Dan Friel

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Dan Friel
Personal information
Full name Daniel Friel
Date of birth 1860
Place of birth Bonhill, Scotland
Date of death 1911 (aged 50–51)
Playing position Centre half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Vale of Leven ? (?)
1883 Accrington (–)
1883–1889 Burnley 27 (1)
Nelson ? (?)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Daniel Friel (1860 – 1911)[1] was a Scottish professional footballer who played as a centre half. He started his career in his native Scotland with Vale of Leven before moving to England to join Accrington in 1883. Later that year, Friel was signed by nearby Burnley and he made his debut for the club in the friendly match against Witton on 10 November 1883. However, the game was abandoned at half-time after the visitors refused to play in the heavy rain despite being a goal ahead.[2] Friel scored his first goals for Burnley in the 5–0 win against Eagley two weeks later. Over the following seasons, he became an integral member of the Burnley team and was part of the side that won the Hospital Cup in 1884 and 1886. In the 1886 final, he netted the second goal in a 2–0 win over local rivals Padiham.[3]

Friel scored the only hat-trick of his Burnley career on 29 November 1885 as Derby Midland were beaten 8–0 at Turf Moor. In May 1886, he was selected to represent a Burnley District select team in a match against Padiham to raise funds for the local hospital.[3] Burnley were one of the founding members of the Football League in 1888 and Friel remained one of the club's first-choice players as competitive football commenced. He played at centre-half in Burnley's first league match, a 2–5 defeat away at Preston North End. Friel appeared in all 24 competitive matches during the 1888–89 season, the only Burnley player to do so. In the last game of the campaign, a 0–1 loss to Derby County, he was forced to play at outside-left in place of the unavailable Jack Yates.[4]

On 5 October 1889, Friel scored his first Football League goal in the 2–6 home defeat to Aston Villa. The following month he announced that he was to leave Burnley, having played 27 league matches and scored one goal.[5] In total, Friel had made more than 300 appearances for the club, many of them as team captain.[6] After leaving Burnley, he returned to non-League football with Nelson.[7]


  1. ^ "Friel, D (Dannie)", English National Football Archive 
  2. ^ Simpson, Ray (2007). The Clarets Chronicles: The Definitive History of Burnley Football Club. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-9557468-0-2. 
  3. ^ a b Simpson (2007), p. 24
  4. ^ Simpson (2007), p. 33
  5. ^ Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888–1939. p. 95. ISBN 1-899468-67-6. 
  6. ^ Simpson (2007), p. 34
  7. ^ Simpson (2007), p. 486