Jimmy McIlroy is new president of Burnley FC

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JIMMY McIlroy, widely regarded as Burnley Football Club’s greatest player, has been named the new president at Turf Moor.

The largely ambassadorial role is the latest honour bestowed on the former Northern Ireland international who was recently given an MBE, testimonial and the Freedom of the Borough.

Following a formal invitation from the board of directors Jimmy, who celebrates his 80th birthday this month, has agreed to take on the honorary role. He will formally take up the role at a presidential dinner at Turf Moor later this season.

In typically modest fashion, Jimmy praised his team-mates from that glorious league-winning 1959/60 season and wondered why he has always been singled out for praise.

“I am a little embarrassed but obviously proud of this honour. I keep wondering what’s next as I have had so many accolades given to me recently. It is a tribute for all my team-mates.”

Jimmy achieved his legendary status at Turf Moor following a triumphant 13-year spell with the club between 1950-1963.

After starting his career with Glentoran, he joined Burnley in 1950 and gave over a decade of outstanding service, becoming a key member of the First Division Championship winning team and also playing in the 1962 FA Cup final.

Half a century on, he remains the most capped Burnley player in history, with 51 of his 55 full international caps for Northern Ireland coming during his time at Turf Moor.

Harry Brooks, who first mooted Jimmy for the role three years ago, said: “I’m delighted by this news, it is the icing on the cake for Jimmy.

“I think the role will suit him perfectly as he will lend his quiet dignity to promoting the good name of Burnley Football Club.”

The presidency has been vacant since the death of Dr David Iven in 2007.