Dave Burnley: I had Pool party in a lifeboat by the pier

Gary Parkinson received a great reception

Gary Parkinson received a great reception

First published in Sport by

SOMETIMES life doesn’t run to script no matter how hard you try to influence its outcome.

That was certainly the case at Turf Moor on Saturday, where Burnley created enough chances to win two games.

If it was a boxing match Burnley would have easily won on points if the referee hadn’t already stopped the contest.

The biggest reason the Middlesbrough defence wasn’t breached must be credited to Greek goalkeeper, and commentators’ nightmare, Dimi Konstantopoulos.

Sad to say that a minority of Boro fans found it too hard to keep silent for just one minute to respect the Liverpool fans who perished at Hillsborough 25 years ago, and the confrontrations outside the ground afterwards that I witnessed were directly because of that.

In contrast, the ovation given to Gary Parkinson, a former player of both clubs who is blighted by locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke in 2010, was wholeheartedly observed by both sets of supporters. He is a truly brave man whose love for each of his previous employers was clearly evident.

As for promotion, we may have to wait for another week or beyond, depending how results unfold.

From a purely personal perspective, Blackpool on Good Friday would be the perfect place to celebrate promotion for two very good reasons.

Firstly, I will be decked out in my 33-piece denim suit as I commemorate my 40th year without missing a Burnley game, home or away, in any competitive fixture.

The outfit dates back to 1968 and is traditionally worn on the first away match after the one blemish at Newcastle United on April 10, 1974 – my only absence in 45 years which began with QPR at home on January 18, 1969.

Secondly, the seaside town was my choice of party venue when Burnley clinched the Second Division championship with a 1-1 draw at Preston in 1973.

Those celebrations went on long into the early hours before I settled down for the night in a lifeboat moored on the promenade!

I’ve upgraded to an en-suite bed and breakfast for this one, so if I do happen to be toasting the Clarets at least I’ll have a duvet over me instead of the green tarpaulin from the life-saving vessel that sufficed 41 years ago.

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