Clarets legends reveal their love of Burnley after town wins enterprise award (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Clarets legends reveal their love of Burnley after town wins enterprise award
9:00am Saturday 31st August 2013 in News
FIVE Clarets legends have revealed why they love Burnley after the town received a national award for enterprise.
Jimmy McIlroy, Willie Irvine, Andy Lochhead, Peter Noble and Jimmy Robson have never left their adopted town after ending their Turf Moor careers.
Earlier this week, Burnley was named the UK's most enterprising town in the UK for its skilled workers, entrepreneurship and a thriving manufacturing base.
And the Clarets legends put the town's success down to its people.
Clarets hero Jimmy McIlroy, who despite being born and raised in Northern Ireland now lives in Burnley, said he felt comfortable in Burnley straight away.
“I moved to Burnley when I was 18 and I immediately felt at home,” said McIlroy, now 81.
“When I came over from Northern Ireland I didn’t have a clue what kind of place I was moving to. There was a lot of young lads at the club at the time and there were also two or three Irish lads which really helped me.
“Looking back, coming here was the best decision I ever made and I really enjoy living in Burnley now.”
Seventy-year-old Willie Irvine also moved to Burnley from Northern Ireland as a 16-year-old. He said: “I think for a lot of people it wasn’t a case of falling in love with the town, it was the girls.
“I met a Burnley girl and married her and that is why we ended up settling here and a lot of players from my time did the same."
Andy Lochhead moved to Burnley as a 17-year-old from Scotland, but still lives in the town at the age of 72.
“I spent 12 years in Burnley before going to the Midlands for a while,” he said.
“Towards the end of my career I got a transfer to Oldham, I had a look around Oldham but I didn’t fancy it one little bit, so I decided to live in Burnley and travel over.
“I met my wife in Burnley, we will have been married 50 years next year, and it seemed like the right thing to do to get a house here and settle down. It’s a nice, friendly town.”
Two players who now live in the town despite being raised in the North East are Peter Noble, 69, and Jimmy Robson, 74.
Noble said the biggest influence for him was the Clarets legendary manager Jimmy Adamson, also from the North East, who made Burnley his home until his death in 2011.
“I was close to Jimmy Adamson so I was keen to stay living near him, that was one of the big things for me,” said Noble.
“I love living in the area and I wouldn’t consider moving away now.”
Jimmy Robson, who moved to Burnley from County Durham when he signed for the club in 1956, said: “My wife was from Burnley and three of our children were born here so that had a big influence on where we set up home.
“I moved to Blackpool for three years when I signed for them, but when I signed for Barnsley I moved back to Burnley and travelled from there.
“There are a lot of ex-players who still live in the area, I think it is just the way these things pan out, if your wife and your family are happy then you are happy.”
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