘Barmy
Army’ from loss claim’d victory,
As on the Dunkerque shore;
Sending a message to the world,
Impossible to ignore,
‘Time to leave Division Four.’

Friends, where were you in Ninety-Two,
Four thousand Clarets, tall & true,
Thro’ chorus incessant upflew,
Like storm-wings on the shore;
When days of glory rose anew,
With love its guarantor,
Sleeping giant sleeps no more.

By Mickey Conroy’s highland sword,
Ooo! George Oghani’s ironing board,
By Johnny Francis goals were scored,
Chris Pierce’s private dance floor;
& when they clinched the league at York
Hearts surfing silver soar,
Going up for evermore!

As Jimmy Mullen built up steam
About a very useful team,
It took him just two years to dream
Of winning Wembley’s war;
Where at the play-off final
Stockport buckl’d neath the roar
Of, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

But this promotion false dawn proved
& relegation soon removed
Our Mullen, as the Board approved
New managers galore;
Waddle & ‘Inchy’ Heath behooved
The old revolving door
Of the hot seat at Turf Moor.

Meanwhile the Longside’s day had come,
No more to beat the battle-drum,
The Bee-Hole too, its chewing gum,
Made rubble on the floor;
Up in their wake a comfy bum
(By full-time numb & sore)
At an all-seater Turf Moor.

Frank Teasdale found a local man
Who took no crap, Stan had a plan,
Placed Andy Peyton in his van,
A lad he knew could score;
Our predator from Padiham
Brought up upon the roar
Of, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

With Stevie Davis solid brick,
The verve of a Glen Little trick,
With Mickey Mellon’s passes slick
& Jepson’s solid jaw;
A win upon the road we nick,
Or at the worst did draw,
With a fortress at Turf Moor.

Then with promotion well in sight
We signed up Ian Wright-Wright-Wright,
A poacher ever erudite,
Still the biz at thirty-four;
& when he scored one Kentish night
Gillingham heard the roar
Of, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

It all went down to one last match,
From those same Gills the berth to snatch,
Both playing on a different patch,
With a big screen at Turf Moor;
When beating Scunthorpe did attach
Us to promotion’s soar,
Going up for evermore!

With Burnley verged on the big time,
Just one more rung the lads to climb,
A mill town club had lost its grime
Thro’ the likes of Blake & Moore;
Where one goal from the play-offs
Even Gazza couldn’t score,
At a modernized Turf Moor,

So, Stan the Man’s done all he could,
Brought back the smile to Burnley Wood,
Six years of mithers in the mud
& the man still wanted more;
For Burnley flows, with Claret blood,
Thro’ all who grace Turf Moor,
Only now & evermore.

Then Stevie Cotterill had a pop,
Catching defences on the hop
With his fresh style of push & prop
& passes along the floor;
When every Christmas, near the top,
We knock’d upon the door
Of the play-off spots & more.

As football loves the greed of gold
Ade Akinbiyi needed sold,
& Barry Kilby, I’ve been told,
Beat wolves back from the door;
So gladly let into the fold,
Blood brothers in rapport,
Michael Garlick’s golden ore.

But Cotterill hit a tepid wall
& rapid down the league did fall,
For nineteen games the fans did stall,
Without a win to roar;
Yet fans still clapp’d the lads’ football,
Claret espirit de corps,
Whose fairweathers all deplore.

As things must change, as all things should,
In steps a lad called Brendan Flood,
A business man with Burnley blood,
& a fortune set in store;
Willing to pour his millions
Into his dear Turf Moor,
Former glories to restore.

In came a man called Owen Coyle,
A manager on foreign soil
But many Scots had strove & toil’d
Before him down Turf Moor;
Like when we fielded ten of ‘em
In Eighteen Eighty-Four,
Each man Burnley to the core.

The team Coyle builds thrills to impress,
Kills Chelsea thro’ a game of chess,
Then Arsene’s colts fail’d to address
Coyle’s claret conquistador;
Puts to the sword two of the so-call’d
Filial Big Four,
Like Gandalf brought down Mordor.

The semi played down White Hart Lane,
Rich rivalries renewed again
As Burnley played like Raul’s Spain
& were the first to score,
But in a crazy second half
The Tottenham scored four,
All our hopes seem’d on the floor.

But Coyle had built a loyal side,
Playing for Burnley & its pride,
Such grit & graft the lads applied
To even up the score;
When Jay Rodriguez equalized
You should have heard the roar
Of, ‘No Nay Never No More.’

I was in India back then,
Watching Ten Sports from three AM,
Some crazy backstreet drinking den,
Concrete Coimbatore;
To watch the second battle when
I’d made the Goan shore,
Wishing I was at Turf Moor.

That was such a classic season,
As the football cream of London,
Like the layers of an onion
Peel’d off to the Wembley core;
When two minutes from the final
Jammy Spurs broke off to score,
Blocking off our tidal bore.

Most clubs here would drown dejected
But the quality expected
Of the Clarets now deflected
All depression out the door;
‘Til the push-up through the play-offs
Gave us Reading for the war,
Neath a rafter-pack’d Turf Moor.

As three sides of the stadium
Rang with chronic delirium,
While Blake & Eagles dummied ‘em
Clarke Carlisle boss’d the war;
Nigh twenty thousand turfites singing
‘Til their throats were raw,
Like the golden days of yore.

Then Alexander’s penalty
Defended down the Madjeski,
Where Patterson seal’d victory
Thro’ such a sublime score;
& with Burnley back at Wembley
All our diaspora soar
Thro’, ‘No Nay Never No More.’

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