RELATIVES of Burnley’s 1914 FA Cup winning team were invited to Towneley Hall to see an exhibition celebrating the historic moment.
More than 100 family members packed out the grand hall after watching the current team bag a win in the final home game of the season.
Supporters had travelled from the other side of the world just to be there to see the team celebrate being promoted to the big time and to mark the 100th anniversary of the monumental cup win against Liverpool in 1914.
Alan Curry, who is the great nephew of winning goal scorer Bert Freeman, travelled all the way from Melbourne, Australia, to witness the celebrations.
The 66-year-old said: “It was wonderful. It was my first ever game of soccer last Monday and Burnley won.
“I could not have dreamed of it. I am a good luck charm! I have been following the Clarets with intent.”The exhibition, in the hall’s Long Gallery, was prepared by Burnley FC’s historian Ray Simpson, who had collected memorabilia from the 1914 match, which was attended by King George V and was played exactly 100 years ago on Friday.
Among the items on display are a royal box edition of the programme, pictures of the cup’s arrival in Burnley showing packed streets around Elizabeth Street, replicas of the cup itself and shirts worn by the players.
The club also got permission from Buckingham Palace to create a special 1914 shirt with the Royal Coat of Arms badge on it, instead of the usual club crest, to mark the occasion.
Margaret Jackson, Bert Freeman’s daughter, travelled from Birmingham with her husband Leonard to be part of the celebrations. Mrs Jackson, 91, said: “My dad told me very little about the FA Cup final, but he once said he played with shoes that were a size too small for him.
“It was fantastic to be there for the match. I am very proud of what he did. The exhibition is very nice too.”
Joy Green, 84, daughter of Billy Watson, said: “I like football and I always see how Burnley are doing. I am very proud of what my father did. He would have been over the moon with the promotion.”