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BURN: FROM TOP SHELF TO TOP FLIGHT

16 February 2019

Brighton & Hove Albion defender Dan Burn reflected on his journey into professional football, which has seen the 26-year-old go from stacking shelves in a supermarket to playing for a Premier League football club.

The Blyth-born defender signed his first professional contract for Darlington at the age of 16, having been scouted while playing for local club Blyth Spartans, following his earlier release from Newcastle United.

Burn has since made more than 250 senior appearances across six clubs, including two for the Seagulls since signing from Wigan Athletic, but rewound the clock and spoke about his life before professional football.

He said, “I was working at Asda, pushing trolleys — if you’d told me then that one day I'd be in the Premier League, I would have laughed at you.

“It was good at the time, because I was earning the money to be able to do what I wanted on weekends, but I always knew in the long term that I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life.

“It helped me be more determined and focused. When I was having the down times in football, I knew it could be worse and I could have been doing that every Saturday night.”



Having already played in tiers two, three and four of English football, Burn was recalled to parent club Fulham in 2014 and ended up making his Premier League debut for the Cottagers.

He went on to feature nine times in England’s top division, but then dropped down the leagues before returning to the top tier this season with the Seagulls, and he assessed his attitude towards his top-flight opportunities. 

“I don’t think I appreciated it as much the first time around. It was a bit of a whirlwind — I was called back from Birmingham City on New Year’s Day.

“I played in the FA Cup against Norwich City and then my first Premier League game was two weeks later against Arsenal at the Emirates.

“I don’t think I appreciated the position I was in at the time, because it negatively changed so quickly for me and I ended up back in League One after a few seasons.

“Now that I’m getting this chance again, I want to appreciate where I am a bit more and realise there’s not many players that get to be at a Premier League club, never mind play a Premier League game.”



Burn could make his third Albion appearance in this afternoon’s Emirates FA Cup fifth-round game against Derby County, but the central defender is determined to earn his chance in the Premier League again.

“When I went to Wigan and got relegated, I was determined to work hard and prove to people that I had the talent to be a Premier League footballer. Luckily I put in the performances that attracted those clubs.

“I’m not silly — I haven’t come here to start every game. We’ve got very good centre-halves here and I’ve come in to back them up.

“I’m just glad to be given the chance, and I’m confident that if I work hard in training and play the way that I’ve been playing in games, at some point I’ll get an opportunity.”

Fans can watch the defender’s full look ahead to today's game with Derby County for free on Seagulls TV above – supporters can sign up to the service by clicking here.


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