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Tributes paid to Clarets legend 'Bomber' Harris
TRIBUTES have been paid after the death of Gordon ‘Bomber’ Harris, a midfielder who played a part in Burnley’s Championship-winning side.
The star, who went on to make 258 league appearances for the Clarets, died on Monday night, aged 73, after a short battle with cancer.
He was just 18 when he scored on his debut versus Leeds towards the end of the 1958-59 campaign.
Harris made two appearances in the 1959-60 title-winning season but really came into his own when Burnley defended their crown the following term, notching up 13 goals in league and cup games.
His best return would come a season later, as he netted 17 times, and his only full England cap came in 1966, in a 1-1 draw with Poland at Goodison Park, replacing an injured Bobby Charlton.
Perhaps his most memorable goal came in the 1961 European Cup quarter-final against Hamburg – but his 20-yard thunderbolt was not enough to prevent the Clarets being edged out 5-4 on aggregate.
The Worksop-born player was made captain at Turf Moor in 1967, but left shortly afterwards to join Sunderland, where he made 126 appearances.
After leaving football, he returned to his native Nottinghamshire and worked as a driver in the coal industry until his retirement.
Clarets legend Willie Irvine, his former teammate, said: “Gordon was a tremendous footballer.
“I played with him for four years, until he was transferred to Sunderland.
“He had a natural talent.
“He was very strong and was one of the hardest men I had ever seen on the football field.
“I wouldn’t have liked to tackle him.
“He was a fairly quiet and clever lad. He didn’t go out and about like some of the old players used to. He was a good family man.”
A Burnley FC spokesman said: “The thoughts of everyone at Turf Moor are with Gordon’s family and friends at this sad time.”
Peter Pike, chairman of the Clarets Trust, said: “Gordon was one of those great Claret players in the magnificent team of the 1960s.
“He played more than 300 games for the Clarets and once for England.
“He was a very strong and outstanding player at time when there were so many stars in the Clarets teams.
“Always known by the nickname of ‘Bomber’ he always gave 100 per cent for the team.
“His performances and efforts for the Clarets will be long remembered by all who saw him play in those great years.”
No funeral details had been released as the Lancashire Telegraph went to press.