Classic Encounters: Burnley v Wolves
20 Mar 2002: Paul Gascoigne of Burnley in action during the Nationwide Division One match between Burnley and Bradford City at Turf Moor, Burnley, UK. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

Ahead of the game at Turf Moor on Monday evening, VAVEL looks back at three classic encounters between Burnley and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

  • Burnley 1-5 Wolves, 15th November 1975

Our first classic encounter was an old Division One (now the Premier League) onslaught on a very wet and muddy Turf Moor ground. The pitch was deemed playable, despite the worrying number of bogs that would go on to entrap the ball numerously during the game.

Both teams were fighting relegation when this fixture rolled around, so a valuable three points were at stake. Burnley, who were managed by Jimmy Adamson at the time, were not having the greatest of seasons and were too close to the relegation places for comfort. 

Wolves were managed by Bill McGarry in what would be his final season in charge. His side had lifted the League Cup in 1974, but with the team losing both Derek Dougan and Dave Wagstaffe the season before, they were vastly under-performing.

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The game started with a goal inside the first minute, with the Burnley defence not dealing with a low cross, which then fell to John Richards who slotted it in.

Things only got worse for Burnley with Steve Daley and Kenny Hibbott scoring two absolute screamers from outside the box.

The Clarets managed to pull one back, with Ray Hankin finding the net. But Wolves piled more misery onto Burnley by knocking in two more goals to make it 1-5, after easily dispossessing the host defenders on both occasions. 

Sadly, both teams ended up getting relegated that season. Wolves managed to come straight back up as winners, but Burnley would have to wait 33 years for their next campaign in the top flight. 

  • Burnley 2-3 Wolves, 30th March 2002

Our second classic encounter took place in the old Division One (now the Championship), with Wolves chasing automatic promotion and Burnley chasing the playoffs.

A familiar face in Paul Gascoigne had recently signed for the Clarets, hoping to aid in their promotion push. Wolves were on a run without a win in four games, so needed a win at Turf Moor to keep their ambitions alive.

Burnley, who were managed by Stan Ternent, had a goal disallowed early on after Wolves keeper Michael Oakes was fouled following a free-kick by Gascoigne, that had met the head of his teammate Gareth Taylor

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Dave Jones who was in the dugout for Wolves, saw his side take the lead controversially through Dean Sturridge. The ball was played into Sturridge by Colin Cameron to tuck the ball away.

It was nearly a case of deja-vu as Gascoigne was dispossessed by Wolves, with Cameron finding Sturridge again, only to be denied by a goal-line clearance by Dean West

Sturridge did get his second not long after though, with Shaun Newton crossing the ball in to make it 2-0. Things got even worse for Burnley with Norweigian Gunner Halle putting through Cameron, who volleyed the ball into the roof of the net.

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With Wolves 3-0 at half-time, the Clarets responded in the first minute of the second half with Ian Moore heading past Oakes. Just as Burnley were mounting a comeback, they had a player sent off. Alan Moore had kicked out at Halle after being fouled by the winger. 

Ten-men Burnley continued to battle and David Johnson found the net with five minutes to go. It was a tense end to the game, with Burnley hounding Wolves for an equalizer. However, the men from Molineux did manage to hold on in the end, taking all three points with the scoreline finishing 2-3.

  • Wolves 2-0 Burnley, 29th May 1988

Our last classic encounter took place at Wembley stadium for the Sherpa Van Trophy final (now known as the EFL trophy). Ironically the game was not a classic, but the fixture remains fondly as one that still oscillates around the fan base today. 

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Wolves had just won the old Division Four (now League 2), beginning their recovery from the brink of collapse. Burnley were also in the fourth division but had finished the season in 10th.

Graham Turner governed the team from Wolverhampton, whereas Brian Miller led the Burnley side. With 80,841 fans in attendance, the game definitely felt like an FA Cup final to the two sides.

Wolves were the first to come close from a long-range free-kick, that had the Clarets keeper Chris Pearce panicking as the ball struck the bar.

It was Wolves that broke the deadlock first from a corner. The ball was flicked on at the near post, with Steve Bull volleying the ball towards Andy Mutch, whose header was strong enough to beat Pearce, who palmed it into the net.

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Wolves came close again with a long-range effort before a Robbie Dennison free-kick was effortlessly slotted into the top corner of the Burnley goal. 

The woodwork was struck one last time, as Mutch climbed up to launch a downward header that beat everyone but the post. The final whistle was greeted by 48,000 Wolves fans, who saw their side climb the old Wembley steps to claim their prize. 

The game became a symbol of Wolves' recovery from the depths of English football, making it one of the most memorable moments in the club's history.