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Burnley’s re-arranged game against Spurs at Turf Moor on the 1st day of March 1960 couldn’t have gone better as we ran out 2-0 winners to close the gap at the top of the league while moving into third place.

Sir John Hunt, of Everest fame, had been in town. He came to meet some of the local youths who were taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme, of which he was secretary. He visited Burnley Wood Secondary Modern School which was reported as being a big surprise for the boys. In the same report it revealed that the boys had planned a surprise for Sir John by creating a well rehearsed accident where a youth suffered burns from a laboratory mishap. Sir John enjoyed that surprise from the already surprised boys and then enjoyed them taking gymnastic tests before moving on to North Street Baths as the boys carried out life saving exercises.

A couple of weeks ago we reported the murder of 18-month boy Mark Walsh. His mother Sophie Walsh had been charged with the murder. In this week she appeared before the court for a second time and was sent for trial. Apart from the murder of her son she was also charged with the attempted murder of her two other children. She was described by her husband, Mr George Peter Walsh, as a good and loving wife and mother who was devoted to her children.

Mr Anforth protests against the price for boys

Mrs Walsh’s mental condition was referred to by the prosecution at the opening of the case. A medical witness, who had examined her, told the court she was a mentally sick young mother who had the urge to kill. Mr Walsh said he found his dead son on returning home from a night shift and found his two older sons with neck injuries, similar to those that killed Mark. The hearing lasted for three and a half hours, at the end of which Mrs Walsh was committed in custody for trial at Lancaster Assizes.

Two local men were facing a big day. Maurice Howarth and Ken Green were both magicians who would burn pound notes and break eggs in people’s hats. Now they were faced with the toughest audience of the lot when they had to perform in front of the Magic Circle. “It’s like performing at the Command Performance,” said Mr Green.

There was a disappointing incident at Burnley Bank Hall Miners’ Club that left one visitor with a broken nose. A member wasn’t happy that a guest was in and believed he might be running the club down, so he got up, punched him and knocked him out cold as well as breaking his nose and causing an eye injury. He told the court he’d been pushed too far but apologised for his actions and was fined £5 by the magistrates. I knew some clubs could be a bit aggressive towards non-members in those days. I know members didn’t like anyone sitting in their seats, but I think this was probably taking things a bit too far.

One club in Burnley had been playing away from home for thirty years. A quick glance showed there wasn’t the likes of John Terry or Ryan Giggs in the team line up but finally there would be home games for the Co-op snooker team. With no premises everything had been arranged by letter for over thirty years until 1960 when they were offered suitable premises by the Co-operative Society. About half of the 120 club members were present in the newly decorated room on the third floor of the Assembly Rooms in Hammerton Street for the opening. Members themselves had done all the cleaning, painting and papering. The official opening was performed by Alderman George Hale, the Society President.

Tonight was football night and it couldn’t have been any bigger with league leaders Tottenham Hotspur in town. There was a protest at the game when two Burnley supporters run onto the pitch with banners condemning the removal of boys’ prices for the cup tie against Bradford City a week earlier and the next round against Blackburn. Mr David Anforth’s bore the inscription ‘Boys pay 3s, cheap at half price’ and Mr Norman Hadfield’s read: ‘I should be in bed’. The second one was in response to Mr Bob Lord, Burnley chairman, answering critics by saying that boys should be in bed at 7:30 p.m. and not out going to football matches although he had no response to the fact that the Blackburn game would be played on a Saturday afternoon when they couldn’t be expected to be in bed. The police had to come onto the pitch to usher the protesters away, but things were different in 1960 and both Mr Anforth and Mr Hadfield were permitted to return to their places on the terraces to watch the game.

Ray Pointer opens the scoring for Burnley

As for the game itself, Burnley needed these points to keep them in the championship race, and their defeat of Tottenham at Turf Moor was a heartening incentive to press on to try and win honours. They now had 38 points from 30 matches and were three points behind Spurs with a match in hand, and one behind Wolves who have played 31 games.

In the first half, Spurs, driven on relentlessly by their wing halves, stormed into repeated attacks and looked the more purposeful side. However, in the second period Burnley threw off the midfield shackles and became as much on top as Spurs had been in the earlier stages – and scored the goals. It was just past the hour when Burnley broke the deadlock. John Connelly gained possession from Jimmy Adamson and Jimmy McIlroy and from his centre a Ray POINTER header flicked Burnley into the lead.

Cliff Jones tried a storming shot from the inside left position as Spurs retaliated, and Adam Blacklaw dived brilliantly as it looked to be sneaking in by the far post. Alex Elder blocked another attempt and this started another goal bearing Burnley attack. McIlroy slipped through to CONNELLY who accelerated inside and netted with a terrific cross drive.

Blacklaw somehow flicked a terrific shot from Tommy Harmer over the bar as Spurs employed the long ball down the middle or diagonally but they failed to get back into the game. Now, supremely confident, Burnley began to be cheeky in their holding of the ball and inter-passing to keep play near the Tottenham corner flags. They did that until the final whistle blew to confirm this important win.

The teams were;

Burnley: Adam Blacklaw, John Angus, Alex Elder, Jimmy Adamson, Tommy Cummings, Brian Miller, John Connelly, Jimmy McIlroy, Ray Pointer, Jimmy Robson, Brian Pilkington.

Tottenham Hotspur: Bill Brown, Peter Baker, Ron Henry, Danny Blanchflower, Maurice Norman, Dave MacKay, Terry Medwin, Tommy Harmer, Bobby Smith, Les Allen, Cliff Jones.

Referee: Mr D. H. Howell (Birmingham).

Attendance: 32,992.

First Division Results

1st March 1960

Burnley 2 Tottenham 0
Preston North End 5 Blackburn 3

League Table

Pos Team pld w d l f a ga pts
1 Tottenham 31 16 9 6 65 37 1.76 41
2 Wolves 31 18 4 9 77 55 1.40 40
3 Burnley 30 17 4 9 67 46 1.46 38
4 Sheffield Wed 31 15 7 9 56 34 1.65 37
5 Preston 31 13 9 9 58 56 1.04 35
6 Bolton 30 14 6 10 39 34 1.15 34
7 Fulham 31 14 6 11 60 60 1.00 34
8 West Brom 30 12 8 10 57 45 1.27 32
9 Manchester United 31 12 7 12 73 61 1.20 31
10 Newcastle 31 13 5 13 64 62 1.03 31
11 Blackburn 31 14 3 14 53 56 0.95 31
12 West Ham 30 14 3 13 58 62 0.94 31
13 Arsenal 31 12 6 13 53 62 0.85 30
14 Chelsea 31 10 8 13 59 69 0.86 28
15 Nottingham Forest 31 11 6 14 40 57 0.70 28
16 Manchester City 30 12 3 15 63 61 1.03 27
17 Blackpool 30 10 7 13 40 48 0.83 27
18 Leicester 31 9 9 13 48 62 0.77 27
19 Everton 31 9 7 15 50 56 0.89 25
20 Leeds 30 8 7 15 48 71 0.68 23
21 Birmingham 29 8 5 16 38 55 0.69 21
22 Luton 30 7 7 16 36 53 0.68 21
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