Former Claret Paul Weller says his late winner at Oxford in the 2000 promotion season was “a special moment”, writes DAN BARNES

The 44-year-old – who made nearly 300 appearances for Burnley – inspired a brilliant comeback at the Manor Ground with a goal and an assist as the Clarets came from behind late on to win 2-1.

Stan Ternent’s side went on to claim automatic promotion to the Championship after beating Scunthorpe on the final day.

“I hadn’t played much that season so it was quite a moment,” said Weller, a little over 20 years on.

“I wasn’t even training with the first team, I was on the transfer list thinking my career was going to go in a different direction.

“But Stan knows how to manage players. He brought me back in for that game and, thankfully, I got the opportunity not just to score but to put in the cross for the first goal as well.

“We had some good moments; getting promotion and having four good seasons in the Championship.

“Getting there was the hardest part. The lads did ever so well and I was just happy to play that small part.”

Weller suffers with Crohn’s disease and was out of action for the best part of a year early into his Burnley career.

He recalls how Ternent helped him get past his struggles with illness and back onto the pitch.

“Stan put me down as a cruciate ligament injury and wrote me off the for the season,” said Weller.

“He said, ‘go and do what you’ve got to do and I’ll be there to support you’, and he did.

“He used to come and see me (in hospital) on a Sunday morning. It was good that he cared.

“Even when I was lying in a hospital bed he’d give me stick because I’d lost weight in my legs.

“But it was all tongue in cheek. It was just the way he motivated you and made you feel part of the team.”

Weller shared the dressing room with some big names during his time at Turf Moor, but his favourite teammates were a couple of fan favourites.

“I had the pleasure of playing with a lot of very good players,” he said.

“Paul Gascoigne, Ian Wright, Adrian Heath, Chris Waddle – they’d done it all and got the T-shirt. But there are two standout players, Glen Little and Robbie Blake. They were game-changers.

“If you gave them the ball they just made things happen. They were magic.”

Weller was often used in a similar role to current star Dwight McNeil, and has been impressed by the youngster who has become a mainstay of Sean Dyche's Premier League side.

“When you’ve got a great left foot it really stands out,” he said.

“David Eyres did and so does McNeil. He’s got that ability to get a yard and get a cross in.

"Even though they know it’s coming the defenders still can’t deal with it.

“Burnley play with two strikers that thrive off crosses, so when you’ve got a winger who does that it’s just superb.”