Ben Burnett’s name will never be erased from the Golcar United history books. 

The 30-year-old midfielder, who hails from Golcar, scored the first ever goal when the Weavers became a semi-professional club. 

Burnett scored in the club’s first game in the North West Counties Division One North when they beat Prestwich Heys 2-1. Burnett’s name will always be remembered for that first strike.

He also can boast he was the first player to score in the FA Vase for Golcar United as they beat Handsworth 2-1 this season. 

“I’m very proud of the fact I scored Golcar’s first goal as a semi-pro club and it brings a smile to my face when I say it,” said Burnett.

“Last year we lost without scoring a goal in the FA Vase, the first year we played in the competition. So when we beat Handsworth this year, I scored the very first goal for the club in that tournament too.”

The club progressed to the first round proper for the first time in their history and take on Newcastle Benfield on Saturday October 23. 

Burnett is proud to play for Golcar and believes the club has come a long way in a short space of time. 

READ MORE: Take a look at our Golcar United archive.

“Only five years ago we were playing on a terrible sloped pitch with a fence around it,” said Burnett. “Now look at us, an amazing squad, a proper ground, a top coaching team and a bigger fan base. 

“Full credit must go to everyone from behind the scenes. From the chairman to all the volunteers, they are great.”

Burnett started playing football at just five-years-old playing for Westend Juniors. He went to play for a number of clubs including Emley AFC. 

As a junior Burnett followed Liverpool and watched his hero Michael Owen on TV. 

“I am a Liverpool fan,” he said. “I used to like Michael Owen and he got me into following them. However, I can’t stand him as a pundit! 

“That World Cup goal he scored against Argentina was one of my earliest memories as a kid. I was born in 1991 so I was eight when he scored that goal and that is one of my earliest memories in football of him making that run on TV.”

Golcar United 2020-21. Pix by: SEAN DOYLE

After leaving Westend Juniors, Burnett was scouted by Oldham Athletic. 

“I played for Oldham’s academy from the age of 11 to 16 but then got released. I played for Bay Athletic for a few years before going to university in Newcastle.” 

Having played at Golcar for a few years, Burnett also played for Emley AFC. He thoroughly enjoyed his time at the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground. 

He said: “I played for Golcar for two seasons when we won the double. I then moved to Emley for a season which for me personally went well. I finished top scorer with around 13 goals and that was from midfield. That was playing in the league I am in now with Golcar but I hadn’t played at this level before so I proved I could play at this standard. 

“When Golcar became a semi-pro club, (manager) Ash Connor rang me up and asked if I wanted to come back. It was a no brainer for me. Since Golcar made that step up I just had to return.”

Burnett has battled back from serious injuries though earlier in his career and that is testament to his character. 

He said: “I have had some bad injuries in my career so far. I did both my ACLs in my knees so I have had to spend a lot of time on the sidelines which collectively has been about two seasons. 

“I did my first ACL in my left knee at the age of 21 in 2011. I then crippled it in my right knee when I was 25 in 2015. 

“I was playing for Storthes Hall at the time and we were playing against Bay Athletic, my old club. Ironically my good mate Dan Stocker, now captain of Golcar, was playing for Bay so we were against each other. I went to go close Dan down and turned direction and I felt my knee pop out and snap my ACL.”

Celebration time!

Having been at Golcar for a few seasons now, Burnett is enjoying the journey.

He said: “The squad is so strong at the moment so even if Ash and Gav Connor make changes due to injuries or suspensions we know whoever comes in is just as strong as whoever is missing out. That gives you a huge confidence boost as a player and it keeps the team strong no matter the situation or personnel missing. 

“I have played for Golcar on and off for six or seven years now and this by far is the strongest Golcar squad there has ever been. I would also say it’s by far and away the best dressing room I have ever been involved in. 

“We go into every game confident that we can beat anyone. Yes, it’s still early days and there is a lot of football to be played but I think we can be proud of what we have achieved so far this season. 

“Ultimately we are all thinking about promotion and that’s what we are aiming for. The club is only going one way, everyone is so ambitious so who knows where it will end up?

“Hopefully I can carry on for a few years yet. As long as my legs keep going I’d love to stay at Golcar.”