POLICE have asked pubs in Burnley town centre to shut for half an hour after the final whistle of East Lancashire's big derby clash between Burnley and Blackburn on Sunday.

The Clarets take on Rovers at Turf Moor in a 12.30pm kick-off, the first of this season’s two derby fixtures.

Most pubs will be open to home supporters before the match but police have asked pubs to shut their doors 10 minutes before the match ends and until half an hour after the final whistle to try and prevent trouble breaking out.

Emma Harrison, landlady of The Bridge Bier Huis, said: “We will be opening an hour earlier than normal at 11am on Sunday.

“The police have advised all pubs in the town centre to shut the doors 10 minutes before the final whistle to 30 minutes after the final whistle to stop people coming in, but anybody who is already in the pub will be allowed to stay in.

“I think it is to try and let the crowds disperse and everything quieten down before pubs open again.”

Police have put in place several special measures to try to prevent any trouble at the match.

Officers have met representatives from both clubs to try and ensure the match, which is not being televised, passes off peacefully.

All Rovers fans attending the game will arrive at Turf Moor in coaches via the Blackburn Rovers Away Travel scheme with pick ups from either Ewood Park or GEC Business Park in Accrington.

Roads close to Turf Moor will be closed before and after the game to allow coaches to arrive and depart.

Town centre shops will be open as normal on Sunday with a busy weekend of Christmas shopping expected. Brian Hobbs, president of Burnley’s Chamber of Trade, said: “We have not had any discussions with police and shops and businesses will be open as normal, and I’m sure they will be hoping to capitalise on a busy weekend and any extra footfall in the town centre.”