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An Exiled Turfite - Part One

Our very own Turfite

March 13 2006

Our very own Turfite, Dave Cunliffe talks us through his first games following the Clarets in the early 70's, and life now as a Claret living in Spain in 'An Exiled Turfite'...

 The Beginning of a Turfite For Life

My First Home Game

Burnley v Luton Town 21.08.1971


My first real taste of Clarets fever started at the age 11, we had just moved up in the world from living on Elm Street to our posh new home up Brunshaw. Well I say posh as a dog house would look posh to me compared to Elm Street. My parents both worked but found it difficult bringing up four children and now with a mortgage of £5000 on top. Still they didnít let this stop them from finding the money for my very first season ticket.


I remember walking down Brunshaw Road for my first game with my season ticket gripped so tightly in my hand that my knuckles went white. I had a smile from ear to ear and my heart was pounding with excitement and anticipation as my stride got bigger and bigger the closer to the ground I got.



Our very own Turfite, Dave Cunliffe, now exiled in Sunny Spain



Just before I set off my Mum slipped me a bit of money to get myself something from the Tuck shop. WOW, I couldnít believe the queue! I had to wait fifteen minutes just to get inside the shop and another five to get served. Not knowing what to buy I watched as the Clarets mass made their choice. Stimarol chewing gum and liquorice tablets seemed to be the order of the day, so if it was good enough for them it was good enough for me. Armed with my goodies I made my way around the corner to join yet another queue, but this time I knew exactly what I wanted at the other end, a Clarets victory.


"Oí mi lads you should have seen them coming, running down the Brunshaw road just to see them coming, all the lads and lasses with smiles upon their faces, RUNNING DOWN THE BRUNSHAW ROAD, to see the Burnley Aces!"


The song was ringing out from inside the ground and I couldnít wait to join in. Once inside I just got swallowed up with the crowd and found myself on the Longside where I stood watching the mighty Clarets until the day it was pulled down and made all seated. As the opposition ran onto the field all you could hear was the sound of booing, that soon changed into an almighty roar as the Clarets followed shortly after them.


Typical programme header from the 71/72 season


I missed most of the match as I watched the Luton and Burnley supporters try to out-sing each other, but I remember sitting down on the step to eat my sweets at half-time as I didnít want to lose my place. I was soon to my feet as the away supporters was trying to take over the Longside and a scuffle broke out with a policemanís helmet being thrown in the air to the cheer of those watching. The police soon had the situation under control taking those responsible for the invasion into the Burnley section, away down the back and into the vans that were waiting.


Another cheer rang out as the Clarets came out for the second half. I also remember spending at least five minutes picking up my liquorice tablets off the floor, they had fallen out of my pocket with all the jumping up and down after Burnley scored, and by the time of the second goal arrived I had scoffed them all.


At the final whistle Burnley had ran out 2-1 winners. I remember my Mum telling me to go straight home after the match and, "no hanging around outside the ground!" I set off home walking up Brunshaw hill when a coach drove past containing Luton supporters and I couldnít resist twirling my Claret and Blue scarf above my head with a massive smile on my face. It had been a great day.


Clarets 1971/72 season squad


Alan Stevenson

Peter Mellor
Tony Waiters
Jeff Parton
Mick Docherty
Eddie Cliff
Colin Waldron

Arthur Bellamy
Jim Thomson
Eric Probert
John Angus
Steve Kindon
Dave Thomas
Alan West
Martin Dobson
Frank Casper
Paul Fletcher
Harry Wilson
Doug Collins
Geoff Nulty
Billy Ingham
Leighton James
Billy Rodaway


Next Week: Part 2 - My First Away game

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