Evening Express

Blue Toon’s McKenzie won league title with Burnley but will be behind Aberdeen in Europa League

Paul McKenzie in his Burnley days

Paul McKenzie may have won a league title with Burnley – but he’ll only be supporting one team on Thursday.

Aberdonian McKenzie helped the Clarets to the Fourth Division title in 1992.

But when Sean Dyche’s team meet Aberdeen in the Europa League he’ll be cheering on his beloved Dons.

McKenzie grew up in the Granite City and went to Northfield Academy.

But the 48-year-old enjoyed his footballing highlight with Burnley.

The winger, who also played as a striker, moved to Turf Moor from then Highland League Peterhead in January 1992 and helped them win the Fourth Division that season.

Despite his connections with the Clarets, McKenzie insists his colours are firmly nailed to the Aberdeen mast ahead of the Europa League second qualifying round tie.

Paul McKenzie nowadays

He said: “Since the draw I’ve had a lot of folk asking who I will be supporting.

“But I’m an Aberdeen fan so I’ll be supporting them. If it was anybody else I would be wanting Burnley to win.”

McKenzie believes the Dons can cause an upset against the English Premier League side.

He added: “It’s a tie where either team could win it. It’s a toss of a coin for me.

“Burnley are a good team with some top players, but if Aberdeen play well they can do it.

“Aberdeen have European experience and Burnley don’t.

“It’s Scotland v England which I think could help Burnley because the style of opposition won’t be unfamiliar.

“If they’d had a team from Kazakhstan or somewhere you wonder how they would adjust.

“So it might be an advantage for them being all-British, but Aberdeen can beat Celtic on their day and they could beat Burnley, it’s too close to call for me.”

McKenzie’s football career started when he joined Sunderland after leaving school.

After injuries curtailed his time with the Black Cats he returned to the north-east with Peterhead.

Blue Toon boss and former Aberdeen youth coach George Adams helped McKenzie get his move to Burley in 1992.

The Clarets’ manager was Jimmy Mullen, who had been Ian Porterfield’s assistant and worked with Adams, when Porterfield took over as Dons boss from Sir Alex Ferguson in 1986.

McKenzie now works as a school janitor in Peterhead.