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Having been beaten at Ipswich in the previous week, our first defeat of the season, Burnley were back on song at Turf Moor on this date in 1973 and emphatically beat Manchester City by a 3-0 scoreline.

The town was due to get a new centre for handicapped and elderly people with boasts that it was going to be the showpiece of the north. A unique ‘think-in’ had been set up with voluntary workers, industrialists, commercial and professional bodies in Burnley who had all been invited to put forward their views on how best to use the new £171,000 Temple Street Recreation Centre. The mayor, Councillor Mr F. Booth was set to chair the meeting and he himself had allowed some of the money from his own fund to provide a special mini-bus for handicapped people.

Mr L, Meadwell, Director of Social Services, explained: “This unique meeting will give all the interested parties in the town the chance to have a say in the centre’s running,” adding: “We want to consult those not directly involved with voluntary work as well as the obvious organisations.”

The WRVS, Red Cross and St. John’s Ambulance had been invited along with the Rotary Clubs, Chambers of Commerce and others. Mr Meadwell concluded: “The corporation have provided us with a chrome-plated building which is the best of its kind in the north. Now it’s our turn to roll up our sleeves and make it gold-plated.”

A showpiece centre but the big and necessary road improvements were beginning to look less likely with cuts in public expenditure hitting the new Calder Valley fast route. The North West Industrial Development Association vowed to approach the Government immediately but the news was far from positive.

On the subject of showpiece centres, as mentioned with Temple Street, there was disappointing news regarding the opening of the new £1.5 million William Thompson recreation centre. Long delays were reported by the Recreational Facilities Committee who were now worried they would be out of office by the time the centre opened.

A tour of the site was organised after which Borough surveyor Mr E. C. Ashby had no good news to report. He was frank to the point of being blunt when he told the committee: “There are so many imponderables. You saw it yourselves today, and there is an awful lot of work to be done. We were told in March that the contractor was pleased and expected the job to be finished earlier than the contract period. It didn’t work out. The contract is due to end on November 18th. That is the official contract period ending date, but the contractor has made a claim for additional time, which we have yet to consider. I would be very surprised to see it finished on November 18th.”

He then shocked the committee when he added: “I would think it is likely to be January or February to be safe. If it finishes earlier, that will be great.” Mr Ashby did say he believed the work would be completed by then and that the centre would be open to the public by the end of March, the date when the committee would cease to exist.

Did you know that pigeons could help raise money for cancer research? The local Cancer Research Campaign Committee had held a pigeon auction at Lowerhouse Canteen. The birds were donated by a Mr K. W. Kippax of Reedley and former Football League referee Colin Cooke, from Sabden, acted as auctioneer. The birds were literally flying out with the bids and the auction raised a staggering £1,318.

What a surprise it was for the audience who had gone to see the Wingates Brass Band play at the Cat’s Whiskers when they saw that the conductor was none other than Stephen Hancock, the actor who played Ernest Bishop in Coronation Street. Band president Mr Sid Ratcliffe was delighted and said: “Mr Hancock was exceptionally good. He is a musician of high repute. We certainly hope that he will come and conduct the band again. He was really brilliant and after his performance he went to every member of the band and thanked them individually”.

The concert had been organised as a tribute to Burnley Football Club to honour the team’s return to the First Division and just down the road from the Cat’s at Turf Moor, manager Jimmy Adamson was giving an update on his two injured players Mick Docherty and Frank Casper.

It initially looked good news for Docherty with Adamson re-arranging training to fit in a full-scale practice game for the fully fit full back to get some match practice. Unfortunately, the Doc broke down with half an hour of the game gone after which he visited a specialist who ordered complete rest prior to a full examination one week later.

As reported last week, Casper had undergone a cartilage operation at Burnley Victoria Hospital. The operation took place as Burnley were losing at Ipswich but it was successful and a spokesman for the hospital reported: “He’s progressing very well and may be allowed home on Tuesday or Wednesday.” It was believed that the in form forward would be out for a further eight weeks.

With Docherty and Casper remaining out of the reckoning for Manchester City’s visit, it meant Peter Noble and Ray Hankin would continue to deputise in an unchanged team. City had been without Denis Law through illness but he was ready to return although had to settle for the substitute role.

Paul Fletcher gets above Willie Donachie to give Burnley the lead

Burnley went into the game having won four of the eight league games played with three of those wins coming away from Turf Moor. Some were suggesting we could only play away but Peter Higgs, reporting for the Burnley Express, wrote: “If Burnley put in many more performances like this you can forget the popular theory that they play better away from Turf Moor.”

It was a day when everything went right for Burnley. The team built on the encouraging start of an early goal and played some splendid football while also receiving some unexpected generosity from big Joe Corrigan who didn’t cover himself in glory with the second and third goals which sewed up the match.

Following the defeat to Ipswich, we couldn’t have asked for a better tonic than an early goal and it came from another of our inspirational free kicks. They were rather like a whodunit where you didn’t know how it is going to happen, who was going to be the culprit, until right at the end. This free kick showed great imagination and perfect timing and left City players with expressions on their faces knowing they’d been done again.

City knew they had to keep an eye on Colin Waldron who had scored from the free kick in our Charity Shield win at Maine Road. Nothing changed, Martin Dobson dummied the ball to leave Doug Collins to take it. Waldron went but this time his was a dummy run. They followed him and left an unmarked Paul FLETCHER to run in and send his downward header past Corrigan.

“The players were thrilled to bits about making this work again,” Adamson said. “To score from the same free kick against the same team twice is quite something.” The players who were involved will tell you to this day that Adamson advised against using the routine, believing City wouldn’t fall for it again. They took it upon themselves to try it early in the game and got their rewards.

Martin Dobson scores the second with a little help from Joe Corrigan

City went on to have a fair amount of possession but rarely looked likely to score. Burnley were better in all departments with Dobson, Collins and Geoff Nulty running the show with Dobson, in particular, back to his very best.

Some eight minutes before half time, Corrigan dropped the first of two clangers which led to us doubling our lead. Fletcher deserved so much credit for chasing a long pass down the right, bringing it under control and steering it back into the path of Dobson.

Our players had been instructed to shoot on sight because of the skiddy surface following a lot of rain. DOBSON did just that, from fully 30-yards. It pitched in the goalmouth and shot through Corrigan’s hands and into the net.

Early in the second half, Corrigan struck again. He comfortably beat Fletcher to a Mike Doyle back pass but then unaccountably let the ball slip from his grasp. Credit again to FLETCHER who hadn’t given up on it and, although surprised, he sent the ball past the distraught goalkeeper for goal number three.

There was going to be no way back for the visitors although they might have done better with one effort when Francis Lee headed a Mike Summerbee cross over the bar,.

Corrigan might have made it easy for Burnley but we were so much the better side and would have won it even without his generosity.

The teams were;

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.

Manchester City: Joe Corrigan, Tony Book, Willie Donachie, Mike Doyle, Tommy Booth, Alan Oakes, Mike Summerbee, Colin Bell, Rodney Marsh, Francis Lee, Tony Towers. Sub not used: Denis Law.

Referee: Mr R. B. Fitzpatrick (Leicester),

Attendance: 24,492.

Two former Burnley players scored their first goals of the season. Dave Thomas scored the opening goal in QPR’s 3-2 win at Newcastle and Ralph Coates was on target with the only goal as Spurs beat Derby 1-0 at White Hart Lane.

The day brought Stoke their first win of the season; they beat West Ham 2-0 at the Victoria Ground, but it was a first defeat for Leicester who went down to a 2-0 defeat at home against Coventry.

That win had seen Coventry move up to second in the table behind Leeds who won 1-0 at Norwich. We’d moved back up to third place.

First Division Results

Saturday 29th September 1973
Birmingham 0 Ipswich 3
Burnley 3 Manchester City 0
Chelsea 2 Wolves 2
Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Leicester 0 Coventry 2
Manchester United 0 Liverpool 0
Newcastle 2 QPR 3
Norwich 0 Leeds 1
Southampton 3 Sheffield United 0
Stoke 2 West Ham 0
Tottenham 1 Derby 0

Burnley’s Goalscorers (League)

3: Frank Casper, Doug Collins, Martin Dobson, Paul Fletcher
2: Leighton James, Geoff Nulty
1: Ray Hankin, Colin Waldron

Burnley Goalscorers (Cups)

3: Paul Fletcher
2: Geoff Nulty
1: Leighton James, Peter Noble, Colin Waldron

First Division Leading Goalscorers

6: Derek Dougan (Wolves), Peter Lorimer (Leeds)
5: Roger Davies (Derby), Malcolm MacDonald (Newcastle)
4: Tommy Baldwin (Chelsea), Billy Bremner (Leeds), Mick Channon (Southampton), Martin Chivers (Tottenham), Allan Clarke (Leeds), Kevin Hector (Derby), Geoff Hurst (Stoke), David Johnson (Ipswich), Jim McCalliog (Wolves), Martin Peters (Tottenham), Bryan Robson (West Ham)

League Table

Pos Team pld w d l f a ga pts
1 Leeds 9 8 1 0 20 4 5.00 17
2 Coventry 10 6 2 2 13 7 1.86 14
3 Burnley 9 5 3 1 18 10 1.80 13
4 Derby 10 5 2 3 14 9 1.56 12
5 Newcastle 9 4 3 2 16 11 1.45 11
6 Leicester 9 3 5 1 10 8 1.25 11
7 Liverpool 9 4 3 2 10 8 1.25 11
8 Everton 9 3 4 2 10 8 1.25 10
9 Manchester City 9 4 2 3 12 12 1.00 10
10 QPR 9 2 5 2 13 13 1.00 9
11 Arsenal 9 4 1 4 12 12 1.00 9
12 Sheffield United 9 4 1 4 11 11 1.00 9
13 Ipswich 9 3 3 3 15 17 0.88 9
14 Manchester United 9 3 2 4 8 10 0.80 8
15 Southampton 9 3 2 4 12 16 0.75 8
16 Chelsea 9 3 1 5 13 13 1.00 7
17 Stoke 9 1 5 3 9 10 0.90 7
18 Tottenham 9 3 1 5 11 15 0.73 7
19 Wolves 9 2 2 5 10 16 0.63 6
20 Norwich 9 1 3 5 8 15 0.53 5
21 West Ham 9 0 4 5 10 17 0.59 4
22 Birmingham 9 0 3 6 8 21 0.38 3
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