Adamson rages with Match of the Day after West Ham win
Burnley won a fourth away win of the season with a 1-0 victory against winless West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground with one incident in the game, and the subsequent discussion on it, upsetting manager Jimmy Adamson.
Last Sunday, my visit to the supermarket was delayed because of VIP visitors arriving in town which I later learned included Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Back in 1973, plans were being made for the visit of then Prime Minister Edward Heath although they remained clouded in mystery other than the fact that all of the Conservative party workers would be given the chance to meet him when he moved into Nelson to give an address at the Nelson Imp.
The news of his visit was met with excitement from local Conservative leader Councillor Albert Pickup who said: “I will have no specific points to put to Mr Heath. I’m mainly excited and looking forward to meeting him.” Councillor Pickup might not have wanted to ask anything but Alderman T. Gallagher made it clear: “We are hoping to tackle Mr Heath on a number of our problems, including our serious loss of population and slum clearance programme.”
On the subject of politicians, the Secretary of State for Education had placed the town’s education policy in jeopardy. The said Secretary of State was Mrs Margaret Thatcher. It all came about when a family moved into the area and wanted to place their child straight into senior education at St Hilda’s School which, of course, wasn’t acceptable. The family appealed director to Mrs Thatcher who ordered that she should be allowed to move directly to the school.
Issues with twin town Vitry-sure-Seine had seen councillors go searching elsewhere for a new partner and were looking in Holland and Germany. Mayor Councillor Frank Smith appeared on the BBC Look North programme and told viewers: “I would recommend my council to consider other places for twinning maybe Holland or Germany.” Despite the problems with Vitry, he added: “I certainly agree with the principle of twinning arrangements.”
In a recent report, we brought attention to the new Temple Street Centre for the handicapped and elderly with claims that it was going to be the showpiece of the north. An argument ensued during discussions on how to move forward with plans. Some wanted it to include a licensed bar, others said it was absolutely essential but those against considered it inappropriate. Still, bar or no bar, it was still going to be the showpiece promised.
Bad news for the young ones in town who enjoyed visiting the Rose Room at the Cat’s Whiskers. Following trouble there, four men were fined £40 each for their involvement with the popular Rose Room to be closely monitored and potentially closed down for a period. That would have brought an end to my Saturday nights out.
Burnley were in London for the game at West Ham but the chairman Bob Lord was there a day earlier as a special guest of the London branch of the Burnley Grammar School Old Boys. He was even dishing out free stand tickets for a forthcoming home game to the school’s former pupils.
My trip to West Ham was via the League Liner and what a trip that proved to be. The train was an hour and a half late leaving Liverpool for Burnley so there were long waits on the platform until cattle trucks, and that’s being kind, transported us to Blackburn to pick up the delayed train.
Burnley’s commercial manager Mr Jack Butterfield said: “The organisation by British Rail was disgraceful. They are always ready to accuse the hooligans on football specials but on this occasion they have badly let down a section of well behaved, loyal football fans. I shall be asking for an explanation at the meeting this week, and what’s more, we want some compensation for the way we’ve been treated.”
Butterfield acted quickly on the journey down, knowing the train was going to be late at London Euston, and arranged coach transfer for those who wished to take up the option, at a cost of course. We opted not to and made our way on London Underground. That proved to be a wise choice, the coaches were held up and missed kick off; we were there in good time.
A visit to West Ham was not one that Burnley relished, we’d lost eight of the previous ten games there and drawn the other two. Our last win there had come in the final game of the 1960/61 season when goals from Ian Lawson and Gordon Harris had given us a 2-1 win.
It all came good this time with a performance inspired by the brilliant Martin Dobson. One of the best midfielders in the country when on form, Dobson was just that in what was probably his best performance of the season to date.
The game itself contained some of the best and some of the worst of Burnley. Against a side without a win, we sometimes made hard work of it but there were some purple patches during the game when we looked very much at our best and by the end of the contest we were fully deserving of the two points from this 1-0 win.
We looked very good at the start but then began to lose our grip and might have paid for some sloppy play but as the first half moved on, so did Burnley who were well on top when it came to an end with the score still at 0-0.
Twenty minutes into the second half, we finally got in front. A clearance from defence was headed on by Dobson for Colin WALDRON who had moved up with the attack. He centre-half played the ball to Geoff Nulty and then took the delightfully chipped return on his chest before rounding Bobby Moore before firing under Mervyn Day.
Soon afterwards came the game’s controversial moment which started when Doug Collins fouled West Ham forward Ted MacDougall. Referee Ron Crabb rightly awarded West Ham a free kick but MacDougall walked across to Collins and appeared to headbutt him in the face. Crabb sent off the West Ham player and they were forced to complete the game with ten men although Burnley retained control to take the points.
The match had been filmed by the BBC for screening on that evening’s Match of the Day and Burnley were less than pleased with the comments made by Jimmy Hill in particular who had dared to suggest that Collins had made something of a meal of it.
“The television people are doing a great disservice to football for analysing players actions and taking them to the cleaners,” Adamson blasted. “It’s like big brother is watching you. They are not content to show the match but, with the aid of slow-motion cameras, they are trying to show people up. It’s unfair on the referees too who have to make a decision on the spur of the moment.”
Burnley confirmed the matter would be discussed at the next board meeting to decide what, if any, action should be taken against the BBC.
The teams were;
West Ham: Mervyn Day, Keith Coleman, Frank Lampard, Billy Bonds, John McDowell, Bobby Moore, Bertie Lutton (Kevin Lock 80), Pat Holland, Ted MacDougall, Trevor Brooking, Bryan Robson.
Burnley: Alan Stevenson, Peter Noble, Keith Newton, Martin Dobson, Colin Waldron, Jim Thomson, Geoff Nulty, Ray Hankin, Paul Fletcher, Doug Collins, Leighton James. Sub not used: Billy Ingham.
Referee: Mr R. Crabb (Exeter).
West Ham and Birmingham, beaten at Arsenal, were both still without a win. Norwich were still in the bottom three with them and had fallen further behind with Wolves, who started the day a point ahead, beating Manchester United 2-1. Jim McCalliog and Derek Dougan had scored the Wolves’ goals; that was no surprise, they’d scored all of their twelve league goals between them.
At the top end of the table, Leeds dropped points for the second time having been held to a draw at home against Stoke. They were the only unbeaten team in the league but their lead at the top was now down to three points ahead of Burnley; we’d moved back into second place.
First Division Results
Saturday 6th October 1973
Arsenal 1 Birmingham 0
Coventry 1 Everton 2
Derby 1 Norwich 1
Ipswich 0 Tottenham 0
Leeds 1 Stoke 1
Liverpool 2 Newcastle 1
Manchester City 1 Southampton 1
QPR 1 Chelsea 1
Sheffield United 1 Leicester 1
West Ham 0 Burnley 1
Wolves 2 Manchester United 1
Burnley Goalscorers (League)
3: Frank Casper, Doug Collins, Martin Dobson, Paul Fletcher
2: Leighton James, Geoff Nulty, Colin Waldron
1: Ray Hankin
Burnley Goalscorers (Cups)
4: Paul Fletcher
2: Peter Noble, Geoff Nulty
1: Ray Hankin, Leighton James, Colin Waldron
First Division Leading Goalscorers
7: Derek Dougan (Wolves)
6: Roger Davies (Derby), Peter Lorimer (Leeds)
5: Mick Channon (Southampton), Malcolm MacDonald (Newcastle), Jim McCalliog (Wolves)
4: Tommy Baldwin (Chelsea), Billy Bremner (Leeds), Martin Chivers (Tottenham), Allan Clarke (Leeds), Alan Green (Coventry), Kevin Hector (Derby), Geoff Hurst (Stoke), David Johnson (Ipswich), Mick Jones (Leeds), Ray Kennedy (Arsenal), Martin Peters (Tottenham), Bryan Robson (West Ham), Keith Weller (Leicester), Alan Woodward (Sheffield United)
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