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In the space of a week, just over 49 years ago, Burnley faced cup matches against Everton and SSC Napoli. One ended in defeat, the other saw us win through to the next round, but both left a bitter taste, certainly for chairman Bob Lord.

On the last day of January, we travelled to Goodison Park to face Everton in an FA Cup 3rd round replay following a 0-0 draw at Turf Moor.

No more visits to Goodison for Bob Lord

No more visits to Goodison for Bob Lord

Everton, who had won the competition in the previous season, won the replay 2-1 and went on to reach the 6th round before going out to Nottingham Forest. This win came courtesy of two goals from Scottish striker Alex Young. He gave Everton the lead midway through the first half and then scored the winner a quarter of an hour from the end after Willie Irvine had equalised for us just a few minutes before half time.

But Irvine was the talking point after suffering a broken leg following an incident with Everton’s Johnny Morrissey.

It spilled over into the boardroom at the end of the game. Bob Lord, Burnley’s no-punches-pulled chairman, was expressing a few thoughts on the game in his usual outspoken manner when one of the three men he had been in conversation with asked him to leave the premises. Without further ado Mr Lord walked out, and with no regrets as he indicated later.

He was reluctant to discuss the incident later and said: “For publication, I have nothing to say at all”, but he did confirm that he would never again set foot in the directors private room at Everton.

Mr Lord’s comments had been on the subject of the appalling display of bad sportsmanship by a fairly large section of those in the paddock who booed off Irvine as he lay with a broken leg on a stretcher.

Lord was very angry indeed about it when he returned to the Burnley coach, and manager Harry Potts was upset about this, and the amount of rough play from the home side. It was mentioned to Mr Potts that on at least two occasions an Everton player had been seen to take deliberate kicks at a Burnley man. He said: “Of course any comments we make now are said to be sour grapes.”

Eight days later and Mr Lord had more than a few upset Scousers to deal with. He was one of the Burnley party who came under threat in Naples after our 0-0 draw there had seen us go through in the Fairs Cup on a 3-0 aggregate.

I think most of us know the story that led to Adam Blacklaw being arrested for his own safety after trouble started at the final whistle.

There had been concerns over the potential for violence but the day before the game, Napoli president Giocchine Lauro said: “This is not the Congo. We are not barbarians. You will see how good sportsmen we are tomorrow.”

One day on and when he asked Lord what could be done to make amends, Lord told him: “See that we get or of here and back to the airport safely.”

If we know what happened to the players, what about the press and Burnley supporters. Keith McNee, reporting for the Burnley Express, wrote: “Six English journalists, myself among them, had a machine-gun escort from the San Paolo Stadium in Naples after Burnley’s Fairs Cup match had ended in a riot.

“An armoured lorry, nine jeep loads of militia and a dozen police motor cyclists formed a protective convoy for the team coach’s journey to Capodochina Airport five miles away, but we were cut off in the press box by angry and demonstrative Neapolitan fans and taken into police custody for our own safety.”

The calm before the storm in Naples as the teams line up ahead of kick off

The calm before the storm in Naples as the teams line up ahead of kick off

Eventually, they were bundled into two taxis and given a police escort back to the airport but for four fans there was still a story to tell. Two of them, 18-year-old Malcolm Moss and 23-year-old Les Hurrell, had travelled by train and they eventually got home safely.

Moss said: “We decided it would be better if we took our claret and blue scarves off, but we didn’t have much trouble. There were a few Italians making funny remarks during the game but there were no scuffles or anything like that. I would go again without any fears.”

That wasn’t the case with the two Burnley fans who were heading back to Rome to fly home. These two were Brian Wren of Littleborough and Roy Kilby from Great Harwood and the pair were thankful to Burnley born Jean Satterthwaite who was working in Rome as a children’s nurse.

Her knowledge of Italian helped calm the crowds until police arrived to protect them as they tried to make their way back from the stadium.

Mr Kilby said: “But for Jean we would have been coming home in boxes. They were going berserk all around us and they knew we were British. One Italian kicked me in the back and but for Jean’s calmness, the crowd might have gone over the boil.”

He added: “I didn’t feel safe until our plane got off the ground in Rome. We’ll follow Burnley anywhere, but not to Naples again.”

Malcolm Moss, Les Hurrell, Brian Wren and Roy Kilby. They were four committed Burnley supporters who travelled the length and breadth of the country, and into Europe, watching the Clarets over many years. I’ve known all four of them well but sadly Malcolm is now the only one still with us. He remains a regular supporter.

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