LAST week marked five years since Steve Cotterill and Vince Overson helped launch Clarets Mad’s Year of the Youth at the Bridge Bier Huis in Burnley.
A re-name to the Clarets Mad Youth Foundation came a year later, and, to date, the Clarets independent website has raised over £43,300 for the club’s youth department.
That money has helped them bring in technical equipment, cameras to film games, much-needed equipment at Gawthorpe, and has also helped fund development centres and sponsored some of the young teams in travelling to tournaments in Europe.
The money has been raised in a variety of ways, through dinners, golf days, pool competitions, football matches and a race night, via fantasy games and sweepstakes run on the Clarets Mad messageboard, including a very popular First Goal Sweep that runs for every Burnley game.
Speaking on behalf of the Clarets Mad Youth Foundation, site editor Tony Scholes said: “It’s been an outstanding five years and I don’t think anyone, at the time of the launch, envisaged that it would run for so long or that it would raise such an outstanding figure.
“I’m not aware of any group of fans who have raised this amount of money in such a short space of time and it shows the commitment so many people have to Burnley Football Club and to helping bring young players through the system.
“At the time of the launch the youth team included a young 16-year-old by the name of Jay Rodriguez who was taking his first steps towards becoming a professional footballer. Now, five years on, we can proudly refer to him as an England international.
“The Clarets Mad Youth Foundation will continue to support the club as they look to find more young players like Jay over the coming seasons.”