Bob Lord exhibition at Towneley Hall marks new book of iconic Clarets chairman

An exhibition featuring the life of iconic former Burnley FC chairman Bob Lord has been launched to coincide with a new biography of the famous football figure.


Retired headteacher Dave Thomas and retired university lecturer Mike Smith have co-authored the book 'Bob Lord of Burnley' which explores the life of the former butcher who went on to become "foobtall's most controversial chairman".

Mike Smith and Dave Thomas pose with a cardboard cutout of Bob Lord

Mike Smith and Dave Thomas pose with a cardboard cutout of Bob Lord

An exhibition at Towneley Hall features pictorial boards from different stages of Mr Lord's life, from his birth in Parliament Street, Burnley Wood, to long-serving chaiman of the Clarets until his death in 1981.

Mike said: "My dad actually worked for Bob Lord and said he was a hard but fair man. Lord definitely divided opinion and came from a very different football era to today. However, in many ways he was a visionary.

"In 1967 he talked about setting up a super league, and when he rebuilt the Cricket Field Stand he chose not to have terracing and hat it covered and heated. Unlike today, though, he was against televised football matches but insisted if they did go ahead they must not be done on the cheap.

"I think modern football agents would have got short srift out of him, sparks would have flown."

Mike explained that he and Dave had began writing separate books about Bob Lord and decided it would make sense to merge them, with Mike focusing a lot on his early life, which he did by researching a range of sources including Lancashire Archives and family histories.

Former history teacher Dave said it was important that young Clarets fans today could discover a bit more about the man who laid the foundation for Burnley Football Club's present days success in the Premier League.

Dave said: "I take up Bob Lord's story from 1955 when he became Clarets chairman. I think history is a neglected subject. Our book is a mammoth volume featuring 32 pages of pictures