Memories of Bob Lord revisited by vintage Clarets at Turf Moor

Former referee Keith Hackett with Frank Casper, Mike Smith and Dave Thomas. Pic: Ian Bannister
Former referee Keith Hackett with Frank Casper, Mike Smith and Dave Thomas. Pic: Ian Bannister

Vintage Clarets stars returned to Turf Moor for an evening reminiscing on the remarkable reign of Burnley's legendary, but often divisive, chairman Bob Lord.


Authors Dave Thomas and Mike Smith organised the evening to coincide with the launch of their biography "Bob Lord of Burnley", which also raised money for the Burnley FC In the Community foodbank.

Mayor of Burnley Coun. Anne Kelly and other guests donating to the foodbank. Pic: Ian Bannister

Mayor of Burnley Coun. Anne Kelly and other guests donating to the foodbank. Pic: Ian Bannister

Hudreds of guests were treated to a host of amusing anecdotes courtesy of former Burnley player and chief executive Paul Fletcher who chatted to fellow former Clarets Trevor Meredith, Frank Casper, Micky Finn and Colin Waldron.

Waldron, who played in defence for Burnley from 1967 to 1976, brought the house down with his light-hearted but less than complimentary views of the controversial chairman and colourful former team-mate Leighton James.

Well-known retired Burnley butcher George Heys, meanwhile, reminisced on how he learned his trade under Lord, who famously made his fortune as a butcher.

Retired Premier League referee Keith Hackett, a guest speaker on the night, drew more cheers from a usual Turf Moor crowd when he declared that Burnley's controversial VAR-disallowed goal against Leicester City should have stood.

Anne McIlroy is reunited with her father Jimmy's first Northern Ireland cap. Pic: Ian Bannister

Anne McIlroy is reunited with her father Jimmy's first Northern Ireland cap. Pic: Ian Bannister

Reflecting on a great night, retired teacher turned author Dave Thomas said: "Around 300 people came out on a foul wet night and helped to raise £3,000 for the community café and foodbank. A wheelie bin was also filled for the foodbank was also filled with tins and boxes donated by the guests. It was also a great re-union of ex-players."

In the most touching moment of the evening, Anne McIlroy, the daughter of Clarets legend Jimmy who died last year, was reunited with her father's first Northern Ireland international cap, given to Dave as a thank you a decade earlier for two books he had written about the player.

Former Claret Derek Scott and a young fan. Pic: Ian Bannister

Former Claret Derek Scott and a young fan. Pic: Ian Bannister

Veterans. Pic: Ian Bannister

Veterans. Pic: Ian Bannister

Paul Fletcher and Colin Waldron. Pic: Ian Bannister

Paul Fletcher and Colin Waldron. Pic: Ian Bannister