A LEGENDARY football chairman's life has been celebrated in a new book.

Lord of Burnley charts the life of the Premier League club's often robust and straight-forward Bob Lord.

The book, by Dave Thomas and Mike Smith, shows Burnley's rise under Lord throughout the 1950s and 1960s to their decline in the late 1970s.

Hailed as the greatest chairman in Burnley's history, Thomas, 73, who has now written his 20th book on the club, outlines Lord's impact, not just on the Clarets, but football as a whole.

Lord's greatest period at Burnley began in 1958 when he appointed Harry Potts as manager. This included buying, and developing, the club's Gawthorpe training ground. Burnley went on to win the title in 1960, played in Europe and reached the 1962 FA Cup final.

Burnley had a successful spell under boss Jimmy Adamson between 1973 and 1975 and its decline between 1976 and Lord's death aged 73 in 1981. He ordered his daughter to burn all his documents and letters and that his funeral cortege should not drive by Turf Moor.

The book also features Lord's interactions with leading football figures including George Best, Terry Venables and Ken Bates.

Thomas said: "He was without doubt one of the great figures of football history in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

"In terms of profile he was up there with Busby, Shankly and Clough.

"He was domineering, suffered no fools gladly, and blunt to the point of rudeness. If he didn't want to listen to someone, he allegedly took out his hearing aid.

"His legacy remains in the bricks and mortar of the Bob Lord Stand, the Cricket Field Stand and at Gawthorpe.

"I wrote this book because, after previous books on Harry Potts, Jimmy Adamson and Jimmy Mcllroy, people kept asking 'Dave, when are you doing Bob Lord?' It's a book folk have been waiting for.

"Mike (Smith) is superb at early years research, archives, records etc. He took 1908 to 1955 when Lord became chairman. I take it from there.

"Lord is crucial to club history, sorting out finances, appointing Harry Potts, developing the training ground, treating players well, insisting on the best, developing the ground, Turf Moor, chairman from '55 to '81, important to football in general, on the Football Management Committee, supporting referees, urging reform and progress."

Lord of Burnley is out on July 29, published by Pitch, priced £19.99. Copies signed by the authors and Keith Hackett and Frank Cooper are available from beehivethomas@aol.com