‘Jimmy’s achivements are an inspiration’ - Rachel Brown-Finnis

From one of Burnley’s greatest ever sportspeople to another, Rachel Brown-Finnis feels James Anderson’s achievements can only inspire the town.

Rachel Brown-Finnis
Rachel Brown-Finnis

Rachel, who recently retired after almost 20 years in elite women’s football – earning 82 caps with England – watched with pride as Anderson became the national side’s all-time record wicket taker.

And she believes it shows what can be achieved with hard work and dedication: “I was watching it all day, and it’s great to see someone putting Burnley on the map.

“Jimmy’s been in the game for a long time as an England international, and he’s been one of England’s best pace bowlers for quite some time, so he deservedly got over the threshold for the record.

“And I’m very proud as someone from Burnley.

“It meant a lot to me, representing the town, keeping that tie between who you are as a person and knowing everyone back home is following your progress.

“It’s unbelievable.

“Sport takes you all the way round the world, and to always have that lifeline to Burnley with your family and friends is brilliant.

“Hopefully it inspires the aspiring athletes of Burnley to think, if someone from my home town has done this, I want to push the boundaries and see where I can take it.

“That’s how we both started, kicking a ball or throwing a ball around in Burnley.

“Look where it’s taken us!”

Jimmy, like Rachel, has had real longevity at the highest level, and she added: “Breaking into the senior England team for me was enthralling.

“I knew I wanted to stay there, and staying there is harder than getting there.

“Becoming number one was something I was very proud of, but as everyone around you gets better and the pressure increases, you have to keep upping your game.

“I’m sure Jimmy has felt similar pressures – younger players coming through, and pressure as a senior player because the team haven’t been doing so well of late.

“There will be people looking to people like him to help work out why.

“There are different pressures at different stages of your career at international level, but as long as you want it and work hard enough for it, and feel you’re still good enough, you want to be a part of it.”