John 'Jock' Aird 1926-2021
Aird, who had been the club’s oldest surviving former player, was the first Burnley player to go to a FIFA World Cup, with Scotland in 1954, later going on to represent New Zealand, after emigrating the following year.
Born in Glencraig, Aird was spotted playing as a centre forward for Jeanfield Swifts and signed in August, 1948 for £75, playing for the Clarets’ ‘A’ team.
But, once converted to a full back, he made his first-team debut in a First Division game against Liverpool in April, 1950, making the right-back slot his own in the 1951/52 season.
He was a regular up until November, 1954, playing his last of 143 first-team games for Burnley in April, 1955.
After emigrating to New Zealand, Aird played for Eastern Union and was capped twice by the ‘All Whites.’
He then relocated to Australia and made his home in New South Wales, playing for Hakoah in Sydney.
His wife Sheila passed away a number of years ago but Aird is survived by daughters Lynne and Karen and his grand-children Leigh, Dayle, Hayley, Sean, Owen, and Kelly.