What a difference 12 months can make. On Sun 29 May 1988, a
huge Burnley following had turned up at Wembley stadium to
cheer on Brian Millers Clarets, but twelve months earlier, they
had flirted with relegation from the Football League.
That day had passed well for
the Clarets, and so Burnley
were able to cherish days
like the one against
in the Final of the Sherpa Van
Trophy at Wembley Stadium
just 12 months later.
The Sherpa Van Trophy
(which was the Football
League Cup, and is now called the Johnson Paint Trophy) was a cup
competition for clubs within the bottom two leagues of the Football
League. All teams would be placed into the Northern or Southern
sections depending on their position within the UK, and the further
split down into 8 qualifying groups. Burnley were drawn against
Rochdale and Tranmere Rovers.
On 27 October 1987, Burnley commenced their journey to the Twin
Towers of Wembley, with a 2-1 win over Tranmere Rovers, they
followed this up with a 3-2 win over Rochdale at Turf Moor on 24
November 1987, with that they had won the group, and qualified to
the First Round proper, were they were drawn against Chester City,
and on 19 Jan 1988, Burnley won that game 1-0, progressed further
into the competition, and into the Quarter Finals. Next up was the
away tie at Gigg Lane against Bury, and on a windy night, the Clarets
again ran out 1-0 winners.
Burnley had reached the Semi-Final of the Northern Section, and on
8 March 1988, they drew 0-0 with Halifax Town, and won on a penalty
shoot out 5-2, booking themselves a two legged Northern Section
Final against Preston North End.
On the 12 April 1988, Burnley played out a 0-0 draw, and then beat
Preston 3-1 after extra time at Deepdale, book their 3 visit to
Wembley an their first in 26 years.
Brian Miller had succeeded in turning around the gloom and despair
of what had nearly happened 12 months ago, and had emulated
Harry Potts, in playing and Managing Burnley at Wembley.
That sunny day in London, ended in a 2-0 loss for Burnley, but the
80,841 crowd, which is the biggest ever for an all Fourth Division
game, was even bigger than the England Scotland game, played at
Wembley the week before. This was Wembley's last game before it
became an all seater stadium, and no other Wembley crowd after
that game had a larger attendance until the New Wembley was
finished in 2007.
|Ray Deakin (C)
||Ally Robertson (C)
||Robert Dennison (1)
||Andy Mutch (1)
||Wolverhampton Wanderers 2
|May 29 1987 @