Burnley FC legend and World Cup hero John Connelly dies

FOOTBALL: Mr John Connelly with football from the 1966 world cup. B090802/3
FOOTBALL: Mr John Connelly with football from the 1966 world cup. B090802/3

THE death of Clarets legend John Connelly has has been confirmed this morning.

The 74-year-old former member of the England squad who played in the World Cup, who appears on the Wall of Lengends at Turf Moor, had been suffering from cancer.

The right winger, was spotted by Burnley FC scouts in 1956 while playing for St Helens in the Lancashire Combination and secured a permanent move to the club, who were then playing in the English top division. He made his debut away from home against Leeds United on March 11th 1957 and in the 1958–59 season scored 12 goals from 37 appearances, ending the season as the team’s second top scorer.

Predominantly a right winger,he was a prolific goal scorer, scoring 105 goals for Burnley in 265 appearances.

Following his Burnley FC career, Connelly played for Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers. In his retirement he ran a fish and chip shop in Brierfield.

His friend and former Burnley colleague Jimmy Robson said of Connelly “John was a good footballer. He was a bit of a full back’s nightmare because he could go inside or outside and he was quick and had two good feet.

“We both enjoyed our time at Burnley – a very successful time for both of us winning the title and reaching the FA Cup final.

“We both married Burnley girls and went on family holidays together and out on a Saturday night on a regular basis.

“He was a popular man in the area, first of all for being a footballer but also his fish and chip business.

“He was a member of Nelson Golf Club and was also a JP.

“He knew a good cross-section of people and was a good friend to many.”