Exciting plans for Turf Moor memorial garden

Clarets fans are being urged to lend their support to a planned memorial garden at Turf Moor, which could also see statues of two club legends erected.

The garden, which will include plaques in memory of supporters’ loved ones, would be created on spare land opposite the Jimmy McIlroy Stand.

And in a fitting tribute to the club’s greatest ever player, a statue of McIlroy is also planned, as well as one of former player and manager Brian Miller, recreating an iconic photograph of him sat in the dugout before the famous Orient game of 1987.

The project is being led by a committee of fans and supported by the club, who have promised to secure the land from Burnley Borough Council and maintain it at a peppercorn rent.

Peter Briggs, who is helping to lead the project, said: “We have appointed Burnley-based architect, Andrew Pevitt, to draw up plans and images.

“We have designed the garden with a walkway through to the Jimmy McIlroy Stand, the end of which will be crowned by an iron arch supported by two chimneys, representing Burnley’s cotton heritage.

The garden will have a walkway through to the Jimmy McIlroy Stand, and will be crowned by an iron arch supported by two chimneys, representing Burnley’s cotton heritage.

Joint organiser Peter Briggs

“The arch will hold a plaque bearing the Burnley crest that originally stood on Habergham School. The crest has been restored and looks stunning.”

In a further nod to the town and club’s past, Peter revealed that the “gormless” lamp-post, which until recently stood outside Burton’s in St James’s Street, will also be sited in the garden.

Peter explained: “Burton’s in Burnley town centre was originally the Bull Hotel, where a meeting to form Burnley Football Club was first held in 1882.”

The group now need to raise up to £65,00 for the first phase to pay for the garden before a planning application can be submitted to Burnley Council.

Peter added: “The first phase will be to generate enough money to start the project, which will require a large amount of fund-raising.

“Once complete, the build will be started which will redevelop the land into a fully functioning memorial garden, ready to accept ashes of fans, with a wall being built to accommodate plaques to remember them by.

“Bricks that would build the two recreation of the local rivers, the Brun and the Calder, will also be available for purchase.”

Anyone wishing to support the project can call Veronica Simpson on 01282 700001.