After revelling in golden generations from Burnley Football Club’s past, newly installed director Terry Crabb is hopeful that history can be repeated.
The lifelong Clarets fan was introduced to Turf Moor in the late 1950s, watching from the terraces as the club’s famed squad won the English First Division championship on the final day of the 1959/60 campaign.
The 65-year-old then moved away with his family the following decade, before returning to Lancashire in the ‘70s to see the Clarets return to England’s top tier after being crowned Second Division champions in 1973 ahead of QPR.
Crabb moved away again in the ‘80s - avoiding the lowest point of the club’s history when flirting with expulsion from the Football League - but has returned in the hope of helping to architect a jump back to the Premier League.
“It’s a real honour,” he said. “I can’t wait to be a part of it. I was brought to Turf Moor by my dad and grandfather in the late ‘50s and I watched the likes of Colin McDonald, Ray Pointer, Jimmy Robson, Alex Elder, Jimmy Adamson and Jimmy McIlroy, which was fantastic.
“My family moved away to Staffordshire in the mid ‘60s and then I came back here to work in the 1970s, which again coincided with a great period in Burnley’s history - with the team promoted to the First Division. Again there were some great players in Leighton James, Martin Dobson, Peter Noble, Alan Stevenson.
“We moved to Dorset in the mid-80s - putting all my efforts in to my business. I attended a few matches in that period which coincided with a not-so-good period in their history. But now things are looking very bright again. I’m looking forward to watching the club go from strength to strength.”
Crabb, who established Dorset Cereals in 1989, winning the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement on two occasions, admits to being impressed by the character and ambition of those working behind the scenes of the club.
But Crabb also claims that the locality of the club’s directors, and their affiliation with Burnley FC, is huge in helping the club progress. The Clarets are the only club in the top six of the Championship to be domestically owned.
“I think it’s absolutely massive,” said Crabb, the sixth member of the new-look Turf Moor Board. “I’m so proud that almost all the directors on the board were born in Burnley and they’re all huge fans of the club. I think that is so fundamental to any club’s success and credibility.
“I’ve been extremely impressed with what I’ve seen so far. Burnley Football Club has some wonderful people working among it in the top positions. They’re hugely enthusiastic and will help massively in taking the club forward. There’s a real sense of optimism.”
Crabb, who became an Associate Director at the club last June, added: “Absolutely, I’d love to see the club back up there. I went to the QPR match which was a very exciting game and a great advert for Championship football. I was very proud to watch the side. It was a great game and a great advert for Burnley FC.
“We need to put a few wins together - after three successive draws - but we’ve certainly got the manager and the team to achieve that.”