Francis Burns Profile
Francis Burns, born Glenboig, Scotland, October 17, 1948. Hailing from North Lanarkshire, Francis Burns joined Manchester United straight from school in 1965 and signed professional terms the following year. A reliable defender, he made his competitive debut in a 3-1 Division One victory over West Ham United at Upton Park on the 2nd of September 1967.
Francis Burns managed to establish himself in the Manchester United first team the very next campaign, but unfortunately his soccer career was to be hampered by a series of cartilage injuries in the time to come. In the summer of 1972, the slightly built defender was bluntly told by Manchester United manager Frank O’Farrell that he had to seek his fortunes elsewhere as he had no future at Old Trafford. After having played a total of 156 first class games for United, the thoughtful full back was signed by fellow First Division team Southampton for a fee of £50,000 at the beginning of the 1972-73 season, but after only six weeks at The Dell, the injury prone player went down with another bout of cartilage trouble. Failing to settle down at Southampton, he made just over 20 Football League outings for the South Coast side before he returned to Northern England to join Second Division team Preston North End at the start of the 1973-74 campaign. At Deepdale, former Manchester United and England star Bobby Charlton had taken over the once proud club and both David Sadler and Nobby Stiles were on the books. After several good years with The Lillywhites, the quietly spoken Burns moved on to League of Ireland club Shamrock Rovers where he finished off his active playing days at the end of the 1981-82 season. At the age of 38, he emigrated to Perth in Western Australia where he founded an industrial cleaning company as well as working for a local radio station. Francis Burns Playing Career: Manchester United, Southampton, Preston North End, Shamrock Rovers. Playing Honours: UEFA European Cup 1968.
Francis Burns Quickfacts
Francis Burns played in six of Manchester United’s European Cup matches in the 1967-68 campaign, but the Scot lost his place in the final to Republic of Ireland international defender Shay Brennan.