Willie Irvine: Burnley Beatle was ready for German row
OVERSEAS tours are popular with football teams these days. They were rare when I was playing, although we did go to West Germany to play in the mid to late 60s.
I studied German at school, and although I had forgotten a lot of it I still managed to hold a conversation with some locals.
They kept referring to Willie Morgan as “The Beatle”.
Willie wanted to know what they were saying so I made something up – something not very complimentary – and he was ready for having it out with them until I told him the truth. Fortunately he took it in good spirits.
It’s all part of the banter that the players enjoy day to day, but especially when they are all away together on a training camp like this one.
Striker Lukas Jutkiewicz will be joining up with the rest of the squad after completing his move from Middlesbrough, and I think that is a great signing to complement Danny Ings, who has been winning an army of admirers with his work in the community – proving this talent has a big heart.
At 6ft 1ins, Jutkiewicz he is the right type to fill the gap left by the injured Sam Vokes.
It is likely to be December time before we see Sam back in action but I was pleased to read that the towering front man was joining the club on their pre-season tour of Austria while he continues his rehabilitation.
It is a long road back from his knee injury but I congratulate the club for making him still feel involved with the Burnley Football Club family.
When I was coming back from my broken leg I only had my shadow as company a lot of the time, and Jimmy Holland the physio.
It will be a great boost for Sam, and Michael Kightly who is also injured at the moment, to be with team-mates while they are away.
Their inclusion emphasises just how much emphasis Sean Dyche puts on his players realising they are all in this (the Premier League) together.
It’s important to have this camaraderie throughout the club, for I’m sure it breeds loyalty and confidence on and off the pitch.
The forthcoming friendlies, with the first one in Austria on Sunday, will fill the void left by the World Cup reaching a conclusion.
What a great spectacle it was from the first kick to the last.
Germany deserved the trophy.
Finally, I was interested to read groundsman Paul Bradshaw feature in Monday’s Lancashire Telegraph, and how he painted the Turf Moor crash barriers as a child. I did that with my fellow apprentices Brian O’Neil, Arthur Bellamy, Mick Buxton, Freddie Smith and Willie Morgan.
They all ganged up on me one day and painted my family jewels.
Getting that green paint off was agony, and honestly the very thought of turpentine oil makes my eyes water because of the burning pain I endured.
But I still chuckle to myself whenever I see a crash barrier, and the memories of my playing days come flooding back.