The Horrifying Story Behind Dan Burn’s Missing Finger


  • Dan Burn lost a finger in a gruesome accident at 13 while climbing a fence, tearing it off clean.
  • Despite being released by Newcastle at 11, Burn worked his way up the football pyramid to achieve his dreams.
  • Burn joined his hometown team in 2022 after their takeover and has been a consistent figure in their success.

If you were watching Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Newcastle United in the Premier League on Wednesday night closely, you might have spotted something very bizarre about Dan Burn towards the end of the game. As the match entered injury time, the Magpies’ defender was dealing with a set piece and held his hand up in the air to provide a signal.


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It’s an action that footballers all over the world do every single game and is about as normal as it comes. What stood out this time, though, is the fact that Burn only has three fingers on his right hand. Fans were quick to notice the abnormal sight during the game, with many only realising for the first time that the Englishman is missing a finger. What happened to his hand, though?

Dan Burn Lost His Finger When He Was 13

He had a gruesome accident

Dan Burn for Newcastle

While he has never personally spoken about the fact he only has four fingers on his right hand publicly, according to Free Library, Burn was in an accident during his teenage years that was pretty gruesome. Apparently, the Magpie was wearing a ring when he decided to scale a fence at 13 years old.

There’s no explanation as to why he was climbing a fence, but if he was like most teenagers, it was likely to retrieve a football. Unfortunately, while he was doing so, his ring got caught on one of the spikes at the top and as he fell down, it tore his finger off clean. Ouch. One can only imagine how painful that was. It didn’t stop Burn from having a pretty incredible football career, though.

Burn Joined His Hometown Team in 2022

His move was one of Newcastle’s first following their takeover

Newcastle United's Dan Burn celebrates

Once Newcastle were taken over by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund during the 2021/22 season, the club quickly set to work on putting together a side that was capable of remaining in the Premier League, before ultimately challenging towards the top of the table. They were in the middle of a relegation battle when the takeover occurred in October 2021, and by the time January 2022 rolled around, the club made some moves in the transfer window.

One of the first names they brought in was Burn. The defender was having a stellar season with Brighton & Hove Albion at the time and, from the outside, the decision to move to a Newcastle side that was below the Seagulls in the table seemed a little bizarre, but as a lifelong Magpies supporter, it was an easy call for the defender.

In hindsight, it was a very smart move too. Burn has been a consistent figure in the backline for the Magpies as they’ve gone from relegation candidates to Champions League competitors and even Carabao Cup finalists. The team have been hit by some major injuries this year, but he’s remained available for the team and has been one of their smarter bits of business in the last two years. With what appears to be a second consecutive season qualifying for European football, Burn took a risk when he dropped down the table from Brighton to Newcastle, but it’s actually taken his career to new heights. Considering his humble beginnings, it’s hard to imagine he saw things playing out like this.

Burn Was Released By Newcastle at 11

Dan Burn applauding Wigan Athletic fans

Growing up as a Newcastle fan, Burn will have had aspirations to play for the club in the Premier League from an early age. Being a part of the side’s youth academy, he had a chance, but once he was released by the Magpies at just 11 years old, it looked as though those dreams were dashed.

The defender refused to give up on his goal to become a professional footballer, though, playing for several local teams throughout his youth such as Blyth Spartans. He even got a job working at Asda while playing for the club when he was 16. Fortunately, the Englishman was scouted by Darlington, and after signing for the Quakers, things only improved. After two years with the team, Fulham snapped him up and Burn went from a national league player to a Premier League prospect in moments.

He had to wait for his chance in the top flight, spending two seasons on loan at Yeovil Town and Birmingham City respectively before he got a run in the Cottagers’ side. They were swiftly relegated, though, and after a couple of years in the second tier with the club, he moved to Wigan Athletic. The Latics saw something in the now 32-year-old and he became a vital figure for the club over the course of two years. Then, the Premier League came calling once again, and he left Lancashire for Brighton and the south coast.

After spending two and a half seasons helping the Seagulls establish themselves as a top-half Premier League club, he finally got the chance to play for his beloved Newcastle, and he didn’t hesitate. What a decision that’s turned out to be.

Statistics courtesy of Transfermarkt and accurate as of 16.05.2024

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