FORMER Burnley captain Ray Deakin has lost his battle against brain cancer.

The Liverpool-born defender etched his name into Turf Moor folklore when he helped the club avoid dropping out of the Football League on the final day of the 1986/87 season, with goals from Neil Grewcock and Ian Britton earning a famous 2-1 win.

And Deakin, who played 247 games for the Clarets between 1985 and 1991, was at the heart of an incredible turnaround in fortunes 12 months later, as he became the first player in more than 26 years to captain a Burnley side at Wembley, when they faced Wolves in the Sherpa Van Trophy final.

He was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer earlier this year, and died on Christmas Eve morning, aged just 49.