Major Burnley FC archives project set for big kick-off

A rare glimpse back into the past of Burnley FC is set to be unveiled as part of a major heritage project.
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The fascinating story of one of the country's oldest professional football clubs is to be unfolded in an exclusive archive collection called 'Clarets Collected', which is due to be launched at the town's library on Friday, November 3.

Featuring memorabilia, match programmes and photos, the collection delves back into the club's illustrious past as part of a major fan-led heritage project by fans and Lancashire County Council's archives and cultural services staff.

Burnley FC players arrive home to a resounding welcome from fans after narrowly losing the FA Cup Final to Charlton Athletic in April 1947.Burnley FC players arrive home to a resounding welcome from fans after narrowly losing the FA Cup Final to Charlton Athletic in April 1947.
Burnley FC players arrive home to a resounding welcome from fans after narrowly losing the FA Cup Final to Charlton Athletic in April 1947.
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The project's star-studded launch on November 3 will be attended by five former players including ex Burnley FC and Man United player Colin Waldron, former Chelsea and Burnley defender Jim Thompson, ex Burnley and Rotherham United footballer Frank Casper, also Burnley FC manager in 1983 and from January 1989 to October 1991, and former Burnley FC and Stoke City player Alex Elder.

Also among the great and the good attending are former striker and ex Burnley FC CEO Paul Fletcher MBE, author Dave Thomas, ex Burnley FC, Southampton and Huddersfield Town player Brian O'Neil, former Burnley FC chairmen Barry Kilby and Mike Garlick, representatives of Burnley Football Club in the Community, the National Football Museum, Lancashire County Councillor and Vice Chairman Tim Ashton, Lancashire County Councillor Ash Sutcliffe, and a host of local dignitaries.

The doors to the collection will fling open to the public the following day, November 4, at the library from 11am to 2pm when Burnley play at home to Crystal Palace, with an exhibition about Burnley's 1914 FA Cup win and a talk by author Mike Smith.

The public day will be family friendly, featuring a chance to have a look around the collection and a host of family friendly activities including Lego, crafts, football games and table football – and will also be the first match day drop in, with others planned to run on the morning of each Saturday home match at the library.

Burnley FC players Paul Fletcher, Mick Docherty, Eric Probert and Dave Thomas (top left to right) and Peter Mellor, Martin Dobson, Jim Thomson and an un-named player (bottom left to right) in training on JulyBurnley FC players Paul Fletcher, Mick Docherty, Eric Probert and Dave Thomas (top left to right) and Peter Mellor, Martin Dobson, Jim Thomson and an un-named player (bottom left to right) in training on July
Burnley FC players Paul Fletcher, Mick Docherty, Eric Probert and Dave Thomas (top left to right) and Peter Mellor, Martin Dobson, Jim Thomson and an un-named player (bottom left to right) in training on July
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The two-year project has been in the making since April this year and has seen the Friends of Lancashire Archives joining forces with Burnley Football Club in the Community, the National Football Museum, experts, fans and a host of partners.

Anyone will be able to drop into Burnley Library to view the fascinating collection over the project's two-year lifespan and there will be a new gallery space with a Clarets exhibitions and events programme.

Also on the cards are plans for a specialist officer to collate and curate material, and to involve volunteers. The archive collection will also be available online, while it will feature in a number of school visits about the club's past over the next two years.

Dating back to 1882, Burnley FC is one of the original twelve founding clubs of the Football League, experiencing a roller coaster of ups and downs in its 141 year history.

Burnley Football Club squad, pictured in 1963Burnley Football Club squad, pictured in 1963
Burnley Football Club squad, pictured in 1963
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Winning the FA Cup in 1913-1914, the Clarets today rank among the only three teams to have been champions in all four divisions but almost dropped out of the league altogether back in 1987, only to be saved at the 11th hour by a last-gasp home win against Orient.

With the club now firmly back in the top flight, fans, followers and historians are now joining forces to launch this rare heritage project called 'Clarets Collected’ to help preserve the club's story and make it available for all to explore, enjoy and celebrate.

Lancashire County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for Community and Cultural Services, said: "I'm delighted that the illustrious past of Burnley Football Club is being celebrated by this Lancashire Archives and local history project.

"It brings together expertise from across the county council's cultural services, archives and external partners to create a truly, fan-led Burnley Football Club Archive at Burnley Library.

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"The collection will be a wonderful resource for everyone with an interest in the club and have huge potential in terms of community engagement, so if you would like to help shape this fascinating archive of one of the founding members of the oldest professional football league competition in the world, why not go along to the public launch on November 4 and get involved?"

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