(c) 2007 Clarets Museum Copyright
Burnley had often plied their trade with the very best of the
English League, won two Championships, and had played in
both the European Cup and the Inter-Cities Fair Cup, but their
greatest challenge lay at the end of a dark road, where
Burnley future as a League club hung in the balance.

In 1986/87 Burnley lay in the basement division in the English
Leagues, were through poor management, and even poorer
performances on the pitch, Burnley had fallen quickly from their First
Division perch.

Brian Miller had been called upon to help steady the ship and
provide an old hand at guiding the club through an uncertain period
in it's life. Brian Miller had held the managers position at Turf Moor
not four seasons earlier, but the club were now desperate after a
number of high profile and costly managerial appointments had
failed.

The new season had introduced a relegation spot at the base of the
League to the Vauxhall Conference, not that, that matter to most
Burnley fans as the Clarets had started the campaign well. Nine
games in, and after a few good away draws, and two good wins at
home against Scunthorpe, Rochdale, and Halifax and away at
Wolves, Burnley occupied a position in the top 5, but it was all down
hill from there on in, as Burnley's slump took hold, and by December,
the Clarets were 19th.

A good Christmas period, including a 4-0 win over Crewe had
helped claw Burnley away from the new drop zone, which was
occupied by Stockport County, but then a run of ten games with out a
win, which included the infamous 0-6 Hereford United home defeat.

Burnley's next League win came in the 1-0 defeat of Stockport
County at Edgley Park, but with 13 games left Burnley were still in
trouble, and Burnley only won a further 3 games before the last game
of the season against Leyton Orient on 9 May 1987.

The Burnley board were clearly stating that the club could not sustain
life in the Conference, and if they were relegated, Burnley would fold.

That day, the world's press decended on Turf Moor, to watch the end
of one of the oldest teams in the land. Burnley not only needed to
beat Leyton Orient, but also needed either Lincoln City to be lose at
Swansea City or Torquay to fail to beat Crewe at home. Either way,
Burnley's fate was no longer in their own hands.

So came the day, and Burnley won 2-1 in front of over 17,000
Burnley fans, Lincoln were beaten sending them down to the
Vauxhall Conference. Burnley were safe, and Brian Miller, "Mr
Burnley", had been there all along.

Today we have a team that is celebrating making it's 125
anniversary, but if Burnley had failed to win that day, we wouldn't
have a club to support.
  Team
Played
W
D
L
GF
GA
Pts
1
Northampton
46
30
9
7
103
53
99
2
Preston NE
46
26
12
8
72
47
90
3
Southend
46
25
5
16
68
55
80
4
Wolves
46
24
7
15
69
50
79
5
Colchester
46
21
7
18
64
56
70
6
Aldershot
46
20
10
16
64
57
70
7
Leyton Orient
46
20
9
17
64
61
69
8
Scunthorpe
46
18
12
16
73
57
66
9
Wrexham
46
15
20
11
70
51
65
10
Peterborough
46
17
14
15
57
50
65
11
Cambridge
46
17
11
18
60
62
62
12
Swansea
46
17
11
18
56
61
62
13
Cardiff
46
15
16
15
48
50
61
14
Exeter
46
11
23
12
53
49
56
15
Halifax
46
15
10
21
59
74
55
16
Hereford
46
14
11
21
60
61
53
17
Crewe Alex
46
13
14
19
70
72
53
18
Hartlepool
46
11
18
17
44
65
51
19
Stockport
46
13
12
21
40
69
51
20
Tranmere
46
11
17
18
54
72
50
21
Rochdale
46
11
17
18
54
73
50
22
Burnley
46
12
13
21
53
74
49
23
Torquay
46
10
18
18
56
72
48
24
Lincoln
46
12
12
22
45
65
48