Farewell to a true Clarets legend and loving dad Jimmy Robson

Jimmy Robson at his beloved Turf MoorJimmy Robson at his beloved Turf Moor
Jimmy Robson at his beloved Turf Moor
The heartbroken children of Burnley Football Club legend Jimmy Robson have paid an emotional tribute to their special dad who had a "cheeky sense of humour", following his death this morning at the age of 82.

Jimmy Robson, who was an integral part of the Clarets' league-winning team in 1960, died at 6am today in the Wordsworth House Care Home, Hapton, following a long battle with dementia.

A loving father to Gavin, Melanie, Craig and Dany, North-East born Jimmy made Burnley his home after hanging up his boots following a long and distinguished playing career.

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Speaking on behalf of the family, Dany tearfully described their dad as "a lovely, lovely man" who always had a "cheeky smile and sense of humour".

Proud dad Jimmy with his youngest daughter DanyProud dad Jimmy with his youngest daughter Dany
Proud dad Jimmy with his youngest daughter Dany

"To us, he was not a footballer but our dad," Dany said.

"He was the perfect dad who made life fun. Dad was really easy going, he loved to play pranks and create chaos. He was a lovely, lovely man who will never be forgotten."

Born on January 23rd, 1939 in Pelton, County Durham, Jimmy had always wanted to be a footballer but feared he would have to follow his coalmining father's career down the pits after failing a trial at Sunderland. His love of football was forged when, during the war years, his grandfather rowed boats on the River Tyne where he would fish out lost footballs, then in short supply.

Despite failing to get a contract in the North East, a Burnley scout saw potential in the gangly teenager and brought him to Burnley aged just 15.

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Dany described how the nervous teenager wanted to get straight back on the train to the North East when he arrived in Burnley and saw the towering smoking chimneys dotting the East Lancashire mill town's skyline.

Indeed, such was his desire to get back home, and already seeing his potential, Burnley Football Club would not allow the young Robson to go back for the first six months.

It would not be long, though, before Jimmy came to love his adopted town, not least after he met and fell in love with his Burnley sweetheart Beryl after a chance encounter at the Astoria Ballroom in Rawtenstall.

Beryl sadly died in October, 2005, but Jimmy went on to enjoy family time with his children and two grandchildren, William and Henry.

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It was his illustrious playing career as a deadly centre-forward, though, that generations of Clarets fans will remember him for during those halycon days for the club.

He made his debut aged 17 replacing another Turf legend Jimmy McIlroy, away on international duty, who once said that Robson was the most under-rated player around. The two would go on to form a prolific partnership that saw Burnley crowned champions of England in 1959/60.

Away from football, though, Jimmy was a caring and loving dad to his four children.

Dany added: "Dad enjoyed trips to Costa Coffee with me, as well as watching games at the Turf and Accrington Stanley, although he obviously missed mum dearly.

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"Funnily enough, dad did end up following his father working at the pits as he had to have a trade while at Burnley to avoid National Service. He trained as an electrician and worked at the top of Bank Hall pit briefly, although he never went down.

"After retiring from playing he had coaching roles at Huddersfield Town, Rochdale and Colne Dynamoes and was even a milkman for a short time but he hated the early mornings!

"Stan Ternent brought dad back to Turf Moor when he was manager and made him the head of the Centre of Excellence, from which he retired at 65."

A Burnley Football Club statement also paid tribute this morning: "Burnley Football Club are saddened to hear of the passing of club legend Jimmy Robson.

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"The centre forward, who made 242 appearances for the club, famously helped the Clarets win the First Division title in 1960. Jimmy also helped Burnley reach the FA Cup final in 1962 and scored the 100th ever FA Cup final goal

"Jimmy represented Burnley from 1956-1965. Everyone at Burnley Football Club sends their condolences to Jimmy's family and friends at this very sad time."

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