US sporting superstars JJ Watt and Kealia Watt on becoming part of a 'special club with incredible supporters' in Burnley
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Considered to be one of the greatest NFL players of all-time, JJ Watt called time on a stellar career last year, which saw him pick up three NFL Defensive Player of the Year Awards while with the Houston Texans, as well as being named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2017.
Kealia Watt is a former US Women’s National Team (USWNT) international, who enjoyed a successful club football career in the US and retains the record for scoring the fastest goal of any debutant for the women’s national team, after netting 48 seconds into her international debut in 2016.
The couple previously spent time at the club and within the local community earlier in the season, when they attended the Clarets’ 3-0 victory over Wigan Athletic at Turf Moor.
Philanthropy has always been a passion and priority for JJ. While in college, he founded the Justin J. Watt Foundation which has helped tens of thousands of children participate in after-school athletics helping them learn the values of teamwork, discipline and leadership.
Speaking about their investment in Burnley, the couple are excited to help grow the profile of the club internationally, while also spending time in the local community:
“When you invest in a club that’s been around since 1882, you must have great respect for its history and tradition. We understand that not only are we investing in the squad and manager, we’re investing in the town and its people. We take that responsibility very seriously and intend to work hard in earning their trust and support.”
“We have such great respect for what has been built here by Alan, Vincent and the entire organisation and are looking forward to working with them. We believe that Burnley is a special club with incredible supporters and we want to help continue to elevate its global profile on its return to the Premier League.”
With the continued growth of the Burnley FC women’s team, which saw the Clarets’ first ever outing at Turf Moor last weekend, Kealia Watt will also provide experience from the highest level in helping this side of the club pursue its ambitions:
“In the US, I’ve seen the NWSL grow into something really incredible, and we’d love to be a part of growing the women’s team here and be a part of their journey.”
Alan Pace, Chairman of Burnley FC, added: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome JJ and Kealia into the Clarets family. This is a conversation that has been happening for some time and over the course of this season we’ve been hugely impressed by their passion and interest in both the club and the Burnley community. I am very much looking forward to working with them.
“Both JJ and Kealia bring with them an incredible amount of top-level sporting pedigree and success, as well as ideas and connections that will be invaluable in helping us to continue telling the Clarets story to an international audience.”