NFL legend J.J. Watt said he took part in a pub crawl in Burnley as “research” after he recently became a minority investor in the Premier League-bound football club.
Watt, who retired after a 12-year NFL career in January, announced his investment in Championship title winners Burnley last week alongside his wife, former United States midfielder Kealia Watt.
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The 34-year-old said he aims to understand Burnley’s fan base and revealed he had drinks with supporters in the town.
“I’ve learned that the history, tradition and supporters, it’s all about respecting and honouring that,” he told BBC Breakfast on Tuesday. “You never want to come in and try and do something that’s not true to who the club is and what we’re trying to do is show people what real Burnley is about.
“I did a pub crawl yesterday on my way to the stadium so I started at the Royal Dyche, worked my way down to Vintage Clarets and all my way up to Turf Moor. Just getting to know the supporters, I want to earn their trust by showing them how much we care and how passionate we are.
“It’s research, I’m doing research and lots of pints of Guinness along the way. But it was a lot of fun and really good to get to know them on a personal level, and hopefully they get to know us as well.”
Watt attended Burnley’s final game of the season on Monday, when they lifted the Championship title after a 3-0 win over Cardiff City at Turf Moor.
“Promotion and relegation, the highs and lows, the consequences are incredible, so we have been looking for a club for a long time,” he said. “We knew that once we found the right opportunity we were going to go all-in, so we took our time. Burnley checked every single box.”
Last week, Watt told ESPN’s “Get Up” that speaking with Wrexham owner Ryan Reynolds inspired him to get involved with Burnley.