Thrilling finale as Burnley hang on against City
After disappointing defeats to both Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers, the first at home, it was a relief to get back to winning ways for the Burnley team of sixty years ago with a 4-3 win against Manchester City that provided the spectators with an action packed finish to the game.
Water was still dominating the news in the town with water manager Jack Shepherd now coming under severe pressure. It was said that he’d taken the opportunity to empty reservoirs for cleaning just before the drought and it was that which had led to us being without water. There were accusations of mis-management from Shepherd coming from the Chamber of Trade and there were more problems for people in the upper Manchester Road area. Their water was brown looking and chlorine dosed with the residents refusing to drink it. On the positive side of things there was news that we would be getting more water from the Haweswater Aqueduct and this should at least guarantee against any worsening of the situation.
Drinking water might not have been in abundance but Burnley folk were being encouraged to eat more healthily. There was a promotion suggesting one particular food was nourishing, appetising and easily digested; that was UCP tripe. It was also said that it was also ideal with salad.
Water, healthy food, and more. There was also a hint for housewives doing their weekly wash with the news that there was a new improved Rinso. The headline advert in the Burnley Express read: “Have you tried improved extra soapy Rinso yet? That whiter Rinso powder gives a quicker lather, a richer lather that never forms a scum even in the hardest wash. And what wonderful results you get. Dad’s shirt is a good example. It makes him feel smart and mother very proud. But then Rinso always gives you results to be proud of. That extra soapy lather takes such good care of your clothes. And you hands! And your washing machine.”
Burnley Rotary Club had some excitement with a talk from local telephones man Mr W. R. Beach. He told the club: “A new era in telecommunications could be with us by 1964.” In that new era Mr Beach envisaged being able to dial numbers as far away as London and Edinburgh, and incredibly for no more than 2d.
For those in their late teens there was a young people’s weekend held at the Hanover Methodist Church. Saturday evening would see both a whist drive and a beetle drive followed by a hot supper. On the Sunday Mrs Berry would give the morning address with Mr J. E. Batey giving the evening address. At both Ian Cherry would be playing on his organ.
In to the world of sport and there was big news from the Belvedere and Calder Vale sports clubs. Already, since June 1958, £4,000 had been raised towards the new ambitious plans at Reedley but a further £2,500 was still required. The work would provide one rugby pitch, one for association football and also a cricket square. In the new club room there would be provisions for table tennis and other amenities. The scheme was a joint effort between the Belvedere Football and Cricket Clubs and Calder Vale Rugby Union Club, sponsored by Mr T. T. Redman the president of both organisations.
Further in local sport came the Burnley Sunday School Cricket League presentation night. Well done to Brooklands Road who were runners up in the league whilst also winning the Cowpe Shield knock out competition. Their captain John Timson, who went on to become the assistant secretary at Turf Moor, stepped up to receive the trophies but there was more interest in one of the team’s batsmen who came up to claim his award, none other than Jimmy McIlroy.
Harry Potts delayed naming his team for the Manchester City game until noon on the Friday. This was because of the injury to Jimmy Robson. In the end it was decided not to risk him. This time though Billy White would play inside-left with McIlroy remaining at inside-right. That meant White would miss out on the chance to play in the Champions v Rest of the Central League at Wolves ground at Molineux.
There would be a collection at the game for the British Empire Cancer Campaign. A similar collection last year had brought in no less than £108 and it was thought that total would be beaten as City were expected to bring a big following all the way from Manchester to watch one of only four teams to have scored more than thirty goals so far and here’s how the game went.
It went Burnley’s way. Goals! Seven of them – and four for Burnley. That was the Turf Moor team’s return to winning ways but pleasurable as it may seem, the fact that the opposition scored three, this bringing the ‘against’ total to double figures in three matches, is not a particularly happy cause for jubilation. It indicates a weakness in defence which could be alarming, and if the forwards are not achieving results then more defeats would seem to be on the way. However, the win, the first in October, was sufficient to restore confidence to the attack and give supporters plenty to talk about over the weekend. And it brought a halt to Manchester City’s run of five victories in a row, thereby dampening the high spirits of their lively supporters who invaded the town with song and rattle and massed blue and white behind the Bee Hole goal.
A year earlier Burnley had played this game on the opening day of the season. We’d led 3-0 at half time but ended the game with a 4-3 defeat. We didn’t want that happening again and we got off to a good start and scored two in quick succession just after the quarter hour. McIlroy inspired both of the goals. City concentrated their attention on him as he wandered into the middle with the ball at his feet quite forgetting that Brian Pilkington was unmarked on the left. So Mac promptly gave him the ball and PILKINGTON scored. Then McIlroy veered in from the left wing for Ray POINTER to divert his centre past Bert Trautmann for the second.
It was 2-0 at half time and it has to be said that much of the second half was a scrappy affair. Then came an alarming incident involving Pointer. He and City’s John McTavish chased a long pass and disputed possession wide of the goal on the dead ball line. Pointer, trying to turn at speed, crashed heavily into the boundary wall on to the back of his neck. Dr. David Iven and Ray Bennion rushed round and ambulance men were on the scene with a stretcher. However, doctor and trainer half carried him between them towards the dressing room, Mr Harry Potts taking over at the trainer’s box. It looked a permanent retirement for Pointer, but to everyone’s astonishment, he came out again after a few minutes and, incredibly, played even better than before!
The score stayed at Burnley 2 Manchester City 0, for much of the game in fact until the last twelve minutes after which the game simply went goal crazy. Firstly George HANNAH started one move and was in position to finish it with a goal but the score was still 2-1 with five minutes to go when WHITE increased the Burnley lead and then a minute later, in another scramble, WHITE made a name for himself and rather shattered his critics by adding a fourth, John Connelly being prominent in both moves after a quiet first half.
4-1 with three minutes to go. Then with Burnley’s lines of defensive communications extended City broke away for HANNAH and Clive COLBRIDGE to both score. No wonder the move for many spectators towards the exits halted. Who would net next? With a roar supporting every attack it looked like City with Adam Blacklaw nervy and the defence ruffled out of its normal calm by these sudden reverses. Burnley hung on with counter cheers as the ball was whisked away into the light blues’ half and then relief as the final whistle sounded for the end of the best thriller seen at Turf Moor this season.
The win took Burnley up to sixth in the table, just behind Preston on goal average. Tottenham were now the clear leaders with three points more than Burnley whilst down at the bottom it was Leeds and Luton still occupying the relegation positions.
The teams were;
Burnley: Adam Blacklaw, John Angus, Alex Elder, Bobby Seith, Brian Miller, Jimmy Adamson, John Connelly, Jimmy McIlroy, Ray Pointer, Billy White, Brian Pilkington.
Manchester City: Bert Trautmann, Bill Leivers, Cliff Sear, Roy Cheetham, John McTavish, Ken Barnes, Colin Barlow, George Hannah, Bill McAdams, Joe Hayes, Clive Colbridge.
Referee: Mr A. Hawcroft (Rotherham).
It didn’t look as though it was going to be a good day for the reserves though when we went 2-0 down at Chesterfield with goals from Bottom and Steward but Ian Lawson and Ian Towers brought Burnley back into the game and it ended 2-2.
First Division Results
24th October 1959
Birmingham 2 Fulham 4
Burnley 4 Manchester City 3
Chelsea 1 Everton 0
Leeds 0 Blackburn 1
Leicester 2 Arsenal 2
Manchester United 3 Sheffield Wednesday 1
Newcastle 0 Bolton 2
Preston 4 Wolves 3
Tottenham 2 Nottingham Forest 1
West Brom 4 Luton 0
West Ham 1 Blackpool 0