LIFELONG Blackburn Rovers fan Tony Quinn was left smiling after being rejected for a job... as manager of deadly rivals Burnley.
The "thanks but no thanks" letter from Turf Moor took Tony completely by surprise, because applying to replace Stan Ternent had never crossed his mind.
But he saw the funny side after work colleague Nick Richardson owned up to making the spoof job application to Burnley chairman Barry Kilby.
"The first I knew about it was when I got the rejection letter from Burnley," said Tony, 35, a Rovers season ticket holder. "Quite a few of the lads knew what Nick had done but nobody let on until I had received the 'bad' news."
Tony, of St Albans Road, Rishton, works for Barnfield Construction in Nelson and in his spare time coaches the Nippers under-eights at Rishton United. He has coached other age groups during nine years' involvement with the club, but says he has no ambition to get into the Football League.
"If I did want a career in football management, it wouldn't be with Burnley," said the Blackburn diehard.
The job application, submitted in Tony's name, tells how his playing days in Blackburn and Darwen leagues were cruelly ended by injury and reveals his success as a coach with the Rishton juniors.
It cites his "eldest lad" and "brother-in-law" as key members of his scouting network who he could bring to Burnley for little money. It also suggests he would be available for as little as £20,000 a year plus expenses and a bonus when he takes Burnley into the Premiership.
"Nick is a Burnley fan so there is obviously a bit of wishful thinking there," said Tony. "If I had got the job I'm sure I would have done a better job than John Bond and he nearly took them out of the Football League. Take that whichever way you want."
Tony said Burnley bosses, who have now appointed ex-Sunderland assistant manager Steve Cotterill to the position, had obviously joined in the spirit of the jest by sending an official reply.
"Its all been a bit of fun but I'll have to think of a way to get my own back," said Tony.