One of Burnley Football Club’s best-loved former players and club captain, Peter Noble, has died at the age of 72.
The influential midfielder, who died on Saturday, May 6th, made 299 appearances for the Clarets during a seven-season stint at the club from 1973-80, scoring an impressive 80 goals in that time.
Signed from Swindon Town to bolster the Burnley midfield after the Clarets won the Second Division Championship, the multi-faceted Noble spent much of his time at Turf Moor filling in at full-back, yet still boasted a superior goalscoring record than most forwards.
“On behalf of all at Burnley Football Club, we would like to express our deepest sympathies to all friends and family,” read a club statement.
More than justifying his meagre £35,000 price tag as a 28-year-old, Noble made more appearances for Burnley than for any other club during a career that spanned more than two decades, encompassing stints at Newcatle United and Blackpool as well as Swindon and his spell at Turf Moor.
During his time with Burnley, Noble - known as ‘Uwe’ in reference to the prolific German striker Uwe Seeler with whom he shared a notable lack of hair- Noble had an amazing 100% record from the penalty spot, netting all 27 attempts for Burnley.
“Peter Noble was never a ‘big-name’ player, but he was superb in his time with Burnley and is remembered at least as fondly as many who had far more glittering careers with the club,” Burnley FC’s statement continued.
Going on the run a popular sports store in Burnley market hall for many years after he retired, Noble was a perennial fan’s favourite, with Peter Pike, the former Burnley MP and chairman of the Clarets Trust, saying: “We’re very sorry to hear about his death; he’s truly one of the club’s legends.
“Obviously he remained in the town after his playing days and was popular with many through his market stall and around Turf Moor,”Peter added. “He was very easy to talk to and will be missed.”
One of a very select group of Burnley players to have scored four goals in one match - and one of only two to have done so and still not ended up on the winning side - Noble left the Turf at the age of 35 for Bloomfield Road much to the chagrin of local supporters.
Hailed as “one of Burnley’s best-ever bargain buys” by the Burnley FC website, Noble was first drawn to the Clarets’ attention when he scored a goal at Turf Moor for Swindon - then in the Third Division - in the semi-final of the League Cup in 1968/69, proving a considerable thorn in Burnley’s side as he lead the Robins to a Wembley final against Arsenal, which they famously won 3-1.
Impressed, Burnley had seen enough and did not hesitate when the chance to sign Noble, who played amateur football for Consett in the Northern League whilst working as a painter and decorator in the North East before joining Newcastle at 20, arose.
Sure to be sorely missed, the club said Noble, who lived in the Worsthorne area, was “a familiar figure around his adopted home town of Burnley.”