Turf Moor is one of only 3 current Premier League grounds I have yet visited – the other two being Molineux Stadium and the new White Hart Lane stadium.
Burnley away has been one of those fixtures I seem destined to never go to.
Since their returned to the Premier League for the 2014/15, every trip up to the North West has been a Sunday kick off bar one.
From late kick offs with no trains home, to lunch time kick offs with no trains at all due to engineering works, it is a game I have always struggled with.
Today is no different with it being a 4 hour train journey changing at Preston.
I did attempt to once back in 2015 – the only time we have played them away on a Saturday.
For whatever reason we decided to shun the train and hire a mini bus to the game. I can not remember why; I do not think it was due to trains. It would be the first and last time we got a mini bus to a game.
There were 8 of us, plus the driver. We met in Walthamstow at whatever time, with bags of beer, brandy and tunes ready for the 5 hour trip.
On the way to the game, the driver was telling us how he had just had the mini bus services. In tip-top condition it was. Clean, tidy. 14 seater for 9 of us. Plenty of room to spread out. And then it happened.
Just outside of Coventry, the driver pulled over.
“Sorry lads, don’t know what happened” he said “don’t worry though, I am with the AA”.
As you all should when you have broken down on the motorway, we all got of the mini bus and onto the verge. The field next to us was filled with cows and it stank.
Time went by and the driver was still on the phone to the AA. He eventually came over “sorry lads, I only have cover for 8 people, they will not come out and pick us up”. Great.
Eventually (I imagine the driver paid to upgrade his membership) the AA appeared and towed us into Coventry. It was nearly kick off time, we had been standing by the motorway for about 3 hours and we were 130+ miles from Burnley. Hope of getting to the game was long gone.
At this point we started looking for train times back to London. We had no clue how long it would take the mini bus to be repaired.
Instead of heading straight back to London, we decided to find a boozer to at least watch the game in. We wandered into the Tudor Rose.
“Alright lads, you lost” said one local as 8 annoyed Londoners walked in. We explained the situation.
Watching the game, one of my pals pointed out the name of Burnley’s stand…
Mini bus sales? Were they taking the piss?
90 minutes later, Arsenal had won 1-0, Aaron Ramsey scoring in the 12th minute. We were well on our way to getting smashed and the mini bus driver called.
“Lads, the bus is fixed, let me know when you want to go back to London”.
Quick stop for some food on the way to the bus and it was time to start the 100 mile trip back home.
Driver dropped us off at O’Neills in Kings Cross where we continued drinking until we could drink no more.
In our attempt to get to Burnley we had not even made it half way. But it was still a top away day.
Arsenal have never lost at Burnley in the Premier League – 5 games and counting. I am not making the trip today. Hopefully my run of not going Burnley and Arsenal continues.