Minute’s applause planned for Clarets ace Ian Britton

Ian Britton (left) and Barry Kilby
Ian Britton (left) and Barry Kilby

Clarets hero Ian Britton has lost his long battle with cancer.

The 61-year-old died yesterday after recently being admitted to Pendleside Hospice.

wife Eileen on their wedding day (s)

wife Eileen on their wedding day (s)

Throughout his battle with illness, Britton remained positive and still regularly attended Burnley matches - often as a guest of honour - at both Turf Moor and other grounds across the country.

During his illness he also helped organise fund-raising events and help spread awareness of prostate and other cancers.

Clarets fans are now planning a minute’s applause in his memory in the 48th minute of the Turf Moor game against Cardiff City on Tuesday night.

The 48th minute has been chosen as it is the minute of the most crucial goal in Burnley’s long and proud history, a brilliant header scored by the diminutive midfielder.

Britton, whose professional career spanned five clubs, almost 500 appearances and 59 goals, was a midfielder who spent the first half of his career at Chelsea.

He returned to his native Dundee and played for United and also played for Arbroath and Blackpool before becoming a Claret.

It was in his time at Turf Moor that he became a footballing legend.

Almost 30 years ago, the club faced relegation from the Football League and possible extinction.

They had to win the last game of the season against Orient and hope that other results went there way.

They won 2-1 with Britton, famously the smallest player on the pitch, heading the crucial second goal.

After retiring from the game - he added an appearance at Wembley the season after the Orient Game - he continued to make East Lancashire his home.

He had a two-year spell as manager of Nelson FC and also worked for the Pendle Leisure Trust, mainly as manager of the Seedhill Athletics Track and Fitness Centre in Nelson.

He married Eileen two years ago in what he described as “a perfect day” and throughout his illness, diagnosed as incurable in 2014, Eileen, his four children and two grandchildren proved to be a loving and invaluable support.