Former PNE legend Willie Irvine back home and well

Clarets legend Willie Irvine with his son Jonathan after being discharged from hospital
Clarets legend Willie Irvine with his son Jonathan after being discharged from hospital
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Burnley Football Club's goal-scoring legend Willie Irvine has been discharged from hospital and is recovering at home.

The former striker and fans' favourite, who played 126 times for Burnley FC between 1960 and 1968, suffered a fractured skull and broken bones when he fell down the stairs in May at his home in Burnley.

During his stay at Royal Preston Hospital, the 75-year-old, who is married to Rita and has three sons, Jonathan, Stephen and Darren, underwent major surgery to remove pooled blood and relieve pressure from his brain.

He was then transferred to Burnley General’s Rakehead Rehabilitation Centre, before being discharged home.

His son, Jonathan, said: "Dad has been home for a few weeks now and continues his rehabilitation at home.

"It’s still quite a challenge and he still needs support, as does my mother who is working really hard looking after him, but he is getting about quite well.

"He manages to walk my dog, Bella, on a daily basis close to my home!

"We are hopeful we will get him on the turf for the first home game of the season, which was a target we had whilst he was in hospital. With the injury he had, that’s quite a miracle."

Mr Irvine, a Northern Ireland international player, scored 78 goals for the Clarets and eight for his country in 23 appearances.

In 1965/66 he scored 29 goals and was the leading scorer in the old First Division.

Darren Bentley, Burnley FC media manager, said: “It’s fantastic news to hear about Willie’s recovery.

“Everyone at the club is wishing him the best and hoping he makes a full recovery. We’re looking forward to seeing him back at Turf Moor.”

After leaving Turf Moor he also played for Preston North End, Brighton and Hove Albion, and Halifax Town ending his career at Great Harwood before hanging up his boots aged 29 in 1974.