When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Burnley FC column: Beast deserved chance for his final Turf roar
LIKE the Beast of Bodmin, sightings of the Beast of Burnley were few and far between last season.
Brian Jensen played only four matches for the Clarets during the 2011/12 campaign, as a persistent groin injury saw him fall behind fellow goalkeeper Lee Grant in the pecking order.
To some it looked like the Beast’s time at Turf Moor was coming to a rather meek end.
That would have been a great pity.
Jensen has divided opinion at times, but he still remains a player who will be forever associated with Burnley’s remarkable promotion to the Premier League three years ago.
His performances then, and early in their top flight campaign, will be remembered for years to come.
Among them, there was a night at Turf Moor when he almost single-handedly thwarted Reading as Burnley turned their fortunes around after a slow start to their promotion season.
Then came his penalty shoot-out heroics at Stamford Bridge, as the Clarets pulled off a real upset in the Carling Cup.
And then, in the next round, there was the night that time and again he thwarted Carlos Vela and fellow Dane Nicklas Bendtner – the self-appointed ‘world’s best striker (sponsored by Paddy Power)’ – as Burnley defeated Arsenal.
He kept clean sheets in each of the Clarets’ last four games of that season, culminating with promotion in the play-off final at Wembley.
Even at the start of their Premier League season, Jensen often produced heroics to keep the tide at bay against stronger opposition.
A penalty save from Michael Carrick proved crucial to the famous win over Manchester United.
So last season would have been no note for Jensen’s Burnley career to end on.
At 37 he will face a challenge once more to dislodge Grant from between the sticks, but now he has a chance – hopefully with an injury-free season – to do just that.
A testimonial, too, will recognise his contribution to the club.
Jensen, Chris McCann, Michael Duff and Martin Paterson are now the only key players remaining from the squad that secured promotion to the Premier League.
Many have since left in largely unheralded fashion – Wade Elliott, Robbie Blake, Steven Caldwell, Steven Thompson, Clarke Carlisle, the list goes on.
Who knows? Maybe some of them will get a chance to return for Jensen’s testimonial game and receive an ovation once more from the Turf Moor crowd.
An appearance from Jay Rodriguez one imagines would boost the attendance too, although perhaps best not to invite the manager from that time.
But all that is for Jensen to decide.
What we do know is that at least he now will have the opportunity for his time at Burnley to be recognised in a fitting way.
The Beast will get a chance for a final roar.