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Burnley fans urged to Pack the Turf
Updated 12:49pm Monday 21st April 2014 in News
CLARETS fans have been urged to ‘Pack The Turf’ as they bid for promotion to the Premier League today.
Burnley can clinch a place in the richest league in the world with a home win over Wigan Athletic this afternoon.
Club legends including Jimmy McIlroy have backed the campaign, urging fans to ensure the game is a sell-out and the players are roared on to victory.
Clarets chairman John Banaszkiewicz has made a rallying call to the people of the town to play their part.
He said: “You can’t not be there. It is a chance to be part of a moment in history. “We have broken records all season, with the best start to a season since 1897, the longest post-war unbeaten run at home in the league and beating Blackburn for the first time in 35 years.
“This could be the final piece in the jigsaw.
“We need supporters to get behind the team and the lads and give them the best support to complete the task.
“If you miss it, you might miss out.”
Manager Sean Dyche also praised the contribution of Burnley supporters this season.
He said: “As it has built this season, I have mentioned how important the positivity of the fans has been.
“I thought they were fantastic against Middlesbrough last week in a game we totally dominated and they saw that there were some unjust things that went against us.
“I thought they were excellent again at Blackpool on Friday. They travelled in numbers and they were very supportive.
“It absolutely makes a difference when they are positive, there is no two ways about it.
“I have been a player and it definitely does make a difference. Our supporters have been absolutely fantastic.”
Club bosses have also launched a Twitter ‘hashtag’ ‘#gottobethere’ so fans can show their support online ahead of the massive fixture.
Burnley FC spokesman Darren Bentley added: “We are expecting a big gate with big queues at the turnstiles and at the ticket office.
“We hope that people will turn up early and will turn out in force to help push the lads over the line.
“We have got people coming from all over the world who have been using the hashtag on twitter.”
The last time Burnley won promotion at Turf Moor was 41 years ago with a 2-0 win over Sunderland on April 16, 1973. Jimmy McIlroy, 82, who played 439 times for the Clarets between 1950 and 1962, backed the campaign and urged fans to ‘Pack the Turf’.
He said: “The supporters can make such a big difference and if they all get down there it will be a big deal for them and for the club.
“A packed Turf would certainly help urge the players on to win and gain promotion.”
Andy Lochhead, who writes a column for the Lancashire Telegraph and entertains guests in the 1882 Lounge on matchdays, said: “I back this 150 per cent.
“I am quite confident they will pack the stadium. It must be nearly a sell-out in the home ends of the ground.
“I think they will have terrific backing. The players have earned it and deserve it.
“The supporters can have a very big impact and if you get the enthusiasm from the stands it can give you that extra yard on the pitch.”
Fans who have already bought tickets have been tweeting their plans to attend the game, using the hashtags #GotToBeThere and #Believe.
Some Clarets fans have even tweeted their plans to fly in from abroad, or drive hundreds of miles to attend the game.
Paul Weller said: “I am going, can't miss the big day #promotionparty #gottobethere #twitterclarets.”
And Gavin Henderson said: “Tickets bought for a little trip from London up to the Turf on Monday! Come on @BurnleyOfficial!! #GotToBeThere #UTC”
With such a large turnout expected, police have urged fans to enjoy the game peacefully.
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “Burnley FC’s return to the Premier League should be a joyous occasion.
“I would urge everyone attending the game to enter into this spirit and enjoy the atmosphere in a safe and peaceful manner.”
Insp Matt Wilmott, from Blackpool police, added that Clarets fans who travelled to Blackpool for the Championship match on Friday had been ‘relatively well behaved’.
The ticket office will be open from 9.15am this morning, and fans are also able to book online until around an hour before kick off.
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