(c) 2007 Clarets Museum Copyright
Leighton James was the original Welsh Wizard, playing for
Burnley over 400 times in 3 seperate spells.

Making his league debut in November
1970 against Nottingham Forest in a 2-1
win, having signed a professional
contract with the club on his 17th birthday.

In 1971 he won his 1st international cap
against Czechoslovakia. Altogether, he
played 54 times for Wales and scored
10 goals.

During a successful first spell at Turf Moor
that spanned 5 seasons, he won the
Second Division title in 1972/73, and
played throughout the next two seasons
with Burnley in the top flight.

In 1975 he signed for Derby County for a
then club record fee of £310,000 before signing for Queens Park
Rangers in 1977 in exchange for Don Masson.

In 1978 he returned to play for Burnley when Harry Potts paid
£165,000 for him, and during this spell he won the Anglo-Scottish
Cup, but left when Burnley were relegated to the Third Division, when
he signed for John Toshack at Swansea City helping them from the
third division to the first division. He had spells with Sunderland ,
Bury and Newport County before in 1986 he returned to Burnley for a
third time.

It was during this time that Burnley needed their Welsh Wizard the
most, as the club fell to the bottom of the Football League, and that
fateful game against
Orient in 1987. That season he top scored with
10 previous goals. He played on at Turf Moor during the following
two seasons, even when he had been released by the club at the
end of 1986/87, helping cover at central defence when injuries took
their toll, and even played a part in the
Sherpa Van Cup Final team.

After he left Turf Moor he became a coach at Bradford City before
being appointed manager at Gainsborough Trinity in 1993. He was
then the manager at Morecambe but was sacked after only 5 months
in charge. Leighton has also had two spells in charge of League of
Wales club Llanelli, who he saw relegated in 2002-03.

In 2001-02 he coached Garden Village of the Welsh Football
League to the Second Division championship title with a final day
victory at Chepstow Town.

Away from football, in June 2007 James was named Rookie
Lollipop Man of the Year by Swansea Council.

He is now well known as a TV and Radio pundit in Wales, were he
currently works a RealFM Radio Wales.
Leighton James
16 February 1953 @ Loughor,
Burnley Appearances:
403 (336 League)
Burnley Goals:
81 (66 League)
International Caps:
54 Wales (10 Goals)
Other Teams:
Derby County
Swansea City
Newport County
Bradford City
Gainsborough Trinity