Appetites whetted for Sky’s lunchtime dish

Mike Conroy. Much-missed Tod Claret Selwyn used to say  'Conroy! Onion bag!'  as the striker's impressive goal tally mounted in 91-92!
Mike Conroy. Much-missed Tod Claret Selwyn used to say 'Conroy! Onion bag!' as the striker's impressive goal tally mounted in 91-92!

Derby day dawns on Saturday in a match which has once again become a regular fixture in Burnley’s calendar.

As Burnley and Blackburn Rovers spent most of the 1980s and 1990s at opposite ends of the divisions, it became virtually extinct as a league fixture.

Since it has resumed - and throw in an FA Cup tie along the way - it is only last season that Burnley have got level pegging with their rivals.

Fortunately I’m long in the tooth and can remember a number of Burnley successes against Rovers in the latter part of the 70s, as since then we’ve had to cling on to Mike Conroy’s Lancashire Cup tie winner in 1991 as our moment of joy.

There was plenty of joy in the two league clashes last year, if not in the results.

Burnley were the better side in both games as Blackburn adjusted to life in the Championship, but only took a point from each game.

The lateness, and arguably offsideness, of Rovers talisman (against Clarets, any way) David Dunn’s goal, which snatched the cup of victory from our lips, left a nasty taste.

It isn’t as easy to call this time.

Blackburn have finally achieved some lift-off after a stuttering start while the Clarets, minus Charlie Austin and with no brass to their name, have started very well depsite squad limitations.

Both will have come out of the international break in buoyant mood, so the scene’s set for Sky’s televising of the East Lancs derby on Saturday lunchtime.

Both clubs have made a plea for calm, and although East Lancs police aren’t happy at the match being played on a Saturday, the convoy system to bus in the away supporters at each game is still in place.

However, the atmosphere will never be calm.

The motorway journey between the two grounds amply demonstrates the heated atmosphere.

A friendly wave at one bridge, and a most unfriendly one at the next.