Francis Burns (footballer)

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Francis Burns
Personal information
Full name Francis Burns
Date of birth (1948-10-17) 17 October 1948 (age 68)
Place of birth Glenboig, Scotland
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Left back
Youth career
1964–1965 Manchester United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965–1972 Manchester United 121 (6)
1972–1973 Southampton 21 (0)
1973–1981 Preston North End 273 (9)
1981–1982 Shamrock Rovers 16 (0)
Total 431 (15)
National team
1969 Scotland 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Francis Burns (born 17 October 1948 in Glenboig, North Lanarkshire) is a Scottish former footballer.

Playing career[edit]

Manchester United[edit]

Burns was a talented left-back and captained Scotland Schoolboys and won Scottish Youth international honours. He joined Manchester United in 1965 and made his first team debut in September 1967. There, he made 121 league appearances, scoring 6 goals and won one Scotland cap on 5 November 1969, against Austria. This was the only full international cap he ever gained.

He played in six of the matches in Manchester United's run to the 1968 European Cup final, although he lost his place in the final to Shay Brennan. During his time at Old Trafford he underwent three cartilage operations.


Burns was signed by Ted Bates for £50,000 for Southampton in 1972. Unfortunately, his injury jinx continued and he required a further cartilage operation as well as suffering a serious thigh injury. He was unable to displace Joe Kirkup as the first-choice left-back and towards the end of the season he lost his place to up and coming youngster Steve Mills. He made 21 league appearances for the Saints, before moving back to Lancashire.[1][2]

Preston North End[edit]

He became former United teammate Bobby Charlton's first signing as manager of Preston North End in 1973, making his debut for the Deepdale club against Aston Villa on 25 August 1973 and ended his first season being named as the club's Player of the Year. He made a total of 314 appearances (including 2 as substitute) and scored 9 league goals for Preston.

Shamrock Rovers[edit]

He moved to Shamrock Rovers in October 1981 making his debut on the 11th at Glenmalure Park. In total he made 20 appearances which included a League Cup Final loss on New Year's Eve. His experience and motivational qualities were a big help to that young Hoops side.

After football[edit]

In February 1987, he emigrated to Perth, Western Australia where he set up an industrial cleaning business as well as coaching in local football.


  1. ^ Duncan Holley & Gary Chalk (1992). The Alphabet of the Saints. ACL & Polar Publishing. pp. 54–55. ISBN 0-9514862-3-3. 
  2. ^ Duncan Holley & Gary Chalk (2003). In That Number - A post-war chronicle of Southampton FC. Hagiology Publishing. pp. 489–490. ISBN 0-9534474-3-X. 

External links[edit]