Dan Burn on his rise from pushing trolleys in Asda to the Premier League

Brighton & Hove Albion defender Dan Burn says his job pushing trolleys at Asda gave him the focus and determination to reach the Premier League.
Brighton defender Dan Burn. Picture by PW Sporting PhotographyBrighton defender Dan Burn. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Brighton defender Dan Burn. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Burn worked at the supermarket aged 16 before joining Darlington a year later in 2009. He joined Fulham in 2011 and played nine top-flight matches in 2014.

The 26-year-old moved to the Latics on a free transfer in 2016 and after starring for Wigan over the past two years, Burn earned a move to Brighton last summer. He spent the first half of the season back on loan at the Latics, before returning to Albion in January.

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Burn has played two FA Cup ties for Albion against West Brom and is set to make his third appearance for the club at home to Derby this afternoon.

Asked what he learned while working at Asda that has helped him in his football career, Burn said: "Just that I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life, I think!

"It was good at the time because I was earning the money to do what I wanted to do at the weekends and stuff. But I always knew in the long term that I didn’t want to be there and I wouldn’t be there in future.

"It helped me be more determined and more focused when I had the down times in football. I knew then it could be worse, I could be back at Asda doing that every so I do think it helped us.

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"I think you see a lot of stories like that now, lads who have come through and who have played in the Conference. I think Aden Flint was a road surfacer. And Jamie Vardy came right the way through, too.

"There’s a lot more talent in those sort of leagues that goes unnoticed. We bring in a lot of players from different countries these days but I do think there’s a lot of players in those divisions who can play a lot higher."

Burn added he would have laughed at the thought of playing in the Premier League while working at Asda and said: "Normally the lads who are getting picked up to play in the youth teams are getting picked up around 15,16. I didn’t end up signing for anyone.

“I went to sixth form and went and did a little bit of work. I was working at Asda pushing trolleys.

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“If you had said then that I would be in the Premier League, I would have laughed at you.

“It was a little bit more of a different route for me but it helped me become even more determined and focused.

“When I went to Fulham, a lot of the stuff the lads were given, I wasn’t given at Darlington. I was washing my own kit and bringing in my own packed lunches. So I do think it’s helped me."

Burn played nine times for Fulham in the Premier League but felt his opportunity for another crack at the top flight was gone when he was relegated to League One with Wigan in 2017.

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However, the Latics went straight back up last season and Burn impressed in FA Cup wins over Bournemouth, West Ham and Manchester City.

Asked if thought the opportunity to play in the Premier League again had gone, Burn said: "If I’m honest, probably yeah. When I went to Wigan and we got relegated, I did think I was probably going to be playing in the lower leagues and Championship for the rest of my career.

“I was determined. I wanted to work hard and prove to people that I had the talent to be a Premier League footballer. I wanted to show everyone I could do that and luckily I’ve had the chance to do that."

Burn is eager to impress Albion boss Chris Hughton this afternoon to show he is ready to play in the Premier League and said: "Any chance you get to go out there and put in a good performance, you need to advertise yourself to the gaffer to try to get into the team.

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"With the result against Burnley, it gives a lot of the lads a chance to be ready for the Leicester game."