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Claret and Blues

Ahead of Chelsea’s Monday night fixture at home to Burnley, we look back at some of the players who have represented both clubs over the years.

While it’s not the most common of shared teams, with the two sides often at different ends of the English football ladder over the years, there have still been a few who have strutted their stuff at both Stamford Bridge and Turf Moor.

From cult heroes to star signings, with a fair few homegrown products thrown in for good measure, here’s a quick recap of a few of those to have represented Chelsea and Burnley.

Ian Britton

Thirty years ago, Britton scored the goal which retained Burnley’s Football League status, ensuring hero status above and beyond what he achieved during his time at Stamford Bridge. Coming firmly into the cult-hero category as a Blue thanks to his relentless work ethic, Britton was a key part of Eddie McCreadie’s promotion-winning side in 1977 and made just shy of 300 appearances for the club. He passed away last year after a long illness.

Gary Cahill

Long before he won every major in the club game during his time at Stamford Bridge, the current Blues centre-half took his first steps in the professional game while on loan at Burnley from first club Aston Villa. He took to the Championship like a duck to water, winning the club’s Young Player and overall Players of the Year awards.

Frank Sinclair

Jack-of-all trades defender whose love for the club and never-say-die attitude helped him to Player of the Year honours and, most famously, the winning goal in our 1998 League Cup final triumph over Middlesbrough. To the surprise of all his team-mates he played on well into his forties, including three years at Turf Moor, where he played alongside Cahill.

Tommy Lawton

The centre-forward was the top centre-forward in the country and could lay claim to being our first-ever world-class signing when he arrived from Everton. However, his stay at Stamford Bridge, though prolific, was all-too brief. Prior to that, he had honed his talents at Burnley and he scored a hat-trick against Spurs only four days after turning 17.

Peter O’Dowd

So impressive was O’Dowd during his brief stay at Turf Moor that Chelsea paid £5,250 for the centre-half, a big fee for a defender during that era. He was soon capped by England, but something was amiss; despite being hailed by some as our greatest centre-half, his attacking instincts were not to everyone’s liking and he was on the move again to join French club Valenciennes.

Jon Harley

Harley spent 10 years with the Blues after signing as an 11-year-old, although first-team action for the enthusiastic left-back was limited due to the presence of Graeme Le Saux and Celestine Babayaro. Nonetheless, he had a big role to play in our 2000 FA Cup triumph, featuring in every round up to the final. In terms of appearances, his subsequent three-year stay at Burnley was the most prolific of his career. Now works as a coach for the Blues’ Academy.

Jack Cork

The son of Alan Cork, who was part of the Wimbledon ‘Crazy Gang’ which won the FA Cup in 1988, this midfielder graduated from Chelsea’s Academy but was unable to break into the Blues’ first team. He spent two years on loan at Burnley and his highlight was scoring in a 4-2 win over Spurs, and after spells with Southampton and Swansea he returned to Turf Moor and is a big part of Sean Dyche’s side.

Damian Matthew

Had it not been for injuries, Matthew could have been set for a bright future in the game after debuting for the Blues in the late-Eighties. He made more appearances for Burnley than any other club, but he was forced to hang up his boots prematurely at the age of 29 and has since spent time coaching, most notably with Charlton Athletic.

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