Category Archives: Burnley F C

Burnley were once a truly great team!

So today my home town team, knowing of their imminent relegation from the top division in football to division 2 which is euphemistically named ‘The Championship’, secured a scintillating 0-0 draw with Stoke. But Burnley were once a truly great team! No not the first time I ever saw them when as a ten years old boy I watched

60team handdrawn(c) pete kennedy 2015

the best Burnley team to represent the town in modern day football emerge from the Turf Moor tunnel as Champions in 1960 when they beat Man City in the final game of the season

62 victory coach(c) pete kennedy 2015

to prevent Wolves winning their third 1st division title in 3 years and almost won the coveted Double two years later.

Bly 1961 leeg won

No, it was the team back in 1921, (some of which had survived the First World War just before which they had beaten Liverpool in the FA Cup Final), that went on THE LONGEST RUN IN THE TOP DIVISION WITHOUT DEFEAT FOR 80 YEARS. A feat only overhauled recently by Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, but they still have more than 70 years to run before they equal Burnley’s record of 80 years unequalled! But few people have mentioned the fact that Burnley not only did that phenomenal run, in a time when they would have not had the luxury travel that the modern players have, they were more likely to turn up in a charabanc (that’s an obsolete term for a ‘motor coach’ the likes of which super ceded the horse and cart). The team that stopped their run? Manchester City. Then Burnley went on to beat them a couple of games later. THAT WAS A TRULY GREAT SIDE. They did not however receive the accolades showered upon their recent copy cats The Arsenal, all the press could muster was ‘Burnley Beaten At Last’!

1921 leeg champs for 80 yrs

 In fact tward the end of this 2014-15 season they got a new moniker ‘Burnleynil’.

Burnley have never been a fashionable club a fact that was exacerbated by a certain chairman known as the meanest dinosaur & butcher in town whose policy of turning the media away, particularly TV, in Burnley’s 1960’s revival to the top did massive and irreversible damage  which persists to this day. And he was responsible for halving the club’s gates overnight by selling off the great Jim McIlroy!

jim dribl sm

To whom? To Stoke who were in the second division then and Jimmy helped bring them into the top division.

jim stoke swervs


One massive example of prohibition going wildly counter to the intent of the prohibitor is my home town football club, Burnley and the reprehensible policy of the then chairman Bob Lord, who was also a big noise on the national FA. He thought that if he banned the TV cameras from Turf Moor more folk would visit the ground to see live matches on match days. He was wrong. At the time Burnley were one of the top two clubs with Spurs, a fact that remained the case for several years in the early 60’s Burnley were bigger than Man U and Liverpool then! Look what happened. TV cameras do the opposite to what Lord thought, they publicize a club and folk flock to see them. Lord, in another of his marvellous decisions, sold local hero Jimmy McIlroy, to lowly second division at that time Stoke and Burnley faded away after . Burnley dropped to the foot of Division 4 and nearly shot out of the league altogether whilst close rivals Man U & The Bill Shankly LiverPool went on to be European Champs.

Burnley’s gates never ever recovered and fancy that, their average gate is about 14,000. Compare that with Sunderland or Newcastle at c. 50K and you see what minnows the valiant representatives of Burnley town are. The sharks of the Prem certainly devoured them despite their taking down the likes of Man City and stealing a point at Stamford Bridge.(2014-15)

phil brwn on dyche statuePhil Brown at Southend said that they are talking statues for Sean Dyche!

I have believed long time that there should be one of Jimmy McIlroy at Burnley. This is an open letter to fans of Jim McIlroy, Burnley boys and all the rest, and Stan Bowles who said in his autobio that his hero was Jimmy Mac! Many others, least myself because true greats must have seen him play, including Georgie Best because as a football fanatic in his youth he must have been taken to see Northern Ireland play in Belfast and Jimmy was the star of that team along with his friend, also arch rival at Spurs, Danny Blanchflower. In 1950 my dad named me after an Irish player who he admired, Peter Doherty. Doherty went on to manage the Irish side which Jim played in that got to the quarter final of the 1958 World Cup in Sweden then got kicked off the park by guess who? Germany.

 jimi mac scores fer NI sm

Once you saw Jimmy play you had to be influenced! In the mid 1950s he scored a hat trick against Busby’s Manchester United. Why he never was called by Busby to play for Man. U I don’t know but it was probably because in those days the players had less say on their destiny and the chairman could dictate where they went, that’s why Jim ended up in Stoke. He never flit from his beloved Burnley and commuted to Stoke daily! The butcher had already got rid of one of the best players Bobby Seith in the champion-making team because Seith probably told the old fart what he thought of him, Seith went on to win the Scottish Championship with a Dundee team, that is no accident, good players win games.

jimac in sundae times

Did you know that back in 1962 Jimmy was an icon, no not just in football, on the front cover of the first ever Sunday Times Mag! A photo of Jimmy is there in the centre with Jean Shrimpton posing a la Jim all around him. Not a lot of people know that. His movement was almost balletic and someone at the Times mag saw it and asked for the model to go into poses which reflect Jimmy. I think I prefer her beauty but his poise. His poise was genuine, hers was posed.

jimi maket2 sm(c) pete kennedy 2015

I have offered to do a sculpture of the best player Burnley had since the great 1920’s team, Tommy Boyle and all them lot. They have indicated an interest but that were a year ago and am getting on in years and soon I’ll be too very old to do it. So, come on you Clarets, give me the go-ahead and I shall get the sculpture ready for your next return to the top league again!

 jimi 3 from above sm(c) pete kennedy 2015

It seems there will be no shortage of money this year at Burnley. See report from Ajax and look forward to return to top flight and thrashing Van Gaal’s lot! According to this report Burnley get loads o money for tv appearances, not to mention the parachute monies.

2015 bly won the money!

This article and the drawings and sculptures shown in it are copyright (c) Pete Kennedy 17.5.2015

PK is forever grateful for the joy of seeing Jimmy McIlroy grace the field at Turf Moor, a true great alongside Stanley Matthews, Tom Finney, Duncan Edwards, Kenny Dalglish, Stevie Gerrard and Jackie Milburn.

By the way Kenny Dalglish should receive a knighthood! (PK 2018)

A must to avoid, agents of no-mercy & the arts.

‘Someone submitted a manuscript which was rejected by 100 agents which had been written by the critically acclaimed, award-winning, internationally revered Kurt Vonnegut. If they passed on Kurt Vonnegut, what chance do we have? tip: don’t send any more. Take your work straight to the reader.’ (Taken from Brian Marggraf’s blog) This is an indicator of the hit and miss of the ‘arts’-world which all of us have to contend with. Marggraf goies on to advise on ‘failure’ as an instigator of success, how to succeed (suck seed) in the face of failure. I cannot retrieve his blog on failing where he tells how his own failure drove him on and how he goes thru many failures to reach one success. It was inspiring, and like looking in a mirror. Now, I have mentioned a few tings I have put forward recently for consideration by people like Burnley FC, JAB, fist site, white chapel book fair and MOMA and 2 poetry mags. Well, yesterday I visited the big city known as Londres. I went to several exhibitions including Bailey then Hamilton. At the latter I got lots of reinforcement for my new ways of working. So, I am intent on carrying on with my work. IF any of the bodies I have offered my skills to call me in then I shall do whatever I can to fulfil my promise. Otherwise, I just carry on doing what I do since 1962, 7 actually. And I awoke at 3am this morgan and I wrote: 3am, 3.5.14 An epic early morn moan mourn poem?

This blArt is about (ab-Art) ‘Failure In My Eyes’

How can you say yer an artisbloke if you don’t av eyes to sea?

If you don’t a thirst suck seed

Try fry a gem

My greatest success is my failure is my Great Success

There’s an old terrace song at my home toon

‘Bob Lord* knew my father

My father knew Bob Lord’

First I aksed Bob Lord a favour

He gave me nuffin in return

I aksed to meat him on the half way line

He just gave me a chop.

I copped it in his shoppe

I said yor norran ejucayted man

He said he were igorant o dat

 angri bunlee fansAngry old Burnley fan.

[*Bob Lord was a butcher by trade. And he butchered the transfer of the local hero Jimmy Mac. After he sold Jim down to the league below so he couldn’t play against Burnley the team rapidly rocketed down the leagues itself. He was as far as I know solely responsible for making urnley FC miss the fashion stakes. In the early 60’s when they were one of the big two clubs of the day HE BANNED TV CAMERAS!]

Then I awoke two real eyes

To the countless stars inth’ skies

The money machine took off

But I made no dosh

Wenni awoke I realised

They are not going to call

Yesterday Today Tomorrow Not at all

I done my best to reel

A sizeable fish In ma ditch

But Day Mien does it better

For Maldives he hides it

Maybe I wer rong to draw my lot

I never earned a jot

And who? were you they said

I am me Pete Kennedy

No, you tink yer David Bailey don’t ya

Well I wer forra while

They did not dig my stile

But I had to get over it

I hope that makes you smile

But in a while


oh oh oh noh noh diddli do de do

it doesn’t Matta what you do

so long as you do la loo

poo poo

I am not staying up all night

to right this trash all write?

Just straighten up and fly a right

I bin doin that all nicht

Swung so many am a little drunk

That made me think

Which I spell tink

I had to imbibe

Or I would hab died

I don’t drink Doesn’t mean I do not drink

I think therefore I am a Yam

a yakity man

yakity yak don’t go bach

Therefore I am a philosopher

I have to be some ting

I do the best I can, can can

Maybe I’m a tin man?

I know I am no lion heart

I am just a scaredy crow, not cat

What do you tink abart dat?

Then, second, I saw my First Site associate-ship isn’t sailing (yet?) (see a next blArt on my approaching fistsite) But seriously folks, I visited the National Portrait (I did a Few too) Gallery to see the David Bailey show. It’s not what you knew it’s who you knew, I never had a clue in my ass. The I trundled on to Tottingham Caught Toad and on up past St Paul’s pad onto the Milhelmina Bridge tward the Ivory Tower ofart The Cake Moderne. Where Richard Hamilton had left his works out when he left us in the lurch. Like his bro, Rich Wittington, he went to the Paved with Gold streets where he shared his sh…(it can’t be said with immunity) but there wer a lot of it in his works. His last one was almost exactly the same size as my Venus (Third but not last see a next blArt on my approaching MOMA). Don’t get me wrong, I like his werks and he met both the Beatles and the Stones and I just met the Nowhere Man. You don’t know what you’re doing he told me too. The reason I tink they (the Beatles and the Stones that was. And it was more than a week that was) were so popular still is because they epitomised the aspirations of the war baby generation what ‘got’ the legacy of the previous generation’s legacy from the generation who fought in World War One. And everyone else since, like you and moi, has been doing it all over again. Bailey & Hamilton were there, where? There on the stairs. A little mouse with clogs on right there, going clip-clippity clop on the stairs. Like my Venus. (see a next blArt on my approaching MOMA) all the rest are has-beens. And you and me, we’re all gonna-bees. That’s the whole tooth, nuttin but the tooth. Then I bought a book on Boys no I am not like that I just spelt it rong, Buoys, no am not into sailors neither nor I just can’t spell Beuys no matta how hard I try. And a book from Christie’s catalogue, boy they bouy up there sales of Beuys don’t they, a heapo cash to make a lot o dosh from a load o tosh.

Yours fatefully,

St. Ark Ravine Bon Coeurs,

Pop Artisbuk Man.

All the images & idiot synchronicities herein are © pete kennedy 2014

I am fascinated by your reactions to this blArt, but I am unsure how to set it up easy.  I notice on Marggraf’s blog there are ‘comments’ galore on his ‘about’ page, but i do not know how to set it up. Maybe someone from head office might point me to how? anyway, me old mate DW has sent me a reaction to today’s blArt, I thought it’d be nice to show yez, also to let you see if you feel guilty abArt ‘liking’ the zany stuff watti dae, it’s OK! Others like it too. I am gerrin folk contact me and say they enjoy the play wit werds watti do. This is wat me mate ses:

“I look forward to your blarts, another fine one and your stream of consciousness is like a wide, networked mesh, lighting up like  Christmas tree lights as you are triggered by events. The energy powering this light-show is your fluid use of language to lasso and connect up carriages of connected content, for your train of thought. It is exhilarating to climb aboard your train of thought for another journey out into places that are not on the map. You are a pioneering explorer who is sharing his terrain by mapping it out as you go. This creative process, this artwork is a commentary on your mind [mine mined  mi-ned (ed*)] forays, but enriched by your deep and wide knowledge and experience of art and its world from inside and Artie-hed looking out-looking in.” *ed- that’s me mind.

New article out and new bid in.

Earlier this week I received a copy of The Blue Notebook with my new article in it. It is so nice to have an article accepted for such a wonderful publication, thank you Sarah and your team of referees. And good to be in such good company too:

Vol 8 No 2, April 2014

Essays and reviews: Alison Gibbons: Tension, Style, and the Modern Psyche,

A Stylistic Analysis of Philip Zimmermann’s ‘High Tension’; Jeremy Dixon: Aliens, Sunset, and Radioactivity: visiting three artists’ books in Philadelphia; Ciara Healy: And the night was kind. ‘Ruskin’s Ponds’ book works by John Woodman; Pete Kennedy: Lucy Lippard’s Activism and Artists’ Books Activate Me; John McDowall: Some artists’ books and literature; Mat Osmond: The Mingled Measure, Interpreting and Adapting S. T. Coleridge’s ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. You too can obtain a copy by going to

I also got a copy of Vol1 for which Guy Bigland (UK) has designed a brilliant textwork cover, badge and sticker for this issue. The badge comes in a little tiny bag which rustles as you turn pages.

Time they had my sculpture of Jim McIlroy at Burnley FC!

jim slides sm kb

image of my design for a sculpture for Burnley FC

Also, talking about referees,  this week I am putting in another pitch to do a sculpture of Jim McIlroy, my childhood hero who played for Burnley and Ireland. I only hope my pitch lights up the directors there like his skills used to light up the pitch for me and my mates in the early sixties. He was good at sliding for the ball and springing up again. Also upright, perfectly balanced, ball at his feet, sizing up the defender swerving, dodging, where the ball seems like it’s on a piece of elastic pinned to his boot front then flicking the ball in the opposite direction to that expected before skipping over the frustrated lunge.’ I believe he wer an inspiration for a young kid called Georgie who went on to play a few games for Man U. & Ireland.


Talking about Burnley, I am in contact with the central library there trying to trace some copies of the Burnley Express from around 1916, or maybe it wer a summing up copy at the end of WW1? I saw it in 1969 when in the reference library, it commemorated the lads who the town lost in that stupid war, there wer no room fer any other news. I wish to use the info for a book along with some stuff about Ted Walker’s  dad who survived it and a poem about it written by my girl when she wer about 14.

I am also exhibiting a couple of tings in Tindalls of Colchester this coming Thorsday; a painting of one of my invented characters, Bedmonster, so called cos he’ll steal the brass nobs from the bed as you sleep



And a bronze cast of my Lorryhead sculpture.

My blart is short and positive this week, surprised?

Well, err indoors got me a little book of daily advices which told me not to involve by talking about bad news, so I won’t. Except for there where I just mentioned it, oops, nobody’s perfec.

And finally am working up a major piece, a version of my Venus at the stairs image, 1m X1.5m! Wondering whether to enter it for a big exhibition in Londres? What do you tink?



This is just the initial starting point but it gives an idea of the content & composition. I am also tinking of entering some print too. Maybe I can do better than ‘Doubtful’ this time. Oh, by the way, the bad news, all artin this blart rhymes wit part, did you ever hear the one about the king and queen wat went up th’ill and parted? did you ever hear abart t s eliot,

My hero Jimmy McIlroy

I designed a 3D piece to celebrate the career of Jimmy McIlroy, the maestro who Stan Bowles said was his biggest inspiration and I believe MUST have also inspired George Best.I am trying to galvanise a campaign to have it made. There would be spin offs like a small maquette for sale in shops. Ideally I would like to see place outside either Burnley or Stoke F C or maybe outside the National Football museum. I want something to be done during his lifetime, although the days for that are growing less as he has just made 82! As an artist I would do all the fabrication..

I did approach Burnley about 3 years ago and they had me visit them said they wanted it and showed me where they would put it. But then when i told them what it would cost to make and deliver to the ground they never replied, despit their telling me that it would cost them nothing as they would sell bricks from the pedestal to fans who would have their names put on. I think also it could be installed in Northern Ireland. He is one of the longest serving Irish playersImage
What do you tink?