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Turf Moor to Welcome Returning Heroes

Wed 20th Oct 2010 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Burnley Football Club is to welcome home a heroic group of soldiers who have just returned from a gruelling tour of Afghanistan.

The Clarets fans, all from the 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, endured a tough seven month spell in Helmand Province, during which they lost three colleagues, including Lance Corporal Jordan Bancroft from Burnley.

Burnley FC, aided by shirt sponsors Fun88.com, came to the soldiers’ rescue during their tour by answering their request for full kits to train in the intense heat of Afghanistan.

And now the returning heroes have been invited as special VIP guests of the club to Saturday’s Championship clash Reading at Turf Moor, when they will be invited to take applause from the crowd at half time on the pitch.

Corporal Danny Fort, who first contacted the club, said: “I sent an e-mail asking for help because training in our gear was unbearable and we wanted to show off our colours!

“Some Rovers fans out here had already written to Blackburn and only got a letter from a player in return, and we always knew Burnley would be more generous.

“We were absolutely delighted when we received the kits and we owe a great debt to the club and Fun88 for their generosity.

“The kit supplied was an absolute Godsend as the heat and conditions over here are unbearable at times.

“Being able to train in something light and breathable made it much more comfortable, especially with it being our strip making us all the more proud to show our colours off with pride.”

Danny, 31, added: “It was proud to be able to wear your colours when you are serving your country in such an inhospitable part of the world.

“The tour was nearly seven months in total and we lost three lads, including Lance Corporal Jordan Bancroft from Burnley, who was a good friend.

“It was a hard slog and we are just glad to be back.”

Burnley FC Director of Commercial Affairs, Anthony Fairclough, said: “We were more than happy to help out once we received the e-mail from Danny.

“Everyone is well aware of the amazing job our soldiers are performing in Afghanistan and we should all be doing all we can to support them.

“We had no hesitation in inviting Danny and the soldiers dow to Turf Moor on their return and we are sure the crowd will want to show their appreciation on Saturday.”

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