Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Steele By Name, Steel By Nature!

Burnley Football Club
Surprisingly as it may sound, unfortunately, I am not old enough to have seen Brian O’Neil play in the famous Claret & Blue. He was a midfield general. A hard tackling, terrier like workhorse in the engine room of the team. Some people will say that he has never been replaced.

However, I think that he was, with the signing from Blackpool in 1989 of John Steele Deary.

I have been watching Burnley since the early 1980’s and Deary was and still is my favourite and in my opinion the best player I have ever seen play for the Clarets.

I absolutely loved watching him. He never shied away from a tackle and you always knew he would win everyone he went in for.

He controlled the midfield and spread the play brilliantly.

I used to hear stories about John Connelly shooting from distance in the 1960’s. John Deary was the first Burnley player I remember who wasn’t afraid to try his luck from well outside the box. In fact he could hit a ball so hard that it usually ended up in the back of the net.

He was always pressing forward and he scored many goals, none more important than away at York the night the 4th Division title was clinched; and in true Deary fashion, instead of celebrating he dished out some Scouse justice on York’s keeper, Dean Kiely, for kicking out at Robbie Painter and earned himself one of many yellow cards.

He was always in the thick of it and was generally the one dishing out the punishment. He was hard and he was known for it.
He really was a rock for Burnley in the early 1990’s.

However, my favourite memory has to be, not the goal he scored at York, but at Wembley in the play-off final in 1994.

Everyone remembers David Eyre’s mazy run. Who could forget Gary Parkinson’s winner. But who played the ball in to the box for Parky? Yes you’ve guessed it Super Johnny Deary!

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