Saturday, 18 September 2010

142 Willie Burns

Willie is the second from the left on the back row

Position : Centre half (also played at right back)

Played : 1989-90 to 1990-91

Appearances : 71

Goals : 2

Willie was a Scottish lad (no kidding) signed from Manchester City reserves.

One thing that linked a number of Dolan's signings that summer was a lack of pace (later in the season he'd make up for it by signing Dale's fastest ever player) and in Willie's case it was a serious handicap since he had skill to burn and could have got to the top of the game otherwise.

As it was, Willie's best position was as sweeper in a five man defence and he became very popular for his skill and robust tackling. He scored a brilliant goal against Bolton in the League Cup ; it was just a shame we were 5-0 down at the time. In his second season different formations were tried out and he looked more vulnerable so it wasn't a great surprise when Dave Sutton decided to release him.

Willie moved north to East Fife and found his level there making 121 appearances over four years and scoring 9 goals. Sadly his career was cut short by serious injury and after a brief four game comeback with Cowdenbeath in 1997 he was forced to retire.

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