Founder member of the Football League 1888
Dec 1887-1888 a h
January 1889 h
1895-1897 a h k r s
1900-1902 a h k
1902-1905 a r
1910-1915 a r
1923-1925 a r
1925-1926 a r
1934-1935 a r
March 1935 r
1935-1936 a g r
1937-1940 a g r
1955-1960 a d r
1966-1967 h r
1979-1980 g j
1982-1983 g h
1983-1984 h j
1984-1987 c g
1987-1988 g h
1988-1989 h o
1989-1991 h o
1991-1993 b g o
1996-1998 b g h
1998-1999 c g
2001-2002 b g l
2002-2003 b g l
2003-2004 b g h l
2004-2005 b l
2005-2006 c g l
2008-2009 c h p
2010-2011 c h
Burnley started out as a rugby club known as Burnley Rovers (who wore, incidently, blue shirts with a white maltese cross and white knickers) but in 1882 the members decided to switch codes and dropped "Rovers" from their name.
In 1886 the Prince of Wales called at Turf Moor on a visit to the town. Some time later Mr S MacFarlane presented the team with a set of white jerseys featuring a blue sash and emblazoned with the Prince of Wales' coat of arms to commemorate the visit. These were held back, according to contemporary press reports researched by Peter Pomeroy, "while the fortunes of the club were somewhat under a cloud" and were first worn on 17 December 1887. The royal crest can be seen on team photographs up until 1894-95.
In 1888, Burnley were invited to join the newly formed Football League. The club made a poor start, being forced to apply for re-election in their first two seasons but they survived.
In January 1889, the players turned out in plain black shirts in a match against Derby County as a tribute to a player named Cropper who had died of injuries sustained playing for Staveley FC the previous week.
In 1897, Burnley were relegated and although they bounced back as Division Two champions the following year, in 1900 they dropped back into Division Two again.
Legend has it that in 1911 the committee decided to drop the supposedly unlucky green shirts in favour of the claret and blue associated with the famous Aston Villa. It seemed to do the trick: in 1914, they won the FA Cup, with the royal crest once again featuring on their jerseys.
The First World War interrupted the clubs progress but in 1921 they carried off the Division One championship. The club then went into decline and in 1930, "The Clarets" were relegated to Division Two where they languished until after the Second World War. A crest appeared on the team's shirts in 1935, which appears to have been the town coat of arms. A change of colours this time to white and black in 1937 failed to do the trick.
The first post-war league season saw Burnley, now back in claret and blue, firing on all cylinders: they achieved promotion back to Division One and reached the FA Cup final only to lose 0-1 to Charlton Athletic. Throughout the Fifties, Burnley were established as a leading Division One side. In 1960, the club won their second League title (following which they were allowed to wear the town's crest of the period on their shirts).
In 1962 Burnley came close to the double, finishing as runners-up to Ipswich Town in the league and losing 1-3 to Spurs in the FA Cup Final. Burnley continued to be a feared side for the rest of the decade, enjoying two European campaigns but in 1971 the bubble burst when the team was relegated to Division Two. The crest was replaced in 1969 with a simple script badge, a style that was very popular at the time.
In 1973 Burnley won the Second Division championship and the following year they finished a respectable 6th in Division One and reached the FA Cup semi-final. Hopes that the glory days were about to return were encouraged by the introduction of a smart new strip in 1975, with a bold V and gold lettering, but these were shattered when Burnley were relegated in 1976 and this time, they went into almost terminal decline.
In 1979 a smart new, traditionally designed crest appeared for the first time on the team's claret tops (it had been adopted as the official club crest in 1973 and had appeared on their yellow change shirts since August 1976). This was dropped in 1983 in favour of a simple cypher (horizontal in white) as the team plunged down the divisions. In 1987 they were faced with relegation to the Conference on the final day of the season. Amid high emotion, Burnley beat Leyton Orient 2-1 to send Lincoln City down. Sensibly, the old crest was reintroduced the following season.
After those dark days the club rebuilt and steadily climbed back up the ladder and when the new millennium arrived, Burnley were back in the second tier. In the course of a remarkable 2008-09 season, Burnley beat Chelsea and Arsenal in the Carling Cup before Spurs edged them out in the semi-final. They also reached the fifth round of the FA Cup and finished in fifth place to qualify for the play-offs. To the delight of their supporters, the Clarets beat Sheffield United by a single goal in the Wembley final to secure their return to the top flight for the first time in 33 years.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of their last League Championship win, the club adopted a replica of the kit worn during the 1959-60 campaign, complete with the crest of that period for their first ever season in the Premier League. Although they were relegated after just one season, the retro-look strip proved so popular that it was only slightly updated for the 2010-11 season and the crest retained with one minor alteration: the Latin legend on the scroll was replaced by "Burnley Football Club."
- (a) Burnley FC (Images of Sport) by Ray Simpson
- (b) empics
- (c) Burnley FC Official Website
- (d) Football Focus
- (e) Preston North End Official Website
- (f) Bury FC - Images of Sport (Peter Cullen 1998)
- (g) The History Of The Burnley Shirt - photographic archive including a fine collection of modern shirts by Martin Pickering
- (h) Ralph Pomeroy - HFK Research Associate
- (i) Peter Pomeroy
- (j) Pete's Picture Palace
- (k) Association of Football Statisticians - provided by Pete Wyatt
- (l) David King
- (m) Greger Lindberg
- (n) Alick Milne
- (o) Christopher Worrall
- (p) Fabrizio Taddei (Errea)
- (q) Simon Monks
- (r) Keith Ellis
- (s) George Chilvers
- (t) Burnley Express July 11 1891 researched by Kjell Hanssen
Crests are the property of Burnley FC except for that of the Prince of Wales.