Older generation leads the way for Clarets FA Cup match

Burnley's mascots for Saturday's FA Cup tie against Lincoln

Burnley's mascots for Saturday's FA Cup tie against Lincoln

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Burnley's fifth round FA cup match against Lincoln City will see some of the club's oldest fans walking the team out.

Burnley FC in the Community is celebrating its inclusive club ethos by replacing child mascots with older supporters for Saturday's televised game at Turf Moor.

This will be the first time a professional English football club has invited members of the older generation to walk out the first team players in such a match.

In 2016 Swedish club AIK paid tribute to its elderly fans with the gesture when they played a league match against Gefle IF.

The mascots ranging from the age of 69 to 85, are all long term supporters of Burnley FC and are excited at the prospect of walking the team out to what is set to be a near full house at the Turf.

Neil Hart, Burnley FC in the Community Chief Executive Officer said: “At Burnley FC in the Community we are committed to working with a diverse range of people to achieve our mission of inspiring, supporting and delivering change to communities.

“We pride ourselves on being an inclusive club and thought what better opportunity to celebrate Burnley FC’s oldest fans than by getting them involved in such an exciting occasion.

“We wanted to make the gesture to give back to the lifetime of support they have given to the club and we hope that everyone will join us in giving them a big cheer on Saturday!”

Burnley FC in the Community delivers a wide range of provision for senior citizens including the Extra Time programme with weekly sessions taking place at Turf Moor.

Extra Time aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness and increase participation in physical activity among the elderly.

Weekly activities include board games, indoor carpet bowls, chair aerobics and physical activity sessions.

The sessions have been well received with attendees giving positive feedback on the impact it has had on their lives.

Over 70% of individuals said they have become more physically active and 83% said they have made new friends since joining the programme.

The club’s official charity also works in partnership with a number of health and well-being organisations including Age UK, Lancashire Care and the British Heart Foundation to offer support and guidance on various social and health related issues prone to the older generation.

This work further supports the charity’s mission of transforming people’s lives for the better.

To find out more information about our health and well-being offer contact Abby Turner on 01282 704716 or email a.turner@burnleyfc.com.

To find more information about Burnley FC in the Community’s work visit www.burnleyfccommunity.org or call 01282 704716.