Burnley Football Club is sad to report the death of one of the club’s oldest players, winger Tommy Henderson, who passed away on Friday 31 May, at the age of 85.
Tommy was born in Burnley in October 1927 and attended St Stephens and Burnley Grammar Schools. A fast and skilful winger, he first joined the Clarets as a 17 year old amateur in May 1945, immediately donning the claret and blue for the first time in the North Regional wartime league, appearing in three matches.
He signed as a professional in August that year but had to be patient for another chance at first team level.
He was a regular at outside right in the Burnley reserve side that won the Central League Championship in 1948-49, and it was during the following season, 1949-50, that his very brief taste of Football League action came. He made his First Division debut, deputising for Jackie Chew on the right wing, in a 1-1 draw at Stoke on September 1949, unfortunately breaking a bone in his hand after falling awkwardly. There were no substitutes in those days of course so Tommy simply carried on and finished the match. His only other top flight appearance came at Fulham the following month when he again came into the team for Chew.
Tommy left Turf Moor in 1951 and played in the Lancashire Combination for Rossendale and Nelson. In 1958, whilst playing for Bank Hall Colliery, he collected a winner’s medal in Burnley’s famous Hospital Cup competition.
All of us at Burnley Football Club extend our sympathies to Tommy’s family at this difficult time.