Craig William Burley (born 24 September 1971 in Ayr) is a television pundit and Scottish former professional association footballer who played as a midfielder from 1989 until 2004.
He played in the Premier League for Chelsea and Derby County and in the Scottish Premier League for Celtic.
He also played for Dundee and finished his career in the Football League with Preston North End and Walsall. He earned 46 caps for Scotland, scoring 3 goals.
Burley began his professional career with Chelsea in 1989, however he didn’t make his debut until April 1991 when he came on as a substitute for Kerry Dixon in a 7–0 defeat against Nottingham Forest. He made his first appearance in the newly formed Premier League on 5 December 1992 in a 2–1 away win at Tottenham Hotspur.
He went on to become a regular under Glenn Hoddle and played in the 1994 FA Cup Final against Manchester United, picking up a runners-up medal following a 4–0 defeat. Two years later, Chelsea got to the FA Cup semi finals where they again faced Manchester United. With the score level at 1–1, Burley hit an errant back pass to set up David Beckham for what proved to be the winning goal. He was sold by Ruud Gullit on 25 July 1997 to Celtic for £2.5 million.
He made his Celtic debut on 3 August 1997 against Hibernian, and went on to make 64 appearances scoring 20 goals before transferring back to England with Derby County on 1 December 1999 for £3 million. He played in four seasons for The Rams and suffered his first career relegation when the club lost their Premier League status at the end of the 2001–02 season.
On 12 September 2003 he signed with Dundee on a free transfer but only played twice in a two month spell before being released and eventually signing for Preston North End in January 2004. By March he was a free agent again after only making four appearances for North End. He signed with Walsall on a free transfer for the remainder of the 2003–04 season and played five times before retiring at the end of the season.
Burley played for Scotland in the 1998 World Cup in France. He scored the Scotland goal in a 1–1 draw with Norway in Bordeaux, latching on to a ball played forward by defender David Weir. He was then sent off in the final group game against Morocco as Scotland were eliminated.
Burley continued to be a plaything under Craig Brown until the end of the unsuccessful 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, captaining the side in what proved to be his penultimate appearance. After suffering injury problems, Burley won a Scotland recall against Austria in 2003 under new manager Berti Vogts but then announced his international retirement.
Burley previously worked as a pundit and commentator for ESPN UK and currently contributes to Absolute Radio, ESPN and BBC Radio 5 Live’s Barclays Premier League coverage. He is currently a commentator for ESPN FC. He is the nephew of former Scotland manager George Burley.
|2004||Preston North End||4||(0)|