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Willie Irvine: Turf party is well deserved
4:00pm Wednesday 30th April 2014 in Football
THE party started again after beating Ipswich, with promotion celebrations again going on long into the night.
Supporters came from far and wide to watch the last home game of this historic season, and I was a very proud man – not for this automatic promotion, but for the fans who I believe are the most loyal in the Football League.
The way each and every one of them applauded for one minute to commemorate Robbie Williamson, who died last week, was so touching.
He was a young Burnley fan, and the tributes paid to him have been magnificent, and is another example of this family club.
It is the way it has always been. It is something I experienced as a player.
When I watched these players celebrating at the end of Saturday’s game – with their families, their children on their shoulders – it took me back to the 1959/60 season when the Clarets were crowned champions of England.
The harmony among the players has been a major factor in earning that runners-up spot. They all play their hearts out for one another in every game, and to get a mention from the Pope, the Holy Father himself, is surely another wonderful memory to add to this superb season.
It was wonderful to see them go out and express themselves and enjoy their success on Saturday against Ipswich.
Everyone expected us to be off the boil but it was another professional performance from the players to sign off the home campaign on a winning note.
It is what the manager would have wanted, and expected, from his side.
Everyone in the media has spoken about Sean Dyche and the wonderful job he has done in getting promotion on a shoestring, and he has galvanised the team spirit that they so obviously enjoy.
Any one of them could scoop the player of the year prize. I wish they all could.
Sam Vokes was the popular choice among supporters last night.
I felt sorry for him on Saturday, seeing him on crutches, but his efforts this season are a big reason behind having Premier League football to return to when he is back in action.
What a contribution him and Danny Ings have made, reminiscent of Lochhead and Irvine.
Jason Shackell and Michael Duff have been magnificent in the back four all season long.
But for me the fans should be acknowledged the part they have played in the team’s success. They have never faltered with their support, and I know the players are grateful.
n HATS off to Alison Leigh at the Crooked Billet in Worsthorne for her part in the promotion celebrations.
The landlady had special t-shirts printed for 15 youngsters who call themselves the “Billet Clarets” for a special party at the pub.
It was a terrific gesture, and shows how much the club is part of the community.
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