Never forget 9th May 1987 , Well Brian Miller didn't, at the start of the 1987/88 season Brian Miller culled the squad, releasing no fewer than 9 players leaving himself with the biggest rebuilding job in Burnley's history, Neenan, Hampton, Rodaway, Gallagher, Parker, Kennedy, Hessom, Woodworth and legend Leighton James were all released (James taking a job as youth team coach)
Phil Malley, Ray Deakin, Ian Britton, Ashley Hoskin, Neil Grewcock, Peter Leebrook, Phil Hardy and Phil Devaney were the only surviving players (Devaney and Hardy had only made 8 starts and 2 sub appearances between them, since the step up from youth set up to first team). Later in the season youth team coach Leighton James was asked to don his boots again .
Twenty thousand pounds was the amount Brian Miller spent as he brought in Chris Pearce, Paul Comstive, George Oghani, Peter Zelem, Peter Daniel, Steve Taylor, Andy Farrell, Shaun McGrory and Steve Gardner all becoming Clarets.
New look Burnley were back, a new belief was all around Turf Moor, a youth set up in place with Claret Legends James and Arthur Bellamy at the helm, four wins in the first six games was enough for the fans to flock back to the Turf. The future was looking the brightest it had for years, and it took Brian Miller the one man club legend to do it. Even riots at home to Bolton in the FA Cup and two pitch invasions during the last home game of the season could not take away from this seasons success.
Finishing 10th in the league and competing right up until the last for a play-off place was testament indeed to the "Club that almost died" and in particular Brian Miller and Frank Teasdale who were given the task of raising this former giant from the disastrous position we had found ourselves in.
The pinnacle of the season was the Wembley showpiece "The Sherpa Van Trophy" it might not have the heritage of the FA Cup, but for Burnley (and Wolves) it was the most important competition in the world. It was fitting than Brian Miller a loser in the 1962 FA Cup final 26 years previous was the man to lead out the clarets.
Defeat followed as the Wolves were just too strong, but it was a victory in East Lancashire, for those who were there will never forget the day eighty one thousand people attended, almost 30 thousand supporting Burnley (Not bad considering Burnley town had a population of less that one hundred thousand).
Burnley were back , this was a season to remember!.
1987 - 1988 Division Four