|Written by Warren|
|Wednesday, 20 August 2008|
Name: David Eyres
D.O.B:26th February 1964 (Liverpool)
Clubs:Burnley,Ryhl,Blackpool, Preston, Oldham, Hyde United, Mossley, Hednesford Town
Fee played by Burnley:£90k from Blackpool 1993
Signed by Jimmy Mullen
Burnley Debut: 24th July 1994 Blackpool( Lancs Cup), (H) Won 4-3 (scored)
Last appearance for Burnley: 25th October 1997, Bournemouth (H) Drew 2-2
Claret Stats: 211(4) Appearances, 55 Goals
Claret Honours: Play-Off winner 1994
International Honours : None
Claret Stat: At 25 years old, the professional game seemed to pass David Eyres by, at the time he was offered a trial at Blackpool he had been working on a production line at Halewood's Ford plant in Liverpool.
Jimmy Mullen the Blackpool boss back in 1989 took no time if offering David a contract at the seaside club although this meant a drop in wages, but he was prepared to do this to fulfill his dream.
£10.000 was the fee which took Eyres from Rhyl to Bloomfield Road, money well spent as Eyres quickly became a fans favorite, Eyres on the left and Trevor Sinclair on the right, Eyres made it to Wembley twice with Blackpool both in the play-offs, one defeat in 1990/91 to Torquay(who beat Burnley in the semi-finals) and a victory a year later beating Scunthorpe on penalties, an absentee in the penalty shoot out would be a very young Graham Alexander.
In the four seasons since turning professional David Eyres made nearly appearances scoring almost a goal every four games, not bad for a winger.
Jimmy Mullen, the man who took Eyres from non league back in 1989, was on hand again signing the wing man for Burnley, Mullen had a two seasons earlier taken Burnley from the basement division, and after a consolation season in the newly formed division two, was ready for a real push at promotion.
The fee went to a tribunal as Burnley's offer for Eyres (now 29) was way below Blackpool's valuation, the tribunal set the fee at £90.000. Friday 23rd July 1993, Eyres became a Claret and just a day later he was pitted against his former employers Blackpool in the Lancashire cup game, and he notched, Scoring the first Burnley goal in a 4-3 win.
His start at Burnley was nothing short of sensational, playing in all but one league games (forty five) top-scoring with nineteen goals (although six would come from the penalty spot), he also netted his first Burnley hat-trick on his first season at home to Rochdale in the FA Cup on December 4th 1993, which coincidently had a hat-trick of red cards including Claret defender Mark Monnington.
David would make his third visit to Wembley again in a Play-off final, this thime with Burnley, again in a play-off final, It was exactly six years to the day Burnley took to the hallowed turf against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Sherpa Van Trophy, this time Burnley scored (the first goal at on a Sunday ever scored by Burnley) and what a goal it was after receiving the ball from Adrian Heath, Eyres beat three men before curling a shot past the despairing dive of John Keeley. It was the equalizing goal but it gave Burnley and Eyres the lift they needed, that and Stockport County's indiscipline. Eyres hit the bar in stoppage time with County now reduced to nine men. Gary Parkinson notched the winner with a shot from the edge of the area which took a lifetime to hit the net.
"Burnley were back" With David Eyres on the wing scoring goals and with one of the sweetest left feet to grace turf moor since the days of Leighton James.
The Division One adventure ended after one season with relegation back to the second division with Eyres top scoring with a measly eight goals in thirty eight league games, Burnley went down due to lack of fire power, even with Eyres' sweet left foot, a collection of strikers failed to hit the back of the net on any regularity Heath didn't score a league goal, Liam Robinson hit just seven, while centre half Steve Davis also hit seven, Kurt Nogan, Paul Shaw, Craig Armstrong, John Gayle and Andy Saville were all brought in to try and get the goals witch would help in Burnley's survival bid. Forty nine goals was all Burnley scored three of which were og's, it wasn't good enough Burnley went down.
Eyres started the third season of his Burnley career supplying a new forward line of Tony Philliskirk and Kurt Nogan, the goals started to flow Nogan scoring twenty three (20 in the League). Eyres hit just six league goals three of which came via the penalty spot, It was also a season where the fans started to turn on the board, on 10th February 1996, the '3:33 Backs to the Board' demonstration happened, David was on the pitch that fateful day against Crewe Alexander but was powerless as Crewe won, beating Burnley 0-1, and with this defeat went Jimmy Mullen, he resigned.
Adrian Heath was offered and duly took the job, David's team mate at Wembley a season and a half before, saw Eyres not as such a flying winger but as a left wing back a position he had played on occasion under Mullen, Eyres now 33 years old seemed to get a new leash of life in this new role, playing forty four games in all competitions scoring seven goals.
David Eyres was fast becoming a true legend at Turf Moor until Chris Waddle arrived, Chris Waddle first gave Eyres the captaincy but with only one league victory in Burnley's first 14 games, Eyres playing in 13 of those games, unlucky 13 for Burnley as it turned out, Burnley sold thier skipper to rivals Preston North End, the same destination his full back partner Gary Parkinson departed Burnley for.
£80.000 was the fee, just £10.000 less than the fee paid by Burnley four seasons earlier, good business? Preston had took a big chunk of Burnleys heart in the those two aquassitions, Waddle and Burnley recovered but only just a must win game against Pylmouth Argyle now in the history books saved Burnleys season.
Eyres played his last game at home to Bornemouth, ironically where Chris Waddle scored his only Burnley goal, Davids last goal came just four days earlier from the penalty spot in the 2-2 draw with Plymouth.
211(4) Appearances scoring 55 goals, from left wing and left wingback isnt a bad return, Eyres will always be a Claret Legend and the man whos goal at Wembley put Burnley on the way back, after years struggling in the lowest league.
Once at Deepdale, Eyres again became a fans favorite with his direct wing play and exquisit left foot, he almost made it to Wembley too with North End scoring in the first leg of the semi-final against Gillingham but ended up on the losing side after the two legs, Gillingham famously losing to Man City in the final.
The 1999/2000 season was'nt just a great season for Burnley it was a great season for Lancashire with Preston winning the second division title with Eyres playing 41 league games, scoring 7 goals, Burnley finishing runners up.
In total David played over 100 games for Preston but his last for the Lillywhites in 2000/01 saw David start off from the bench, David Moyes saw age was a problem leaving David seeking a loan move to play regular football.
Andy Richie came to David's aid when he signed an ageing Eyres for Oldham Athletic in 2000, if anyone thought that a 36year old Eyres' legs were going, were in for a supprise as Eyres wore the Oldham Blue for six years racking up over 200 appearances, scoring over 30 goals.
Even at 42 Eyres went on to play for none league outfits Hyde United, Mossley and Hednesford Town, he even tried his hand at management when he stepped in as Cartaker boss at Oldham alongside team mate John Sheridan.
Eyres is an inspriration to any footballer who thinks "It's to late, for me", Some players had seven years proffesional football under thier belts by the time Eyres was given a chance, but at the ripe old age of 42 he was still kicking a ball in league football! Making over 650 appearances for Blackpool, Burnley, Preston and Oldham playing at Wembley three times, scoring over 100 goals and becoming a legend with every team.
|Last Updated ( Saturday, 09 October 2010 )|
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