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02/03: Reports:

Nationwide Division One, 05/04/03, 3.00pm
Why I hate Burnley away
By David Hart

Living in the north east, when the Golden Boys come to town it is an occasion not to be missed, so when the Academy Under 17 side was drawn away to Newcastle United last Saturday, my son Josh and I felt we had to be there instead've guessed it...traipsing down to Burnley.

The away support, excluding two parents and the coach driver, was three. A little different to the eighteen thousand at Villa Park, but at least we wore our colours (and Josh his joker's hat).

Our Under 17s were hammered 4-0, had a player (Jimmy Gilligan's son, Ryan) taken by ambulance to hospital with a suspected spinal injury, another one sent off ( Leon Fisher, remember where you first heard his name - moody but exceptionally talented midfielder)...and then, driving home, my brand new, three day old car was hit by a flying rock from a lorry causing hundreds of pounds' worth of damage.

With all that happening, it was absolutely inevitable that we'd beat the Clarets because I was not there for the first time in many, many matches against them. Am I happy? Of course, I'm happy...but no, I WASN'T THERE!