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Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: an ode to one of the Premier League’s most devastating marksmen


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2 hours ago, Strider6003 said:

For me JFH and Eidur were the most exciting strike force in the league for a time.

JFH seemed to be able to get great power and accuracy into his shots and Eidur was clever enough to find him while being able to score a variety of goals himself.  

For me Eidur was the better footballer and JFH the better finisher.


Yeah would agree with that comment

And as good a strike partnership as I've seen for us .

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  • 3 months later...


Remember when... Jimmy's perfect treble stylishly sunk Spurs

In March 2002, just three days after Chelsea had thrashed Tottenham 4-0 at White Hart Lane in an FA Cup quarter-final, a heavyweight rematch took place in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge...

Leading the larruping at the Lane had been goalscorers William Gallas, Eidur Gudjohnsen (with two), and Graeme Le Saux, who was also sent off for a second yellow card after tangling with Mauricio Taricco.

That success had made it seven Blues victories in eight matches against the north Londoners, but could Claudio Ranieri’s men make it eight wins out of nine at the Bridge?

Well, yes, as the BBC triumphantly reported: ‘Chelsea handed Tottenham their fourth defeat in five meetings and their second 4-0 trouncing in four days courtesy of a five-star display from striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.’

With Marcel Desailly illustrating perfectly why he was nicknamed ‘the Rock’ the visitors were subdued and the Blues able to create waves of attacks.

In contrast, Tottenham’s wary centre-back Dean Richards kept allowing Hasselbaink space, leading to a stinging 25-yarder from the no.9’s right boot that opened the scoring (celebrated top). The defender was summarily replaced at half-time.

Whatever Glenn Hoddle’s strategy was went back down the tunnel with Taricco after an hour when the Argentinean was sent off for what looked like a reprisal attack on Le Saux. (Three other Spurs players would be booked for fouls on Hasselbaink.)

A few minutes later Chelsea’s centre-forward doubled his tally with a rare header from Jesper Grønkjær’s inviting cross, and he completed the perfect treble in stunning fashion, curling a left-footed shot into the net from the right.

‘Each of his three goals was

Just before the final whistle summer signing Frank Lampard stole in at close range for the fifth of his five league goals that season, the BBC amusingly describing the final scoreline as ‘customary’ for this fixture.:biggrin:

Between them, Gudjohnsen and Hasselbaink would go on to net 52 goals in all competitions that season – nine of them against the Lilywhites

magnificent,’ wrote John Ley in the Daily Telegraph, ‘ripping apart what was left of Tottenham's flagging resist

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Didn't need to press with Wise/DiMatteo, Poyet,/Stanic  in midfield and Babayaro/LaSaux and Melchiot/Ferrer at fullback.


4-4 f**kin 2 


Football has moved on but that doesn't diminish the quality that JFH brought to Chelsea.

And he just loved to score against Sp*rs





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  • 3 months later...


Becoming a Blue - 20 years on.

Two decades on from him joining Chelsea, we catch up with our much-loved former marksman for a two-part interview, reminiscing about the days when he fired in the goals from everywhere while wearing our shirt…

‘At the end of the season they will look at the goals I have scored and from that they will say you have done well or you have done badly.’ – Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in October 2000, on his way to the Premier League Golden Boot, 26 goals in all competitions in his first season and 87 in 177 Chelsea games overall.

It was a transfer completed 20 years ago this month and it was a transfer with which Chelsea equalled the British record fee paid.

It was news that would barely have raised an eyebrow a few years later but this was Chelsea before Roman Abramovich’s ownership. That the club was matching the £15 million fee paid by Newcastle for Alan Shearer four summers earlier meant one thing – we were hoping for guaranteed goals.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink had been away from England for one season. Prior to leaving for Spain he had been the Premier League Golden Boot winner at Leeds and netted 42 goals in 87 games in his two years there, including two to defeat Chelsea on a rainy night in Yorkshire.

At Atletico Madrid his 24 La Liga goals were half of all those scored by his side in that competition and he also hit the target in the Spanish cup final, but he could not stay. Atletico had been relegated.

With his ever-increasing reputation for no-nonsense hitting the back of the net as soon as a sniff of a chance was there, his powerful strike a natural gift, surely Hasselbaink was that source of guaranteed goals, and so he flew to London for secret talks and a medical. Chelsea agreed to match Atletico’s asking price and an agreement was reached to complete the deal after Euro 2000, jointly hosted by his home nation.

But then he was surprisingly left out of the Dutch squad by Frank Rijkaard, despite having outscored the chosen Patrick Kluivert and Roy Makaay during the Spanish season.

So suddenly it was back to London and a five-year deal could be done, Chelsea beating interest in the player from Real Madrid and Valencia, and a bigger offer from a club in Scotland.

It doesn’t feel like 20 years ago, it feels like yesterday,’ Hasselbaink exclaims as he begins to tell the official Chelsea website this week why he chose to come to Stamford Bridge. ‘By hearing it was 20 years ago I feel old!

‘I’d always had a soft spot for Chelsea. Ruud Gullit had been there, Glenn Hoddle before.

‘They were on their way up and they were trying to play a different brand of football. When I was at Leeds and it was certain I was going to leave Leeds, Chelsea showed interest but Leeds didn’t want to sell to an English club so it didn’t happen. At that time I would have wanted to stay in England so to have that second chance to be able to come to Chelsea was magnificent for me.

‘There were talks with Real Madrid but they did not really make an offer straightaway. We were talking, they said that they were going to make an offer, Chelsea was there and they made that offer. I was in a position to say to Chelsea no, I am going to wait for Real Madrid’s offer to come in but I did not want to lose the opportunity to come to Chelsea and the English game was suited better to me as well.

‘If Real Madrid and Chelsea made an offer at the same time then I had a big decision to make, but luckily the decision was made a lot easier.’


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More than the pressure of carrying the joint-record price tag, Hasselbaink, a naturally confident character, explains that any pressure he did feel was more due to coming back to England where he had a name and a reputation.

His relationship with Leeds had broken down towards the end of his time there and he was unhappy with how the manner of his departure and the reasons for it were portrayed. In previous interviews on the subject he has stated he felt forced to hand in a transfer request so the Leeds fans could be told he wanted to go.

‘Because of how I left Leeds and the whole hoo-hah and the perception that people had of me when I left Leeds and all those lies,’ he says now, ‘for me to come back to England there was more pressure on me to straightaway hit the ground running, because I knew that if I had not hit it running then all that Leeds stuff would come back.

‘That was more the pressure of it, not the 15 million. At the end of the day that was great negotiation by Atletico Madrid and Chelsea was willing to pay that.

‘That was just how the market was and if you look at the prices now, certain players can handle it and certain players can’t. It is just one of those things and if you want to become a top player, or you want to hit the top and stay there then those figures are going to follow you. If you can’t handle it then you are not destined for the top.’
 What was unlikely was that he would struggle to match our previous record-signing, Chris Sutton, bought for £10 million the previous year but who left after only one season having scored just three goals.

‘Chris had a difficult time playing the way that he played,’ observes his replacement.

‘I still think that he is a very good striker but you need to play in a certain way. He couldn’t really adapt his game that much. He plays in a certain way so he needs more crosses and those kind of things, and Chelsea was more a team that wanted to keep the ball as long as possible and as long as possible on the floor, so in a way he was struggling a little with that, and in another way the team did not really utilise all his strengths.

‘Timing is everything, isn’t it? It is the same when you are a player and it is the same when you are a manager. It is timing when you come into a club.

‘Chelsea were gagging for a no.9 that was going to score between 15 and 25 goals yearly and they had not had one for a few years, so it is all timing and that is why when I came in and it all worked, and especially the first year, winning the Golden Boot, it made the fans even more appreciative of me.’

In fact we had not had a forward hit 20 goals in a season since 1990 and as he had hoped, Hasselbaink did hit the ground running at Chelsea – scoring his first goal in the first half of his first game – the 2000 Charity Shield – and he followed that up with his first in the league a week later, a penalty against West Ham at Stamford Bridge. Both games were won.

‘To score in the Charity Shield was great, that was magnificent, especially playing up against [Man United defender] Jaap Stam who went to the Euros and I didn’t, and he is Dutch and all that kind of stuff, so yes, it was great.

‘When I signed, Frank Leboeuf was the penalty taker and he was going to take that penalty against West Ham but if you have a look at the footage, Dennis Wise as the captain took the ball and he gave it to me.

‘He wanted me to kick off my season straight away because he had the feeling it is all nice and well Frank Leboeuf [a central defender] scoring a goal, scoring a penalty, but if you as a striker have your momentum and you start scoring and feeling good, we have a better chance of doing well than if Frank Leboeuf scores three, four or five penalties a year.

That is what Dennis said afterwards. On the pitch itself he did not say that. He gave the ball to me and he said a short sentence with a lot of swearing in it, and the rest is history!’

Indeed it is, with Hasselbaink continuing to score regularly during 2000/01 on the way to the Premier League Golden Boot, including an absolute screamer at Old Trafford in the September, but by then the manager who had signed him, Gianluca Vialli, had been sacked and replaced by Claudio Ranieri, the manager who had brought him to Atletico Madrid just over a year earlier.

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Part 2 of interview on official site.


On loving life at Chelsea

In part two of our exclusive interview with our former star striker we move on to Claudio Ranieri, Eidur Gudjohnsen and not wanting to leave…

Having become Chelsea’s then-most-expensive player 20 years ago this month, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink quickly began to pay off the fee.

He spoke in part one of this interview about equalling the British record transfer fee and scoring in his first two Chelsea games.

He continued to quickly win the hearts of Blues fans with strikes against big rivals Arsenal, Man United, Liverpool and Tottenham in the first three months. He also recorded the only four-goal haul of his career in a match against Coventry at Stamford Bridge.

There were some typically outstanding strikes among those listed, not least when he thrashed in a ball he chested down on the edge of the area at Old Trafford, a goal that also marked the start of the Claudio Ranieri era at Chelsea.
The Chelsea board had parted company with Gianluca Vialli six games into the 2000/01 season and went against their recent trend by appointing an experienced manager as replacement, a manager fresh to England too.

Ranieri may have been a new name to many here but not to Hasselbaink. They had been together at Atletico Madrid the season before with the player remaining at a then turbulent club for just one season and the manager slightly less.

‘I think it was a kind of comfort for him [Ranieri] when he arrived at Chelsea, that he at least had somebody that he knew and he had already coached and he could ask about things,’ says Hasselbaink, thinking back to the autumn of 2000.

‘Claudio is Claudio, he was always going to be a bit different and do things his way. He had to adapt a lot in England, and in the beginning it was strange because I knew what was coming and that you did not do these kind of things in England.

‘But he wanted to bring things in. It was not easy in the beginning culture-wise. For instance we stopped having Wednesdays off when we did not have a midweek game. That did not go down well at all because the players they were not used to that.

‘They were not used to training two times per day and we had really long sessions.

It has become the normal now not to have a day off in the middle of the week but things he was changing were unknown then and it is difficult to change it that radically straightaway. It just was not possible. He had to do it step by step, even though he might have been right with no days off. The boys were just not used to it and so he had to do it a different way to get there.’

While some of the squad might have struggled with the new regime at first, Hasselbaink’s performances on the pitch indicated he was not one of them. From the start of December until the end of the 2000/01 season he scored in 13 of the 22 games he played, including five of the team’s final six goals as we clinched a place in Europe on the final day.

After that Premiership Golden Boot season, he scored three goals more in all competitions (29 in total) in his second Chelsea year but it had steadily become clear there was more to Jimmy’s game than just rifling the ball into the net. Though no one would claim he was a complete player, there was at times finesse, variety and intelligence about how he found the target and he was a provider of assists, when playing with Gianfranco Zola early on and then when his famous partnership with Eidur Gudjohnsen flourished in season two.

‘I think I am not really well-praised for it but I always have given assists and even with Gianfranco, we tried to complement each other,’ Hasselbaink observes.

‘We all respect Gianfranco and what he stood for and how he played, and I had to play differently with Gianfranco than I did with Eidur Gudjohnsen and with Tore Andre Flo, or with Carlton Cole or whoever. But you learn and you look at how you want to complement each other because if you work together then you get more chance of disrupting the opposition’s back line.

‘The partnership with Eidur was not worked on but it was very, very special, and it was also very pleasant. It was very easy and it just clicked, the understanding was just there and it was like a tandem, and it just fitted very well.’

A familiar scene

As the two of them played each other in to score time and time again, they were the most prolific Chelsea strike partnership since Peter Osgood and Ian Hutchinson three decades earlier, and arguably the last genuine, enduring pairing we have had upfront as football tactics and formations have changed.

‘We were playing a kind of 4-4-2 but it was more like a 4-4-1-1 with Eidur connecting with the midfield. At times he was in midfield and at times when he was tired I dropped into midfield just to help the midfielders out, but then as soon as we could attack we could find each other.

‘You don’t see those partnerships anymore, and also the number nines, how we knew them back in the day. It looks like they are going out of fashion now, so it is a different way of playing at the moment.’

So what was the JFH secret to finding the net so regularly?

‘You have to have instincts, your feeling has to be right, but the majority of goals, it depends on what kind of situation you are in. If the majority of the time you keep it low and you can hit the ball quite firm and close to the goalkeeper, it is very hard for the goalkeeper to stop it. Especially when the pitches are wet as well, it is even harder for them.’
The 2001/02 season, so rich in goals for Hasselbaink, could have yielded major silverware too with Chelsea reaching the FA Cup final where we faced Arsenal. However there was a race to be fit from a calf injury for our no.9 and as the game progressed there was the sad sight of him increasingly limping across the Cardiff turf until an inevitable substitution by Zola during the second half.

‘I should never have played,’ he admits. ‘That was my stubbornness. Ranieri asked me if I was fit enough to play and I said yes but I should not have. I could not run properly. But the FA Cup final, as a youngster you always want to play that, and that is where the emotions came in.

‘There was a blocked vein and I needed an operation straightaway afterwards. I could have lost my leg.’

What developed into a serious injury and the time it took to recover from the surgery undoubtedly took its toll on Hasselbaink’s third season, although he still scored 15 goals.

It was however the one of his four seasons when he was not Chelsea topscorer but he regained that crown the next year with 17 goals, despite the recruitment of two big-money forwards from Serie A - Hernan Crespo and Adrian Mutu.

Although Jimmy may primarily be thought of as a striker from the era before Roman Abramovich bought the club, he was here for 2003/04 and indeed scored the winner in the first game under the new ownership, at Anfield having come on at half-time.

Despite the increased competition for places, he considers that year is up there with his first two at Chelsea as the best.

‘My last season was pretty good, because of all the trouble that came with it. I never really got a momentum, I really had to work hard at getting my time on the pitch, because they brought Hernan Crespo and Adrian Mutu in, and I had to really buckle down and work hard and wait my time.

‘Every time I got my time I had to make a difference and to be able to still come out as top scorer that year, and at the end when we had the important matches, he [Ranieri] came back to me and Eidur, it was something like a victory for me.’

Hasselbaink’s final flourish for Chelsea was an astonishing 15-minute hat-trick that turned one point into three against Wolves, having only come on with half-an-hour to play, followed in the next game by a winner at Tottenham, the team he scored against the most, including another famous hat-trick.

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Often seemingly an angry figure on the pitch and a highly competitive one in training, Hasselbaink was a contrasting figure away from it. Warm, charming and humorous, his charisma as well as his goals won over the Chelsea fans from the start. And then there were the sometimes idiosyncratic goal celebrations!

He was very keen to stay for the full five years of his contract but it was not to be, and it is no surprise when he returned as a Charlton player in September 2006 and scored at Stamford Bridge, it was one of the all-time great non celebrations of a goal.

‘I think it was a pity [I couldn’t stay at Chelsea],’ he says, ‘but unfortunately Jose Mourinho didn’t even speak to me, didn’t even have the conversation. They thought that I was 32 and I was finished.

‘But at the end of the day, that next season they won the league and the League Cup so he got his squad right, because they won the league after 50 years. But I would have loved have been part of it.

‘I just thought that not celebrating the goal I scored against Chelsea was the right thing to do. It was mutual respect, being that I had played four years there and they had been absolutely magnificent to me, in good times and bad times.

‘I never had a bad word said to me, even when we had matches that we lost. On the street I have never had an angry fan coming up, I have only had love so for me it was a really easy decision.’

Chelsea enjoyed having Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as our goalscorer, and he enjoyed being our goalscorer too.

‘I loved it,’ he concludes. ‘I absolutely loved it!’

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Eidur Gudjohnsen: The ‘Blond Maradona’ Days

On this day at the start of the century Eidur Gudjohnsen signed for Chelsea, and to mark the 20-year anniversary we remember his time playing for us as a deep-lying creative midfielder, and a very good one at that...

After Chelsea’s 3-1 away win at West Ham in January 2006, the media wanted to know how our then-manager Jose Mourinho planned to cope with the loss of Michael Essien to what looked like a nasty injury 12 minutes into the match. The Blues manager directed their attention to the man who had replaced him in the centre of our midfield, Eidur Gudjohnsen, declaring that he had resembled a ‘blond Maradona’ that afternoon.

It was the headline-grabbing moment of Gudjohnsen’s deep-lying creative phase for Chelsea, but by then he had been playing there for almost a year. For all that we will remember the Icelander as one of the club’s great strikers, his spell in that more withdrawn role was a fascinating departure for one of the most versatile and technically gifted players of the modern era.

Gudjohnsen’s midfield experiment began in a high-stakes game: the League Cup final, in February 2005. At half-time in Cardiff, we trailed Liverpool 1-0 and looked out of sorts. It was the first really concerning period of a season that had been largely plain sailing for us. The previous two games had ended in defeat: first to Newcastle in the FA Cup, then to Barcelona in the first leg of a Champions League last 16 tie. It finally gave the outside world the opportunity to ask questions of Chelsea – were we capable of responding to this wobble? Had our opponents worked us out?

To answer that question, we have to look at the way we were playing that season. First things first, we had switched to a staggered system, with Claude Makelele sitting deeper than the rest of the midfield, giving us an immediate numerical advantage in the middle of the pitch over teams playing the typical English 4-4-2 system of the time.

After starting with a diamond midfield, and achieving functional, if unspectacular success, Mourinho decided to move to a 4-3-3 system, which could become a 4-5-1 when we were on the back foot. That meant sacrificing a centre-forward and playing with wide attacking players, who could stretch the opposition by going wide and trying to find the lone striker with balls into the box, which was the aim when Didier Drogba played up top. Alternatively, those wide players could look to run beyond a deeper centre-forward and make the most of his clever touches and through balls, as they did when Gudjohnsen was chosen to lead the line.

The Icelander’s eventual withdrawal into midfield was the result of several combined factors. The first was the unavoidable reality that only one of he and Drogba could play up front at any given time. Then there was the fact that the third midfield berth, alongside Frank Lampard, in advance of Makelele, was up for grabs. Tiago played there most often in 2004/05, but Geremi and Alexey Smertin also had a look-in early in the season. All of them had done a job, but there was certainly room for a more artistic option.

Finally, there came a time when our opponents began to man-mark Makelele in order to stop him from picking the ball up from the back four and beginning our attacking moves. To counteract this irritation, we needed an alternative outlet in midfield who was comfortable receiving the ball facing his own goal and turning to kick-start our attacking momentum, thereby taking the onus of the now-occupied Makelele.

Moving Gudjohnsen into the midfield solved all three of those situations quite nicely, completing the tactical solution that Mourinho later explained in Gianluca Vialli and Gabriele Marcotti’s book, The Italian Job.

‘Look, if I have a triangle in midfield – Claude Makelele behind and two others just in front – I will always have an advantage against a pure 4-4-2 where the central midfielders are side by side,’ he said. ‘That’s because I will always have an extra man. It starts with Makelele, who is between the lines. If nobody comes to him he can see the whole pitch and has time. If he gets closed down it means one of the two other central midfielders is open. If they are closed down and the other team’s wingers come inside to help, it means there is space now for us on the flank, either for our own wingers or for our full-backs. There is nothing a pure 4-4-2 can do to stop things.’

Armed with this insight, let’s go back to the Millennium Stadium on 27 February 2005, where you will remember we were behind to a John Arne Riise goal in the League Cup final. Sensing the need for more creativity, more attacking impetus, Mourinho made a couple of brave substitutions. He took off the functional Jiri Jarosik, who had been making up the midfield trio with Makelele and Lampard, and replacing him with scheming forward Gudjohnsen. On 74 minutes he withdrew defender William Gallas and brought on another striker, Mateja Kezman, to partner Drogba up top, meaning we appeared to be playing with three at the back and two up front in the final stages.

It worked. Our pressure produced an equaliser – an own goal from Steven Gerrard at precisely the time he was rumoured to be on the verge of agreeing to join us at the end of the season – which took the game to extra time, where goals from Drogba and Kezman gave us a 3-2 win and our first trophy under the ownership of Roman Abramovich.

It worked quite well!’ he said of his performance. ‘It’s easy to overlook it because you don’t see my name on the scoresheet, but some of the games I’ve played without goals have been up to a very high standard, and that’s one of them. A lot of people came up to me and complimented me, not just for playing in midfield but for actually changing the game.’

Gudjohnsen had been a revelation in midfield, and he spent much of the rest of the season in there, helping to connect the defensive half of our team – the back four plus Makelele – with the attacking half – the front three plus a shuttling Lampard.

‘Me and Frankie started developing a good relationship, running off each other,’ he said in an interview in 2006. ‘I used to fill in when he went forward, and vice versa.’

He was rewarded with his first league winners’ medal to add to the League Cup success a few months earlier, shortly before we overcame the first leg deficit against Barcelona in dramatic fashion at Stamford Bridge to continue our Champions League run.

‘I enjoyed the deeper role,’ Gudjohnsen said in an interview with this website in 2017. ‘We had the perfect striker to be on his own up front which was Didier. We had Makelele, we had Frank, and me in a sort of half-advanced position. I knew Frank made a lot of runs, so I had to be careful I wasn’t too advanced. It worked well. I played in the same position against Barcelona and that worked, so it was gradually becoming my position, as in “I’m a midfielder now”.’

The following season, Gudjohnsen had yet more competition for places. Hernan Crespo and Carlton Cole returned from loan spells to make it four centre-forwards vying for one spot, while Michael Essien added a new element to the midfield alongside Makelele and Lampard. Gudjohnsen was only called upon to reprise his creative role when Essien suffered that injury at West Ham in January 2006. Yet, despite his starring role in the 3-1 win at Upton Park, capped off with the most beautifully-weighted through ball for Drogba to score the clincher, Gudjohnsen soon found another new arrival vying for his spot, as Mourinho’s former Porto player, Maniche, signed on a short-term deal.

It proved to be Gudjohnsen’s final season at Stamford Bridge and he started fewer league games than he had in any of his previous five with the club, beginning just 16 of our 38 Premier League matches as we successfully defended our title. That summer he moved to Barcelona, demonstrating not only his technical prowess, but also the esteem in which he was held within the game. In total he made 163 appearances for Chelsea between 2000 and 2006, scoring 78 goals and winning two league titles, the League Cup and two Community Shields.

'Not bad for a boy from a little island up north!' as he put it when that list was put to him upon his departure.

Perhaps that goals tally would have been slightly higher had he spent his entire time here as a forward, but then we wouldn’t have had the memories of the ‘blond Maradona’ pulling the strings and carrying the ball between the lines.

By Dominic Bliss

Long read: Hasselbaink on becoming a Blue 20 years ago

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  • 9 months later...

I noticed that he has gone back to be manager at burton fc in League one . Seems to be pulling up trees since he took over again as burton have gone from relegation fooder 

upto mid tableish safety with quite a impressive 10 match run of results to take burton away from the mire .


If he can keep burton on the same form untill end of season i might place a pony on burton getting promotion next term ,as for sure they be well out of the betting and dark horses in most eyes .

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  • 4 months later...

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