IT is one of modern day football’s biggest ironies. With the English top flight never more globally popular, the public have fallen out of love with the stars of the show.

Jimmy Adamson’s death on Tuesday morning only goes to show how it used to be.

The outpouring of grief and tributes that followed left no one in any doubt the Burnley LEGEND held a special place in people’s hearts and always will do.

The same could be the said for the likes of Bryan Douglas, Jimmy McIlroy, Tony Parkes and the late Ronnie Clayton. These are true East Lancashire footballing legends. Players the public adored and looked up to.

Where have all the legends gone? At a time when the game is faster, stronger and more exciting than ever before, you can’t help but feel none of today’s ‘heroes’ will be ever looked upon with such fondness as their contemporaries were.

Yes, there are an abundance of world class footballers who light up stadiums up and down the country with flashes of brilliance.

These players are still idolised by millions but are they really loved by their supporters? I would argue not.

Don’t get me wrong, football still has its share of good guys, probably just as many as ever.

It is not the make-up of the individual that has changed, it is the game itself.

Footballers have always earned a decent enough wage but ever since the advent of Sky TV and the Premier League the game has entered a different planet, leaving us mere mortals in its wake.

It is very hard to truly identify with someone earning £30,000 a week - much more in many cases - living in a big mansion with a choice of cars.

In the ‘good old days’ the players used to mix with their public.

They would have a pint with their supporters, they would go where you and me go on a Saturday night and they would expect to see their contracts out at the club they came to.

Loyalty was a given for the majority back then, nowadays it is almost a redundant word as players are tempted by incredible pay days and egged on by their agents.

It is not their fault. Who wouldn’t be tempted by the sums of money on offer and who wouldn’t swap places with these players at the snap of the fingers? It is football’s fault.

Of course the term legend is still used by kids who want to be the next Wayne Rooney or David Silva.

But these players aren’t legends. They are merely great players.

Legends are the players who went above and beyond for their club.

Players who stayed loyal through the good and bad times and who never lost touch with the footballing public.

To be a real legend, supporters have to be able to identify with them and that is why the likes of Adamson may never be seen in the game again.