John Benson passes away
I was on my way home from QPR today when I learned from the message board that our former manager John Benson, more recently at Birmingham, Wigan and Sunderland had passed away suddenly at the age of 67. Benno will not go down as the best manager in the history of Burnley Football Club, far from it. History shows he was the manager who oversaw our relegation to the fourth division in his only season in charge, 1984/85.He came to Burnley in the summer of 1983 as assistant to John Bond and took over from Bond five days before the start of the 1984/85 season, a season that was to be disastrous for our club and ensured his time at Turf Moor was brought to an end.Not the best manager, no doubt about that, but I got to know him quite well during his two years at Turf Moor and he was, without doubt, a decent man. Despite the difficulties on the pitch he was always amenable when it came to requests from supporters' organisations and he was someone you really just wanted to do well.Scottish born, he played for Manchester City, Torquay, Bournemouth, Exeter and Norwich and it was at Torquay that he began his association with Bond. He managed both Bournemouth and his first club Manchester City before moving to Burnley and some years later he managed Wigan Athletic during our promotion season of 1999/2000.He was never out of the game and worked alongside Steve Bruce at Wigan during Bruce's first spell there. Subsequently Bruce took him to Birmingham, back to Wigan and in the summer of this year Benson made his last move in football to Sunderland.My thoughts are with Benno's family and friends at this very sad time for them as they deal with their loss.
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