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A royal celebration at Turf Moor

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An air of celebration and nostalgia hung over Turf Moor on Saturday as Burnley Football Club celebrated achievements old and new.

The Clarets, who just a week before were promoted to the Barclays Premier League, also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the club’s sole FA Cup win in 1914.

To mark the occasion, the current generation of Clarets stars wore a special replica shirt in the style of the 1914 version against visitors Ipswich Town.

And, as in 1914 when the shirt carried the royal coat of arms in honour of King George V’s attendance at the final – the first by a reigning monarch – so too Saturday’s was adorned with the crest.

A century on and the club sought permission from Buckingham Palace to wear the coat of arms again.

Club historian Ray Simpson said: “The 1914 final was the first occasion that the reigning monarch had attended professional football’s most prestigious fixture and, after the final whistle, His Majesty King George V presented the famous old trophy to the Burnley captain Tommy Boyle.

“As this season was drawing to a close, we began to plan how we would celebrate the centenary of this historic event.

“We decided that a fitting tribute would be for our players to wear a replica of the shirt worn in that 1914 final.”

Ray went on to reveal that Burnley Football Club’s relationship with the Royal Family pre-dated even 1914.

In October, 1886, the town was preparing to open a new hospital, Burnley Victoria, named in honour of Queen Victoria.

“The queen’s grandson, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, opened the hospital and later proceeded to Turf Moor to enjoy a friendly match against Bolton Wanderers, arranged especially for the occasion.”

The 1914 final, in which Burnley defeated Liverpool 1-0, was significant for a number of other reasons.

It was the last time an FA Cup final would be played at the old Crystal Palace, and the last before the outbreak of the First World War.

One other final was played the following year until hostilities ensured a break of five years.

For some time after the 1914 final Burnley Football Club enjoyed a certain level of celebrity status according to Ray who said they were referred to as “the Royalites”.

Ray added: “We at Burnley Football Club are very proud of our heritage and today’s events are a fitting tribute to the efforts of the team that brought fame to this small Lancashire town all those years ago.”

An exhibition is currently being held at Towneley Hall where memorabilia from the final is being displayed.

 

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