Andy Payton

Striker

ANDY Payton’s love affair with Burnley FC and the fans love of him is a never ending story.

Released at 16 by Burnley, he returned to Turf Moor later in his career and scored 69 goals in 158 appearances for the Clarets.

Indeed, the fact that his beloved Burnley let him go did not deter Payton.

“I got a second chance at Hull City and went on to be top scorer at most of the clubs I played for,” said 47-year-old Whalley-born Payton.

Liam Brady signed Payton for Celtic and he also played for Middlesbrough, Barnsley, Huddersfield Town, Blackpool, Stalybridge Celtic and Colne Dynamoes.

He still lives close to Burnley town centre with his three daughters Olivia, Georgia and Lauren. “They are my pride and joy,” he said.

Andy, who attended school at Gawthorpe close to Burnley’s training ground, works at a local childrens’ home and also helps run a disability football team for young children in the area alongside another key member of the set-up, Jackie Nelson. He also helps run teams for autistic and Downs Syndrome children, playing games all over the area and tournaments in Preston.

Payton thoroughly enjoyed his debut for the Vintage Clarets in an 11-2 win over a Football Fundraising side at Nelson FC on August 2. “It was excellent and so good to see so many of the old faces again,” he said.

And while he didn’t actually utter the phrase you can be certain the Padiham Predator, just like Terminator Arnold Schwarzenneger, WILL be back.