Clarets cult hero Ian Britton has died following a courageous battle with cancer.
The man who scored the vital goal that ensured Burnley Football Club’s Football League survival died in Pendleside Hospice aged 61.
It was on May 9th, 1987, that Britton etched his name into Turf Moor folklore when his headed goal against Orient secured a 2-1 win and survival for the club.
Clarets fans are now planning a minute’s applause in his memory in the 48th minute of the Turf Moor game against Cardiff City tonight.
The 48th minute has been chosen as it is the minute of Britton’s brilliant header.
Burnley vice-chairman Barry Kilby, a fellow cancer sufferer, had been in close contact with Ian throughout his illness, with both helping to promote fund-raising to help fight the illness.
Without that goal, who knows what might have happened and I may never have had the chance to manage this clubSean Dyche
He said: “It is with great sadness that we learned of Ian’s death.
“He will always be remembered for scoring that goal in the famous Orient game in 1987, which saved the club from extinction.
“Ian’s career with Burnley though was much more than that, stretching to over 100 appearances, including a Wembley final the following year.
“For quite some time he had been fighting prostate cancer with the resolve and endeavour he showed on the football pitch.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche also paid tribute to Britton and said that without his pivotal contribution, the Clarets may never have reached the heady heights they are enjoying today.
He 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 married Eileen two years ago in what he described as “a perfect day” and throughout his illness, diagnosed as incurable in 2014, Eileen, his four children and two grandchildren proved to be a loving and invaluable support.