Former Claret John Francis says Burnley’s Fourth Division title-winning side in 1992 was the best dressing room he has been a part of, writes DAN BARNES

Francis – who made 224 appearances over two spells at Turf Moor – scored the goal that clinched the title and ended seven years in the bottom tier on a famous night at York.

And the 56-year-old still has fond memories of the occasion that began Burnley's journey through the divisions that sees them firmly in the Premier League in 2020.

“We were hoping to wrap things up on the Saturday against Carlisle but ended up drawing 2-2,” Francis said.

“We went over to York and managed to get the win in the last few minutes which was massive.

“I don’t remember much about the game but it was great jubilation at the time.

“That was the best dressing room I’ve been part of, we had a good mix of players and attitudes. I had a lot of banter with the likes of John Deary, Roger Eli and Mick Conroy and we had some good laughs.”

Francis turned down Frank Clark’s Leyton Orient to join the Clarets in 1989, and he says meeting Frank Casper helped make up his mind.

“I got offers to go down to Leyton Orient with Frank Clark and to play for Burnley under Frank Casper,” he said.

“I spoke to Frank (Casper); he’s such a nice bloke an easy to get on with. He told things as they were and seemed to be a trustworthy guy. The things he said about the history of the club made my mind up to come and sign.”

Another of Francis’ Burnley highlights was winning the Second Division play-offs in 1994.

The forward scored twice at Plymouth in the semi-final second leg, and says former boss Jimmy Mullen played an important role in the tie.

“Plymouth were probably one of the in-form teams, going to their place was always going to be tough,” he said.

“They fancied themselves; there was lots in the papers about them already booking their coaches for Wembley.

“Jimmy Mullen put a cut-out on the wall in our changing room.

“It was enough for us to get our teeth into and say, ‘let’s show them what we can do’. I was up front on my own and didn’t have many chances, but my pace gave me the opportunity to get at them.

“It worked in the first half and I’ve ended up with two goals.

“I was so pleased to get to Wembley.”

However, the Wembley final was bittersweet for Francis.

Although Burnley came from behind to beat Stockport County, the forward was forced off with a knee injury.

“I’d gone in with the ‘keeper and it was just a clash more than anything else,” he said.

“But when we won it was a fantastic experience.

"It was great for the lads because they deserved promotion. It was a great feeling and Burnley will always have a special place in my heart for those memories.”

Francis – now managing Bradford-based Albion Sports in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division – is happy to see the Clarets in the top-flight under Sean Dyche.

“Sean has done a fantastic job and built a quality team,” he said.

“He’s also built a good way of playing which supports the club.

“We’re talking about the top league in the world and ‘little old Burnley’ have established themselves.

“Hopefully, they will be there for many years to come.”