BURNLEY Football Club may have had its ups and downs this season, but one thing fans were not reckoning on was a starring role in one of Britain's top-rated soaps.

Sharp-eyed viewers of ITV's Emmerdale may have noted a scarf in the club's claret and blue colours has been making regular appearances in the backdrop to some of the show's scenes.

The scarf's owner is Burnley fanatic Richard Moore, 61, who plays Jarvis, the soap's eccentric binman.

He is the latest in a long line of celebrity fans supporting Burnley or Blackburn Rovers, including BBC weatherman John Kettley and fashion designer Wayne Hemmingway.

Since he joined the cast of Emmerdale 18 months ago, Richard has adorned his character's shed - the place where Jarvis hatches many of his crackpot schemes - with Burnley colours.

"I've managed to introduce a little bit of Burnley into Emmerdale," the former Burnley Grammar School pupil said. "It's something for the Burnley connoisseurs. I don't flaunt it. The producers know all about it and they're kind enough to indulge me. There's no reason why Jarvis can't be a Burnley fan."

Burnley-born Richard now lives in Cornwall, but his job on Emmerdale has allowed him to make regular trips across to Turf Moor to watch the Clarets' home matches.

"Stan's given us some terrific football and some good teams, but the last two seasons have been desperate," he said. "It's a shame, because the town deserves a fine team."

He also follows the team's away matches and, for the past three years has been the honorary life president of the Burnley Supporters' Club.

Before he became an actor, Richard played for Burnley Schoolboys and used to train with Jimmy McIlroy. "Gentleman Jim used to look after us youngsters," he said. "I'd have given anything to play for Burnley."

In his acting career Richard has toured Britain and America with the Royal Shakespeare Company. But even in the States he took time to check Burnley's results.

Richard's not the only Burnley fan in the Emmerdale cast. Dodgy pig merchant Zak Dingle is also a regular at Turf Moor.