The family of Clarets cult hero Ian Britton have paid tribute to an “amazing dad”.
Ian, who will forever be remembered as the man who scored the goal which ensured Burnley Football Club’s Football League survival was as popular off the pitch as he was on it.
Without that goal, who knows what might have happened and I may never have had the chance to manage this clubSean Dyche
Born in Dundee, Ian represented Chelsea, Dundee United, Arbroath and Blackpool before he made the move to Turf Moor in 1986.
He made East Lancashire his home and was living in Barrowford before his death aged 61 at Pendleside Hospice on Thursday.
Father to Lauren, Calum, Liam and Kieron, Ian was a popular and bubbly character.
Stepson Phil Bayliss said: “Ian was diagnosed with cancer three years ago and fought the disease bravely without complaints.
“He married my mum Eileen two years ago, and they enjoyed some nice holidays together.
“They met at the Cross Gaits, Blacko, and this became their local. It’s where they also had their wedding reception.
“After retiring from football, Ian became operations manager at Pendle Leisure, but still made some appearances at Turf Moor for half-time draws and the like.
“He also still enjoyed playing football for the Vintage Clarets and would head over to Norway for charity matches at the invitation of the Norwegian Clarets.
“Although his death was expected, we are all still trying to come to terms with it. He was a huge character and will be sadly missed by many people.”
Clarets fans and officials have also paid tribute to the man whose famous goal helped to set the foundations for the club’s recent revival.
Since Ian’s crucial goal in that now legendary “Orient” match of 1987, the Clarets have largely been on an upward trajectory reaching the promised land of the Premier League on two occasion and now tantalisingly close to a third.
Current Burnley manager Sean Dyche said: “Everyone at Burnley Football Club was saddened to learn the news. Ian’s legendary status at Turf Moor was assured after the goal he scored here in May 1987, for which he will always be held in great affection.
“Without that goal, who knows what might have happened and I may never have had the chance to manage this club. So many people in many ways owe Ian a debt of gratitude.”
Ian’s funeral will be held on Monday at 3-30pm at Burnley Crematorium. The funeral cortege will pass Turf Moor at 3pm.