LETTER: My tribute to Burnley FC legend Ralph Coates

I THINK I speak for many Clarets fans when I heard of the sad death of legend Ralph Coates.

I am lucky to have seen Ralph play for the Clarets in the early to mid-1960s and up to him leaving for Tottenham Hotspur in May 1971 – a few days after Burnley lost their First Division status.

He admitted at the time he didn’t want to leave Burnley but Burnley had to balance the books and so he was sold for £190,000 which probably by today’s prices was a snip.

But Burnley needed the money and he was sold.

Even in recent times every time Ralph was invited up to do the half-time draw he always regarded Burnley as “home” and he never forgot the small town where he more or less grew up into the player he became at Tottenham.

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His love for both clubs was very apparent and he never forgot his Burnley upbringing.

He was very popular with the fans and he was in his element when he would stand outside the main doors of Turf Moor signing autographs for fans who threw everything at him to sign which he did without any trouble.

I would go as far to say he was probably the most popular ex-Claret of recent years to come up and do the half-time draw.

He grew to be just as popular with the White Hart Lane fans as he did with the Turf Moor fans and I’m sure, along with many other Clarets, will say we have lost a true great Claret who will forever stay in the happy memories of both Burnley and Tottenham fans.

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RIP Ralph Coates. A true legend.

M. HIBBERT

IVAN STREET, BURNLEY