Kenny Burns


A former Scottish international footballer who enjoyed an illustrious career stretching three decades and 22 years, Kenny Burns was capped 20 times for Scotland. He played for 14 clubs, including, most famously, Nottingham Forest where he helped the side to the most memorable period of the club’s history under the stewardship of Brian Clough.

Originally a defender, Kenny was brought in to Birmingham City in 1971 after his release from youth team, Rangers. By 1974 he had been converted into a striker and would score 45 goals in 170 appearances for the club.

His performances captured the attention of Clough at Nottingham Forest, who paid £150,000 for his services in 1977, as the club looked to build on their promotion to the First Division. He was quickly converted back into a central defender and it was to be a spectacular move. Nottingham Forest dramatically secured the top flight trophy, creating footballing history.

He was to prove a key member of that team, even winning the FWA Footballer of the Year award and Forest’s Player of the Year award. He would also captain the side the Football League Cup victory, due to an injury to club captain, John McGovern, to make it a remarkable season for Kenny, and cement his Forest legacy.

Kenny’s performances didn’t drop off either as Clough’s team rampaged towards footballing greatness in the years that followed. His strong defensive partnership with Larry Lloyd set the tone for the team’s unlikely European Cup victories in 1979 and 1980.

In many ways a modern centre back, Kenny was both aggressive and intelligent on the field known as the ‘wild man’; he would also chip in with valuable goals, including the all-important goal in the second leg of the 1979 UEFA Super Cup versus Barcelona.

Though his most impressive spell in football was with Nottingham Forest, he would also enjoy spells at Leeds United, Derby County, Barnsley, Notts County and lower league teams. He would also make a talented Scotland squad for the 1978 FIFA World Cup.

A regular at golf days, sporting, corporate and charity events, stories of Kenny Burns’ remarkable career in football are always well-received by audiences in the UK and beyond. To book Kenny Burns as the football speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency.

When at corporate events, Kenny is known to cover the following topics:

  • Football Speaker
  • Sports Speaker
  • Peak Performance
  • Success Maximisation
  • Realising Ambitions