Andy Farrell has witnessed the historic journey at Turf Moor!

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We’re a club steeped in history.

Since becoming one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888, we’ve won the FA Cup once - a century ago last Friday - and the English championship on two occasions. We’ve embarked on a previously record-breaking run of 30 league games. We’ve reached the quarter-final stage of the European Cup.

Andy Farrell

Andy Farrell

In recent decades we’ve avoided dropping out of the Football League and in to oblivion. We’ve experienced highs and lows. We’ve defied the odds, climbed from the basement, overcome financial adversity, beaten the country’s best on various domestic fronts, and now we’re back among England’s elite in the Premier League.

So many periods in our past have shaped our present, while the 2013/14 promotion campaign has moulded the club’s future. And former Claret player Andy Farrell has experienced that historic climb from bottom to top from the late ‘80s to present.

Farrell arrived in East Lancashire from hometown club Colchester United in the aftermath of Burnley’s remarkable victory over Orient on the final day of the 1986/87 campaign to preserve the club’s Football League status.

After signing for £5,000, and making his debut against his former employers in a 3-0 defeat at Turf Moor, Farrell went on to make 349 appearances for the club while scoring 23 goals in all competitions.

He was signed by Brian Miller, played under Jimmy Mullen and Frank Casper, wore every shirt number from one to 11 in his seven-year stretch with the Clarets, won the Fourth Division title in 1992, and remains the only player to this day to play in two Wembley finals - the first against Wolves in the Sherpa Van Trophy in May 1988 and the second in our Second Division play-off win against Stockport County 20 years ago tomorrow.

“There weren’t any thoughts about just missing out on exiting the Football League, it was all positive and looking forward.

“There wasn’t any lingering pessimism. I’d seen the ground and the facilities here before and as soon as Brian Miller lodged an interest I was off.

“Football is like a religion up here as well so that, coupled with the club’s history, was another pull.

“The first year getting to Wembley under Brian was memorable, but the York City game was possibly one of the best nights of my life.

“Every part of the ground was filled by Burnley fans. What made it feel even more important was that somebody who played with us, Ashley Hoskins, was in the queue with his Burnley shirt on going in to the ground.

“It meant that much to people. It was a great night.”

Farrell made 13 starts for the Clarets during the 1993/94 season, with an additional nine outings as substitute.

He was omitted from Mullen’s squad for the play-off semi-final first leg against Plymouth Argyle on home soil, but replaced goalscorer Warren Joyce as a substitute for the return fixture in the 3-1 win at Home Park.

And, with semi-final second leg hero John Francis hobbling off at Wembley, Farrell was given his chance to shine at English football’s Mecca.

“Time just goes by so quick,” he said. “Sometimes I can’t believe I’m the age I am.

“The first Wembley trip had a little bit less pressure because there was no promotion involved but to walk out in front of 80,000 people was unbelievable.

“There was more supporters there on that day against Wolves than the England v Scotland match the week before.

“I came on as a substitute on my second appearance there so I hadn’t expected to play. I played in the semi-final against Plymouth away, but I wasn’t involved at home, so I didn’t even expect to be on the bench.

“I ended up playing in the reserves for a few games, ended up on the bench, then I got on the pitch after 10 minutes.

“You’re looking at John Francis coming off and Graham Lancashire was sat there so at the time I thought Dave Williams had more chance of getting on than me.

“I thought Graham would be the man to go on but next minute Jimmy turns to me and says ‘Andy get your tracksuit off, you’re going on’. It was a great day.”

Farrell added: “I can remember quite a few bits about the game. I can remember Parky scoring and running off and Eyresy scoring.

“Then there’s Steve Davis running down the middle of the pitch at one stage and looking like he was going to put one in the back of the net after running from his own half. It was a really good day.

“We went up and I left that following season for Wigan. Looking back with hindsight I wish I’d have stayed now.

“I’ve had a good football career. I’ve loved everything I’ve done with every club I’ve been at along with the people I’ve met. I’ve had a good innings in terms of my football.

“I loved Brian - he was a great fellow. Jimmy (Mullen) was a little bit more forceful in terms of how he went about things but he got the best out of everybody.

“Frank (Casper) was a very good coach. I liked him a lot so it was disappointing when things didn’t go well for him. All of them, over time, helped me with my football.

“Arthur Bellamy was with Brian when I first came to the club and he was another person that helped me.”

The 48-year-old didn’t waste much time in returning to the club once his playing days were over.

After his £20,000 sale to Wigan Athletic the versatile midfielder went on to feature for Rochdale, Morecambe and Leigh RMI before hanging up his boots in 2002.

Farrell coached some of the club’s proteges in the embryonic stages of their career, moved up to work with the youth set-up alongside Terry Pashley and played a big part in the team’s run to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals in 2012.

Farrell was then named Development Squad manager back in March - a role that had been filled by Academy Manager Jason Blake following the departure of Simon Weatherstone.

“I’m loving being here and really enjoying it,” said Farrell.

“I’m glad Jason asked me to do this side of things.

“I’m in and around the first team staff who are really good people.

“The gaffer is a great fellow as well. He’s very positive in his approach and he knows what he wants.

“There’s been a change in the players - they’re a really good group of lads.

“A lot of it is down to the gaffer with how he’s worked them.”

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