A FANS' favourite from the Neil Warnock years is making his first-ever visit to the Pirelli Stadium on November 5 and is hoping to see some of his former team-mates from an historic cup final victory.
Iain MacLain was one of Warnock’s first signings for the Brewers when he took over from Ian Storey-Moore in 1981.
Small but blessed with electric pace, Iain would terrorise Northern Premier League defences and as well as scoring a fair few himself would be a great provider for strikers like Bob Gauden.
The best season for Albion under Warnock was 1982/83 when the Brewers not only finished third in the NPL table but also won their first piece of major silverware for nearly 20 years.
On April 19, 1983, they played arch rivals Macclesfield at Manchester City’s old ground Maine Road in the Northern Premier League Cup final winning 2-1 thanks to a late goal from Paul Fisher.
The team that night was: Paul Evans, Clive Arthur, Kenny Blair, Steve Dolby, David Vaughan, Ian Vaughan, Andy Harrison, Iain MacLain, Paul Froggatt, Paul Fisher, Bob Gauden, Sub: Nigel Simms.
Iain has been living and working in Austria for the last 11 years and has therefore never had the chance to see Albion play at the Pirelli Stadium.
Now he’s briefly back in he UK and is hoping to meet up again with some of those 1983 cup heroes.
He said: “It will be great to see the new ground and see the team doing so well. The progress the club has made since I was there is incredible.
“I have very fond memories of playing for Burton Albion and Neil Warnock was fantastic for me. He originally asked me to come for a trial at Gainsborough Trinity where he was manager and said he would get back to me by the end of the week. When he came back to me he said he wanted to sign me but for Burton Albion instead.
“It was the highlight of my career. Neil’s man management was second to none and he could get players doing anything.
“I was always the smallest player on the pitch and I had to make up for it with pace. I think I was popular with the supporters because they always like a trier. Neil loved players that gave it 100 per cent and that’s what I did.
"There were a lot of ex-pros there back then who had played in better leagues. But it was the pinnacle for me - the highest standard I played in. So I gave it everything.
“The NPL Cup final was great. Macclesfield were probably the favourites for that game but Neil had has well prepared and it was a memorable night.”
Sadly Iain broke his leg playing for the Brewers and the injury proved so bad that it cut short his career.
He said: “It was just one of those things. I was 30 and it knocked the stuffing out of me really and I had my own business as well. I did try and come back but my game was always about pace and I never felt I had it after that. My biggest regret was that I missed out on the FA Cup run the following season when they got to the Third Round and played Leicester City.”
Whilst playing for the Brewers Iain had a business in Castletown, before opening shoe shops in Yorkshire and then going into property management in a ski resort in Austria.
Now he has a chance to return to Burton Albion he hopes to see some of that NPL Cup winning side again.
He said: “Steve Dolby, Clive Arthur and Nigel Simms were all local players so hopefully they are still around. It would be great to meet up again.”
Any players from that NPL Cup final team who wish to meet Iain and enjoy the Barnsley game with him should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01283 565938 and ask to speak to the media team.