Simon Stacpoole: Burnley fans make their way towards the ground.
Simon Stacpoole: Turf Moor, home of Burnley, seen between rows of houses.
Simon Stacpoole:The Wellington Public House on the way to Turf Moor.
Simon Stacpoole: A Burnley newsagent called Claret And Blue News.
Simon Stacpoole: Burnley mascot Bertie Bee acknowledges the crowd.
Once again, Premier League football will grace this wonderfully grounded Lancastrian outpost of the beautiful game, and for those seeking a topflight underdog to get behind this season there is no club more suited to that niche.
Everything about Burnley’s presence in the highest tier of English football feels enjoyably grounded somehow.
Simon Stacpoole: A Burnley fan smokes a cigarette before the match.
Simon Stacpoole: Burnley fans enjoy a beer together in the Miners’ Club before the match.
Simon Stacpoole: Burnley fans gather in the Miners’ Club before the match.
Simon Stacpoole: A man poses with his family and teddy bear inside his home in Burnley.
Simon Stacpoole: A 3 and a half litre bottle of Benedictine, 1 of only 2 in the world, behind the bar at the Miners Club in Burnley.
Simon Stacpoole: A telvision cameraman films from a rooftop with houses and the Lancashire countryside in the background.
Sean Dyche’s voice sounds like a bag of gravel being poured, the very name of their home stadium—Turf Moor—evokes earthiness, while there’s barely a syllable wasted amongst the names listed in their squad. Every possible team sheet combination reads like some dense thud of blunt Anglo-Saxon or another related Northern European tongue.
Gerry Cranham: The Burnley team run out on to the Turf Moor pitch to face Man Utd in 1967.
Gerry Cranham: Fan walk down a Burnley street to the stadium at Turf Moor.
Gerry Cranham: The groundsman prepares the pitch at Turf Moor.
Gerry Cranham: Burnley goalkeeper Harry Thomson removes a roll of paper from his muddy goalmouth, thrown by the fans to celebrate a goal for Spurs in 1967.
Gerry Cranham: Two Burnley fans walk through the back streets of Burnley as they carry balloons to the match at Turf Moor.
Offside: Spurs 4 Burn 4 – action from the match showing John White of Spurs shooting at goal, but narrowly wide as goalkeeper Adam Blacklaw and defender Brian Miller of Burnley look on.
There’s a little in the way of superfluous French-Latinate flair, aristocratic tones or anything that could possibly sound alien to some imagined, stereotypical hinterland of cold and wet hard-graft.
Simon Stacpoole: Burnley manger Sean Dyche.
Simon Stacpoole: An abandoned factory in Burnley.
Simon Stacpoole: Derelict housing in Burnley.
Simon Stacpoole: A general view of Turf Moor, home of Burnley Football Club.
Yet their football isn’t dull or basic. In Danny Ings they have an exciting and talented striker able to create and finish off chances on his own accord while midfielder Scott Arfield has already got a goal in the Premier League. While Chelsea may have looked like they were going to runway with the game in their 3-1 win on the opening weekend at Turf Moor, but the Scot was able to snatch a consolation strike to get his team off the mark.
They will be a vivid and likeable side this season who could well surprise teams unable to boast the quality and Jose Mourinho-inspired focus of the Blues.
Offside is the UK’s leading independent sports photography agency, home to an extensive collection of classic First Division and Premier League pictures as well as other images from across the world of sport. Explore Offside’s unique library at www.welloffside.com.