Who Are These Jobbers?
In the summer of 2014, then Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal needed to make a statement. Taking the reins after the disastrous tenure of David Moyes, the Dutchman needed a good start, a spark, something that would re-energise the United support after an opening day defeat to Swansea City.
That spark came in the form of Angel Di Maria. The Argentine winger, who had recently lit up the 2014 Champions League final, would be their marquee signing and give a message to the rest of the league that Manchester United were back. Di Maria would make his bow at the home of football that is Turf Moor.
As he stood on the sunbathed pitch on a summer’s afternoon, he stared at his surroundings with the look of a man who had realised he’d made a major mistake. Di Maria may have thought that this would be the next step in his career and he could help guide Van Gaal’s new look United to a league title.
Oh poor, Angel. Little did he know that he was about to be fully Burnley’d.
The phrase ‘Burnley’d’ is one that can only be attributed to a club like Burnley. The word itself sounds like some kind of skin condition you get from working down a mine with no access to direct sunlight, “ah, see you’ve got the Burnley’s”. However, there is something unique about watching a team being Burnley’d in action.
It tends to occur on those grim days where there is just a constant stream of drizzle falling from the sky, which is handy for Burnley because they are situated in a part of the country where this occurs constantly between the months of July and May. No matter who the team is, a Burnley’ing can happen at any time.
You’re happily going along playing your nice football and then WHAM a long ball, a nod down by Chris Wood and the next thing you know Ashley Barnes is lashing it home. Manager Sean Dyche will scowl like a man who is almost always fuming about something and then ultimately accuses your team of diving for reasons only known to himself.
The only way a Wednesday League Cup tie could be anymore Burnley’d is if there is some kind of freak weather event which means, just for that evening, it happens to be minus 6. It’s something we can’t necessarily rule out.
What’s The Ground Like?
As lower league lovers, we are now completely au fait with the diverse range of away sections of the jobber grounds all over this godforsaken league. However, nothing quite brings a tear to the eye of any “Against Modern Football” legend more than wooden seat in a dilapidated elite level ground.
Burnley’s David Fishwick Stand is where you will all call home on Wednesday evening which has apparently been renovated since our last visit. It’s got all those obstructing pillars you’ve been missing and, of course, the bottleneck to get into the two turnstiles they inexplicably open.
How Do I Get There?
Since a midweek trip to Lancashire has now become a far too frequent occurrence, you will surely know this route like the back of your hand. Although... it is my God-given duty to guide you down the sunlit streets of Burnley.
For the legends driving down take the A19 and A168 to junction 49 before joining the A61 down to Harrogate where you hop on the A59 heading west. Join the A56 dropping down into Lancashire before driving through the quaint town of Colne then join the M65 until junction 11 into Burnley.
Take Church Street and Harry Potts Way towards Turf Moor, there is a large car park at the nearby cricket ground which is £6 per car. Don’t get lost, plop BB10 4BX.
If you’re like me and simply cannot get enough of Northern Rail’s fine Calderdale line then buckle up because we’ve got another absolute doozy waiting for you. Burnley Manchester Road is the town’s main station with services to both Leeds and Manchester, it is around a 20-minute walk to the stadium and is well signposted along the way.
Where Can I Get The Sesh Started?
As is tradition for any visiting supporter to Turf Moor, Burnley Cricket Club is the preferred watering hole of choice. The clubhouse opens its doors to travelling fans and features a ludicrously cheap selection of beer, cider and all the other good stuff. And, should the weather hold, you can enjoy a cold one with a lovely view over the wicket.
For those of you that like to explore the town a little more then get yourself in The Bridge Bier Huis on Bank Parade for a fancy European lager. Treat yourself to a pint of local ale in the CAMRA approved The New Brew’m Pub on St James’s Row or stop by the brilliantly named Ministry of Ale on Trafalgar Street on your walk down from the station.
Of course, the Brun Lea on Manchester Road is on hand for all your Wetherspoons needs.
Is There Anything To Do Around Here?
If you have the urge to spend an evening in Burnley and find yourself at a loose end the following day, you can go and stare at the Singing Ringing Tree on Crown Point Moor.
Apparently it’s known as “sound art” because plays a delightful tune whenever the wind blows and it has been described as a “breathtaking artwork” which is “an absolute must”.
So there you go.