Sing when you're twinning: Dutch politician proposes twinship between Burnley and Helmond

Burnley and Helmond Sport fans together at Turf Moor last season.
Burnley and Helmond Sport fans together at Turf Moor last season.
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Burnley could soon find itself with another twin, with a politician in Helmond, Holland looking into the possibility of making what is an already-powerful bond based on sporting brotherhood more formal.


The relationship between Burnley and Helmond, a city located in the south of the Netherlands, goes back to the '90s when Burnley-born Darran Wooller swapped Britain for continental Europe and set up shop in Helmond.

A passionate Clarets supporter by birthright, Darran soon fell in love with the local club in his new home city, becoming a fixture at the Stadion de Braak where he held a season ticket for Helmond Sport. Affable and well-liked, he built up a strong network of firm friends through a shared love of football and good times.

Almost 30 years on, fans of both clubs make frequent pilgrimages to the other's home in honour of Darran, who died in 2014. And now Martijn Rieter of political party Helder Helmond wants to link the town in North West England and the City in near Eindhoven even more intricately.

"Both supporter groups have been friends for years," said Rieter. "The close friendship between the supporter groups came about [when] Darran Wooller moved from Burnley to Helmond. He found work here and soon came into contact with Helmond Sport.

"From the start, trips are made back and forth," Rieter added. "This friendship seems to be getting stronger every year and more and more people are joining. In addition to the strong supporters band, there are more similarities between Helmond and Burnley.

"Both are old industrial cities; like Helmond, Burnley was a textile city," Rieter said. "Even for a long time the main producer of cotton in the world. Both cities are also on a canal. It is also striking that both residents talk with an accent.

"For Helder Helmond, these are enough reasons to investigate whether a city link can be entered into between Helmond and Burnley."