Burnley 1 Sheffield United 0

I am not sure that a football score really has a place on a church’s weblog and yesterday’s Championship play-off final at Wembley has very little to do with Didsbury Baptist Church (in Manchester). Still, I am a member of the church and I was there! So permit this Claret Baptist minister one opportunity to gloat! Sure, Sheff U should have had a penalty and I do feel sorry for their fans, but I think, on the day, Burnley were the better team. And it is 33 years since Burnley last had top-flight football!

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I was born in Burnley and have supported the club almost all my life. I was there, at Preston North End in 1973, when Burnley last won promotion to what was then called the first division and I was there yesterday when they did it again. How the game has changed since 1973! Still the two games had some things in common for me. I was at both games with the same woman (though she was only 14 years old last time round!) My dad took us to the game in 1973 and I was there with my girlfriend. We married in ’79. We took one of our (adult) sons to yesterday’s  game, he with his girl friend. So it is not only about football but also about family, life, and love. So let me celebrate Burnley’s victory and thank God for a life in which these things are possible, amen!

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