Fantasy Football Titan is proud to present “Till I die …”, a series of interviews with football fans of English Football League teams from this part of the world.
We will catch up with these fans to try and understand how they fell in love with their clubs. We will also try and gather the latest scoops in and around these clubs via their most ardent of fans.
In this next series, we feature Singapore-based Nigel Whittlestone who is a big fan of newly promoted Burnley Football Club. Read on to find out what he has to say about his beloved club!
British born Nigel Whittlestone has been travelling the globe for the past 20 odd years. He has spent time both in Malaysia and Greece working before setting foot in Singapore in 2010 where he has been based here since. Nigel currently teaches at an international school in Singapore.
FF Titan: Thanks for spending time with us today. We are keen to find out – how did you become a Burnley fan?
NW: Having come from that part of UK, I have supported Burnley all my life! That’s over 45 years! I remembered going to the first game to watch Burnley in 1975 where they were still one of the top teams in what was then the First Division and what is now known today as the Premier League.
FF Titan: Describe to us how the previous season went for your club.
NW: Brilliant is the only way to describe it as not only were we promoted but we went up as Champions! While I expected us to do well after the relegation of the previous season, I was only expecting us to make the play offs. The inspired signings of Andre Gray and Joey Barton made the difference. They both gave us that little bit extra. Even then at Christmas, we were quite a lot of points behind the leaders Hull who we lost 3-0 to on Boxing Day. At the time, I thought that signalled the play-offs at best for us but it proved to be a turning point as we did not lose a game after that.
FF Titan: Tell us 2-3 players who stood out and did very well for your club last season.
NW: Joey Barton and Andre Gray are the obvious ones, but the whole team played really well. Tom Heaton in goal was fantastic and really helped us to get many of the 1-0 wins we seemed to grind out in the last few weeks. Ben Mee was also great even when he had to swap from full back to centre back half way through the season. He just seemed to get better. The outstanding performances of the team led to 4 players in the squad (Barton, Gray, Heaton and Michael Keane) being named in the Championship Team of the Year.
FF Titan: Tell us a bit of Burnley’s signings this season and which areas do you think they should strengthen.
NW: The way it is going, just making a signing would be good. So far we have only made a few, Nick Pope and an Icelandic player whose name I am not even going to attempt to spell, both from Charlton Athletic. We have also managed to secure a loan signing for Jon Flangan from Liverpool. Central Midfield is the critical area as we really need to replace Barton. So far any attempts at new signings in this area have failed. However, the gaffer Sean Dyche likes to keep deals quiet so I am sure something will happen and probably without much warning!
FF Titan: Are there any supporters club for Burnley in the region?
NW: There are only 4 or 5 of us hardcore fans in Singapore so there is no supporters club at present. Burnley FC did tour Singapore in 2010 where they played against a few S League clubs as well as a Singapore Selection and hopefully, we have won some fans over then who might notice us a bit more now that we are in the Premier League. There is a Clarets in Thailand facebook group which despite its name has members spread across several South East Asian countries and you are welcomed to join the group as well if you are a Burnley fan. If there are any potential fans keen to find out more about Burnley or will like to catch a Burnley game together, please feel free to contact FF Titan who will then be able to liaise with me to make the necessary arrangements!
All pictures are reproduced with permission.
Editor’s Note: Fantasy Football Titan is looking for more fans out there who supports the smaller teams in the English Football League. If you are keen to be interviewed by us, do contact us via our social media platforms.
FF Hobbit is an avid football and fantasy football fan who simply can’t make up his mind.
Torn between his love for 2 football clubs amidst other interests, he has a dogged determination to do well in whatever he does.
Unfortunately, fantasy football fame has eluded him thus far.