Former Claret Bill Holden passes away

26 January 2011 03:22
I'd just boarded the coach outside Fratton Park after last night's 2-1 win against Portsmouth to be told that Bill Holden, Burnley centre-forward of the 1950s, had passed away. The name of Bill Holden was always one familiar to me although his football at Burnley was some years before I was taking my first steps on the ground. He was one of those players of the 50s who helped progress Burnley from promotion team in 1947 to Champions in 1960, one of those players whose names are all to easily forgotten.He was a particular favourite of my dad's from that era and with some just reason. He was my dad's type of player, strong and hard working and a good goalscorer. He scored 79 goals for us in 199 appearances in the seasons 1950/51 to 1955/56 before being transferred to Sunderland and then going on to play for Stockport, Bury and Halifax.The 1952/53 season proved to be his most productive for Burnley with 24 goals, including 22 in the league, but by the 1955/56 season he'd found games hard to come by because of the introduction of new signing Peter McKay, and that led to his move to Sunderland for a £12,000 fee.I've had involvement with Bill twice in the last five years. Firstly, just under five years ago, I was contacted by someone who had got to know him and wanted some information on him as a player. It was then I was sent the photograph included with this article.More recently, last year, I was able to put him in touch with his Canadian based niece, his brother's daughter.Bill was in a nursing home in Morecambe and had been ill for some time before his sad passing yesterday when he died peacefully. My thoughts are very much with his family and friends at this sad time.