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The news of Ben Lee’s sad death was still filtering through on the next morning, while later in the day came news that our game against York City at Bootham Crescent had been called off following a request from Burnley Football Club.

There was a story in the Burnley Express that week reporting that the girls at St. Hilda’s School had got all excited when they received a visit from McDonald’s. I had visions of a pop-up junk food stall in Coal Clough Lane but it turned out that it was Coronation Street twins Andy and Steve calling in.

They were met by five hundred screaming girls who had raised £2,000 for charity. “I have never seen so many women in my life, it’s brilliant,” said Nick Cochrane who played Andy.

Kids flock to Skippers to see the players

Meanwhile, on the Sunday after the win against Barnet, another two hundred and fifty children had been invited to Skipper of Burnley, the Ford dealer on Eastern Avenue. There, the excited children met Steve Davis, John Pender, Paul McKay, Andy Farrell, Ian Measham and Graham Lancashire. There were prizes galore too for them as well as getting all the autographs.

House fires had become a common theme thirty years ago and there was another in Reynolds Street which all but gutted the semi-detached house. Mrs Iris Bhalla rushed back into the house to rescue her three children but sadly couldn’t reach her pet dog who was brought out by firemen but couldn’t be revived.

The local milkmen were in trouble having been reported for allowing young assistants to travel on the back of their floats. Planning and Development Services Director Mr Andrew Walker said: “This arrangement may be convenient and efficient for the distribution of milk, but it is particularly dangerous.

“The delivery of milk is carried out in haste and involves a great deal of stop-start driving and many turning movements. If youngsters travelling on the back of the milk floats lose their grip, they could easily fall off the vehicle, possibly under the wheels of following traffic. They are also unprotected in the event of a nose-to-tail collision.”

Mr Walker said letters of warning would be sent to every milkman in the area. Me? I’m just relieved I only had a paper round.

Councillor Philip Bilham was concerned at the potential for vandalism on the new landscaped area at the corner of Hargher Street and Accrington Road. Mr Walker, who had taken time off from dealing with the milk floats, said that youths had already demolished planting boxes and a wall, destroyed benches and killed trees and shrubs.

Residents just wanted the area grassed but Councillor John Greenwood said that would encourage dog owners to walk their dogs on the site, leading to them fouling the area. Councillor Bilham said he’d prefer the dog fouling to the yobs.

The council might have destroyed superb buildings such as the Savoy Cinema and the Market Hall but there were still some fine buildings in town and in this week both Rosehill House Hotel and Burnley Wharf were granted statutory listed grade 2.

There was a full midweek fixture list. I’d left home for work on the Tuesday morning, ready to go straight to York from there. It was on the way into work that I heard of the awful news of Ben Lee but it took a phone call early in the afternoon to let me that the game had been called off. There is absolutely no doubt that Burnley had done the right thing. I can’t believe any of us were ready for a game of football but, of course, the rest of the league were ready to play over the next two nights with seven on the Tuesday and three on the Wednesday.

Both Blackpool and Mansfield played on the Tuesday, both at home and both won to move back ahead of us. Blackpool had the relatively easy fixture of bottom of the league Aldershot which them won 1-0. Mansfield recorded a 2-0 win against Northampton.

Both went a point clear of us again, with us now in third place. Rotherham, who beat next to bottom Doncaster, were now within five points, but, significantly, all three teams had played two games more than us.

Our next game, against Halifax at home, was expected to go ahead with Burnley set to pay tribute to Ben Lee ahead of kick off.

Fourth Division Results

Tuesday 10th March 1992
Blackpool 1 Aldershot 0
Cardiff 2 Gillingham 3
Carlisle 1 Barnet 3
Mansfield 2 Northampton 0
Rochdale 2 Scunthorpe 0
Rotherham 3 Doncaster 1
Wrexham 2 Scarborough 0

Wednesday 11th March 1992
Halifax 0 Hereford 2
Lincoln 1 Walsall 0
Maidstone 2 Crewe 0

Burnley’s Goalscorers (League Only)

20: Mike Conroy
9: Graham Lancashire
8: Roger Eli
7: John Francis
5: Steve Davis, John Deary
4: Steve Harper
2: Andy Farrell, John Pender, Adrian Randall
1: Mark Yates
1: own goals

League Table

Pos Team pld w d l f a gd pts
1 Blackpool 34 19 9 6 65 35 30 66
2 Mansfield 34 20 6 8 68 42 26 66
3 Burnley 32 20 5 7 66 35 31 65
4 Rotherham 34 17 9 8 55 34 21 60
5 Barnet 33 18 4 11 70 51 19 58
6 Crewe 32 16 8 8 57 38 19 56
7 Cardiff 33 15 11 7 53 43 10 56
8 Rochdale 31 14 12 5 45 36 9 54
9 Scunthorpe 32 15 7 10 47 48 -1 52
10 Gillingham 33 12 10 11 51 40 11 46
11 Chesterfield 31 13 7 11 33 37 -4 46
12 Walsall 35 11 10 14 43 49 -6 43
13 Northampton 33 10 11 12 42 42 0 41
14 Lincoln 33 10 10 13 31 40 -9 40
15 Hereford 32 11 6 15 36 39 -3 39
16 Wrexham 31 10 9 12 41 53 -12 39
17 Scarborough 32 10 8 14 44 56 -12 38
18 Maidstone 32 7 12 13 38 46 -8 33
19 York 33 7 12 14 33 45 -12 33
20 Halifax 32 8 8 16 28 52 -24 32
21 Carlisle 33 5 11 17 35 55 -20 26
22 Doncaster 35 5 8 22 29 58 -29 23
23 Aldershot 32 3 7 22 21 57 -36 16
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