Former Striker On 1971 Success
With echoes of relegation and the retirement of the club's loyalist servant still fresh, Blackpool's historic Anglo-Italian Cup triumph over Bologna was just the tonic in Pool's hour of need 44 years ago.
The Seasiders had endured a tough domestic season before waving goodbye to Jimmy Armfield, but gave themselves renewed pride in the badge after lifting silverware on foreign soil for the first time.
Having manoeuvred their way through four matches to top the English group, which featured the likes of Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace, it was left for Mickey Burns to steal the headlines with an extra time winner on Italian soil.
Signed from Skelmersdale United two years earlier, Burns struck a 99th minute winner in front of 26,000 supporters at a sun bleached Stadio Renato Dall'Ara to spark dramatic scenes from the delirious travelling supporters.
“Along with promotion, the Anglo-Italian Cup is something I look back at fondly. I scored the winner against Bologna in extra time to win it. That was a wonderful occasion for us and one I'll never forget,” Burns explained.
“That was on the back of saying farewell to Jimmy Armfield. Jim was terrific when I was there, a real gentleman. He helped me out a lot during those early days, I was fortunate to have him playing behind me as he was the defender on my side.
“He was an exceptional footballer and he used to give me a lot of advice, he made the transition into football much smoother for me and I can't thank him enough for that.”
Undoubtedly the pinnacle moment of five years spent at Bloomfield Road, but Burns' decision to step up the football pyramid had been vindicated instantly, as the striker helped sink his hometown club en route to promotion from Division Two in 1970.
“When I signed we were in the old Second Division, but we soon got up into the First Division. I remember beating Preston 3-0 at their place to seal promotion in my first season. It was a memorable day.
"I didn't turn professional until I was 21 because I was at Manchester University studying education. Of course I still played so people kept tabs on me, and I eventually chose Blackpool as they were the nearest club to where I was living.
“They had some excellent players and I just had a good feeling about the place. It was a great time for me, they were my first professional club and I'll always hold that dear,” he added.
Now 68, Burns takes a more relaxed approach to life these days, but school-runs for his grandchildren keep him active, as well as keeping an eye on the football, and in particular Blackpool FC.