My envy of the loyal Clarets fans whose passion and pride in Burnley FC binds them together as one big family / Sue Plunkett column
I never really understood it when the late legendary Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly said: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that."
But after yesterday I fully get it. Witnessing the clash between Burnley and their arch rivals Blackburn Rovers in the East Lancashire Derby was a big moment in the town's history. And especially when the Clarets trounced their opponents three -nil.
Allowed entry into the press room thanks to my job, I made my way to the game early to meet my colleagues. But even two and a half hours before kick off the town was thronging with fans and a sense of tension and excitement hanging in the air.
Once in the stadium the air was thick with fans singing, stamping and chanting as the countdown began to kick off.
And the win was like pure gold and so exhilarating for the home fans, such a sweet victory for the Clarets supporters as they really do hate Rovers fans. The roar of elation when the first, second and then the final winning goal was scored was electrifying. I was on my feet cheering and clapping with the rest of the crowd.
I actually felt quite envious of all the loyal fans who have followed their team week in week out, year after year. I felt elated at Burnley's mighty win so their feelings must have been off the scale.
Whatever problems or worries people have they leave them at the turnstiles for those 90 minutes of excitement. Of course, not every game is as charged as yesterday’s but the fans are still there, loyal to the last.
It's too late for me to join the Clarets 'family' but my son Robbie is now a season ticket holder at the Turf and totally hooked. An early birthday present for his 16th, he is absolutely loving attending the games with his friends and takes me through each one when he returns home.
He has pride and passion in his team that is infectious and a joy to see. Long may it continue.