Turf Moor paid tribute to one of its best-loved fans during the match against Crystal Palace on Sunday, as the 18,800-strong crowd observed a minute’s applause for the 45-year-old, father-of-three Damian William Stuttard.
With Damian’s wife, Lisa, and children - Emily (19), Henry (13), and Claudia (nine) - all in attendance, the Clarets faithful broke into applause in the 72nd minute - the year of Damian’s birth - with his sister, Keira Crossley, describing the season ticket holder as a “passionate supporter.”
“He was a Claret through-and-through,” Keira said of her brother, who sadly died on September 3rd after being diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer in May. “We’d like to offer our heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of support. We’re truly overwhelmed.
"The day was painful and emotional," added Keira. "The love towards the family has been phenomenal throughout [on] social media and the like and we just want to offer our sincere thanks to everyone."
A collection of Burnley fans had also grouped together to fund a plane to fly over and circle the stadium with a message of support, but weather conditions meant that it was unable to fly. "[It] has been rearranged for a game of choice [to be] decided by Damian's son, Henry," Keira said.
Damian's funeral will be held at St. Nicholas’ Church in Newchurch in Rossendale this Friday at 11:30am, followed by a public event at his “beloved” Turf Moor from 1:15pm at the Hargreaves Stand to which “everyone is welcome to celebrate Damian’s life.”
Damian also wished for any donations to go to The Brain Tumour Charity and the Rosemere Center at Preston Hospital where he received his treatment.