A VIP Clarets fan has enjoyed a ‘knight’ to remember on his return to Burnley after almost 40 years.

Diplomat Sir Vincent Fean, who left Burnley at 18 to go to the University of Sheffield, was treated to a tour of Turf Moor, where his father used to work on the turnstiles, on his return to the borough.

His visit was part of a Foreign Office campaign to meet young people and get their views on Britain’s role in the world and explain the UK’s foreign policy.

He also met council officials and took the opportunity to pay a visit to his sister Nora, in Barrowford.

Sir Vincent, who has two daughters and a son, worked all over the world from Malta to Africa and Damascus to Paris after leaving university.

He said: “Since I joined the diplomatic service, I have travelled all over the world and worked in countries thousands of miles away. But I never forget where I am from so it is great to be returning and finding out what young people in Burnley think about what line we should take in our inter-national relations.” The Clarets fan was made a Knight Commander of the Victorian Order in November 2005.

He said: “My father used to collect gate money on the turnstiles and I used to stand on the Longside so to return there was magical.

“It’s brought back so many good memories from the 1970s and with Barry Kilby and Owen Coyle at the helm, we can do what Stoke did last year and aspire to the Premiership.”

The 55-year-old, who also met the Mayor Coun Ida Carmichael and council leader Gordon Birtwistle was asked to become an ambassador for a better Burnley.

He said: “I am delighted to accept. Burnley is going in the right direction and if rail links to Manchester can be improved, the town will be transformed. It has been wonderful to return; to see how the town has progressed and, of course, to again step inside Turf Moor.”

Coun Birtwistle said: “It was a pleasure to have Sir Vincent back in Burnley. His career is an example to all Burnley youngsters as to what can be achieved, and our pleasure is made even greater by the fact he remains an advocate for the borough, continuously flying the flag for a better Burnley.”