• neilhardy1

'He's, here, he's there' he's every ******* where.

The famous chant from the mid 70s when Micky Burns graced the black and white striped shirts of Newcastle United.

Michael Edward Burns was born on the 21/12/1946 in Preston. He started his football at Skelmersdale United in the Cheshire league from 1965 to 1969, while he was studying at Manchester University. His dad wouldn't let him go into football until he got his qualifications from university. Micky was studying to be a teacher, a scout approached him and told him a few clubs were interested in him. Preston, Blackpool and Liverpool were a few of the clubs mentioned. Micky decided on Blackpool as it wouldn't be far to travel. In 1969, he signed for Blackpool.


From 1969 to 1974 he played 179 times for Blackpool, and scored 53 goals for the Tangerines. He scored on his league debut against Portsmouth in a 2-1 victory, and played his part in getting Blackpool promoted.


In the 1971 season Blackpool took part in the Anglo Italian Cup and Micky scored the winner in extra time against Bologna, he was quoted as saying "That was a wonderful occasion for us and one I'll never forget." Bob Stokoe was the manager at Blackpool at the time another famous Northern name. The following season Blackpool made great progress again in the Anglo Italian Cup, beating Sampdoria along the way and Micky scoring 4 goals against Vicenza. They played Roma in the final at the Olympic stadium in Rome in front of 75,000 fans, Roma ran out 3-1 winners.

Bob Stokoe left in 1972 and Micky remained with Blackpool until 1974 when he became unpopular with a section of the fans, who didn't like his style of play, they regarded it as too individualist. This shocks me greatly as the Micky Burns I saw, I loved it when he had the ball and kept the ball for himself. For me that was his style of play he could read the game brilliantly always a few moves ahead of play and looking for that attacking role.


In the summer of 1974 he asked for a transfer and in came Newcastle United and paid £170,000 for his services. Micky is only 5ft7 and Joe Harvey the Newcastle boss used Micky on the right wing. When Gordon Lee took over as manager and he sold the crowd favourite SuperMac to Arsenal for £333,333 he played Micky as a forward.


In his first match at St James' Park he scored a stunning goal against Middlesbrough in the world-famous Texaco Cup. He picked the ball up on the halfway line and did a solo run to find the net. He played his best football for Newcastle under Gordon Lee and the matches I got to see him play in, he definitely entertained the crowd, a grafter on the pitch in my opinion, he gave 100% every time but through a 10-year-olds eyes they couldn't do much wrong.

Micky played 189 times for Newcastle scoring 51 times, he was top goalscorer for the club in seasons 1977 and 1978. He also played in the League Cup Final in 1976 and played in the UEFA Cup in 1977/78 season. After a disastrous season under Richard Dinnis, who Micky and a few other players had publicly demanded got the job, soon left Newcastle and went to Cardiff for £70,000.


I need to put on record that I honestly thought Richard Dinnis was the worst manager Newcastle United have ever had in the history of the club. That was until this fraudulent, incompetent, clueless, spineless "I'll blame anyone but myself" narcissist of a manager called, Mr Steve Bruce appeared. He wins that award hands down now. Micky went to Cardiff as a player/coach played 6 times but never settled and the following season went back up North to Middlesbrough.


My future brother-in-law took me to the odd Boro game and I was one of the lucky ones to be in attendance for a game against Chelsea in 1978. Micky Burns was the star of the show as Boro stuck seven goals past the Blues.


The former Newcastle United forward had returned to the North East with Boro a matter of months earlier, having turned out briefly for Cardiff City in between, and scored at Old Trafford on his debut.


John Neal's side were feeling the heat heading into this December match-up, with four defeats from five - but the Blues had the problems of their own, with their newly appointed manager Danny Blanchflower not even having chance to meet his players before the team departed for Teesside. It was Boro who would profit, thanks to a four-goal haul from mercurial 31-year-old Burns.


I was 11 at the time and he was unstoppable he must have covered every blade of grass on the pitch. His movement off the ball was outstanding his vision of the game was on another level, I was one of the lucky ones to see Micky probably play one of the best games of football ever.

He played 61 times for Boro and scored 24 goals between 1978 and 1981. After retirement from playing Micky joined Boro's coaching staff. He later went on to become the PFA's education officer and he held that post till 2003. Micky was a cracking player he loved his time at Newcastle it's just a shame we didn't keep hold of him longer.


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