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Slipped Through the Net: Wayne Burnett

By: Richard Lord
Date: 30/03/2003

IN an exclusive interview as part of The Fishy's new "Slipped Through the Net" series, Richard Lord caught up with Wayne Burnett to talk about his time at Blundell Park.

It was an injury to midfielder Tommy Widdrington that forced Alan Buckley's hand into arranging an initial one-month loan for Wayne Burnett. He did his chances of a permanent move no harm whatsoever when he made his debut as a substitute in the 4-0 home win over Brentford before scoring against local rivals Scunthorpe United in the Auto Windscreen Shield.

His transfer from Huddersfield cost the club £100,000 and before long the team were reaping the benefits. A last-minute equaliser against Fulham and another goal in the Auto Windscreen Shield - this time against Blackpool - cemented his place in the starting eleven alongside club captain Paul Groves.

Burnett was at the heart of everything the Mariners did. He will go down in Grimsby Town history for scoring the winning goal at Wembley, dubbed 'The Golden Goal' which brought the Auto Windscreen Shield to Blundell Park. Five weeks later he was playing at Wembley once more and set up the goal Donovan scored to help win the game 1-0 and win promotion to the First Division.

The capture of Burnett's signature that season was a bargain. Unfortunately the euphoria of the 97/98 season was short-lived as the next season turned out to be a nightmare. Burnett suffered a groin injury and underwent three operations and never rediscovered the form that he showed back in those heady Wembley days.

He made fleeting appearances over the course of the next two seasons but dropped out of favour with new boss Lennie Lawrence, finding himself behind Coldicott, Pouton and Willems in the battle for a starting place in midfield.

He did manage to score the goal of the season in 2000/01 when he blasted in an equaliser at home to Stockport in a relegation six-pointer but that was the only highlight in an otherwise forgettable season. The campaign to follow wasn't much more of an improvement. Although he saw more in the way of first team action he was still well down the pecking order. There were no surprises when the club announced that they weren't going to keep Burnett at the club beyond the summer and so he was released. He has since gone on to play for Woking and Grays Athletic.

Next: Wayne Burnett Interview

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