|Full name||Liam Burns|
|Date of birth||30 October 1978|
|Place of birth||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|2005||Forest Green Rovers||3||(0)|
|1998–1999||Northern Ireland under-21||13||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
He started his career in England with Port Vale, playing over 100 games in the Football League for the club between 1997 and 2004. He then spent brief spells with Bristol Rovers, Shrewsbury Town, Kidderminster Harriers, and Forest Green Rovers, before moving to Ireland in 2005 to sign with Sligo Rovers. He helped Sligo to the League of Ireland First Division title in 2005, before moving on to Bohemians the following year. The club finished as League of Ireland Cup runner-ups in 2007, and then League of Ireland and FAI Cup champions in 2008. He switched to Dundalk in 2009. He returned to Bohemians in 2011, before joining Dundalk for a second time in January 2012.
Burns was born in Belfast, but began his career in England as a trainee with Port Vale. He made his First Division debut in 1997–98 under manager John Rudge, coming on for Gareth Griffiths at half-time in a 4–2 defeat to Sunderland at Roker Park. He played four games in 1998–99, making his first start on 6 February, in a 2–0 win over Huddersfield Town. He became a regular under new manager Brian Horton in 1999–2000, making 25 appearances in league and cup, as the "Valiants" suffered relegation into the Second Division. He was transfer listed following the club's humiliating FA Cup defeat to Canvey Island, leaving him restricted to 15 appearances in 2000–01; one of these appearances was as a goalkeeper, as on 24 March Mark Goodlad was stretchered off after suffering head injuries on 28 minutes – Burns then went in goal and managed to keep a clean sheet in a goalless draw with Wigan Athletic.
He returned to regular first team action in 2001–02, playing 39 games in league and cup, and signing a new contract in February 2002. However the arrivals of Sam Collins and Ian Brightwell pushed Burns down the pecking order, and he was limited to 19 appearances in 2002–03. He scored his only goal at Vale Park on 8 November 2003, in a 2–2 draw with Ford United in the FA Cup. He played 30 games in 2003–04, but was released by manager Martin Foyle in May 2004. In seven years with the club he played 119 league and 14 cup games.
Burns joined League Two side Bristol Rovers for their pre-season tour of the Isle of Man. He then stayed at the Memorial Stadium on a short-term deal after impressing manager Ian Atkins, however after five games he joined league rivals Shrewsbury Town on non-contract terms on 10 December 2004, choosing to join Gary Peters' side rather than staying longer with Bristol Rovers. He stayed just two weeks at Gay Meadow, before he joined Kidderminster Harriers, also of League Two, on non-contract terms. He appeared just once at Aggborough, before he was released by manager Stuart Watkiss on 5 January 2005. Two days later he joined Conference National club Forest Green Rovers on non-contract terms. He played three times for the club, before leaving The Lawn Ground for the Republic of Ireland.
Republic of Ireland
He played for Sligo Rovers, helping them to top the First Division table in 2005, and therefore win a place in the Premier Division. He was with Sean Connor's "Bit o' Red" in 2006, as they recorded a fifth-place finish.
When Connor left Sligo for Bohemians at the end of the 2006 season, Burns soon followed him to Dalymount Park and became a regular in the first eleven. A third-place finish in 2007 meant that they qualified for UEFA Intertoto Cup football. They also reached the final of the League of Ireland Cup, losing out to Derry City after Kevin McHugh's extra-time strike at the Brandywell Stadium. Burns netted his first goal for "Bohs" against his former club Sligo on 21 March 2008 in a 2–1 win. Bohemians then went on to win the league in 2008 under new manager Pat Fenlon, thereby qualifying for UEFA Champions League football. Burns played in the 2008 FAI Cup Final, as "Bohs" beat Derry on penalties in front of over 10,000 spectators at the Royal Dublin Society. During his two years with the club he played alongside Jason McGuinness and then Ken Oman. Burns' consistency was rewarded when he was voted on to the Premier Division Team for 2008, receiving 59% of the votes for the centre back position.
After rejecting a new deal with the club, Burns reunited with former boss Sean Connor at Dundalk for the 2009 season. The Oriel Park side posted a fifth-place finish in 2009, though at the end of the season two sides above them (Derry and Cork City) were demoted. Burns missed just two league games all season, and scored against former club Sligo at the Showgrounds, and against Shamrock Rovers at the Tallaght Stadium. Prior to the start of the 2010 season, Burns had been training with Shamrock with the aim of joining them, but after the signing of Dan Murray Burns was not going to be offered a contract, so he re-signed for Dundalk and was named as captain. He went on to play 27 games in league and cup, forming a defensive partnership with Garry Breen, scoring once in a home defeat to Bray Wanderers. At the end of the season, the "Lilywhites" finished sixth; Burns was offered another contract by Dundalk, but once again delayed in signing the contract to 'keep his options open'.
In February 2011, Burns returned to Dalymount Park for a second spell with Bohemians just in time for the new season. The "Gypsies" finished the season in fifth place under manager Pat Fenlon, with Burns playing in a centre-back partnership with Aidan Price.
In January 2012, Burns re-signed with Dundalk. They struggled in 2012 under Sean McCaffrey's stewardship and finished bottom of the Premier Division (Monaghan United withdrew from the competition and had their record expunged).
- "Five up for sale at Vale". BBC Sport. 4 December 2000. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
- "Port Vale 0-0 Wigan". BBC Sport. 24 March 2001. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "Horton sees bright future". BBC Sport. 26 February 2002. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "Port Vale 2-2 Ford Utd". BBC Sport. 8 November 2003. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "Foyle releases Vale trio". BBC Sport. 11 May 2004. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
- "Triallists net spot on tour". BBC Sport. 17 July 2004. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "Rovers make double signing". BBC Sport. 17 August 2004. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
- "Burns agrees move to Shrewsbury". BBC Sport. 10 December 2004. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
- "Kidderminster swoop for Sturrock". BBC Sport. 24 December 2004. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "Duo shown door by Kidderminster". BBC Sport. 5 January 2005. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "Forest Green sign defensive pair". BBC Sport. 7 January 2005. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
- Rovers swoop for Harriers' duo nonleaguedaily.com
- "eircom League of Ireland Cup Final". fai.ie. 10 October 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "FAI Ford Cup Final, RDS Dublin". fai.ie. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- McQueen, Graeme (19 January 2009). "O'Donnell & Burns reject new Bohs deals". extratime.ie. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
- Burns returns to Bohs
- Wallace, Keith (26 January 2012). "Burns will be "invaluable to us" - McCaffrey". dundalkfc.com. Retrieved 26 January 2012.