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Having got back to winning ways a week earlier with a 2-1 home success over Huddersfield Town, Burnley turned on the style in front of the Turf Moor fans with a big and impressive 4-1 win against Hull City.

Burnley was in the news that week when it’s family planning service, or lack of it, was highlighted on BBC’s Panorama programme. It left civic chief’s slamming allegations that it was religious prejudice that was influencing the service. Dr. Lesley Ashworth, of Pasturegate in Burnley, appeared on the programme and made the allegation. “I don’t think there has been any real push,” she said. “I think that when you have people who are Roman Catholic with religious feelings against family planning, there will be no push in the field.” She added: “The Medical Officer of Health (Dr Luke Collins) and the chairman of the Health Committee (Councillor Mrs Sarah Ennis) have religious objections and any plans were blocked.”

Town Clerk, Mr Charles Thornley, said it had been taken out of context. He said: “It is only one of the large variety of services which the authority provides for the community, and the criticism against this facet of the services has been blown up without a full knowledge of the facts. The introduction of the family planning service began almost 20 years ago. Burnley was, in fact, one of the first councils to provide a service.” It was a story that wasn’t about to go away as long as Burnley’s poor family planning service continued.

This wasn’t the only concern over the council and some of the religious beliefs with many of the councillors Roman Catholic. There had been concerns when a religious meeting, scheduled for the market square, was blocked but there was more positive news on that following a request from Ightenhill Methodist Church Society that the decision should be reconsidered. Alderman Tom Gallagher explained: “We are only carrying out policy. Sixty people were to be in the market square during a busy shopping period. We have been making inquiries with these people and I think we have found a solution.” Without offering any information as to what the solution was, he did add: “We could not allow this to go on in a shopping area on a Saturday afternoon. Surely that would have been ridiculous with all that plate glass around.”

It all seemed to be about religion and that was even the case at the Studio Cinema in Burnley. Work was being carried out to improve the complex with a third studio and while work was being carried out it was down to just one. That week’s offering was “The Lustful Vicar” backed up with “Sweet ‘N’ Sexy”, so I think it is likely the council would have something to say about that.

It was a case of everybody out at Michelin as workers staged a 24-hour strike after the company’s solution to a fight between two workers. They sacked one of them but just suspended the other. Shop stewards and management were holding meetings but it all got complicated when the sacked man accepted his punishment, the suspended worker voted with the minority to continue the strike and then it turned out their foreman, rather than try and end the dispute, had told them to go to the canteen and kill each other if necessary.

I’ve always wondered how a company can sack one and not another. It was something that happened when I was involved with the union at a former company back in the 1980s. A young, and very attractive, Italian girl had joined the company and one afternoon was found in a car with three men on the works’ car park. They were enjoying themselves in there until all four of them were forced to leave the vehicle in various states of undress. All three men were sacked, the girl was just given a warning. Apparently the men were all supposed to be in work but she was on her lunch hour.

The school pianos were hitting the headlines. Thanks to the Stocks-Massey Bequest Fund there was provision for musical instruments and they were able to replace one piano in one school each year. That was fine but there were 126 pianos which meant a 126 year wait per school for them to be replaced and there were serious concerns that this would have a detrimental effect on the music education offered. I recall our school piano being very old which led to our music teacher Mr Barlow spending more and more time playing with his organ at St. Peter’s Church. I suspect the piano must have been very badly out of tune and probably that’s how I’ve been left with the singing voice I’ve got.

I used to be a smoker and I know it can be very frustrating when you have no cigarettes left and can’t find anywhere open to buy some, but I never resorted to the methods used by a Burnley teenager. He’d left the New Albion Hotel on Rossendale Road (for our younger readers that’s now the Usha restaurant) just after closing, following an argument with the manager Mr Len Ainsworth, but he returned over an hour later to try and buy some cigarettes. When refused he punched the manager in the chest and butted him in the head which broke his dentures valued at £7. He told the court that the manager had invited him into the storeroom for a fight. Mr Peter Lawson (defending) said: “He did not intentionally assault Mr Ainsworth. The two men decided to fight so there can be no question of assault.” He pleaded not guilty but the court was not impressed. He was fined £10 and ordered to pay a further £7 for replacement dentures.

More than fifty Burnley detectives and uniformed officers spent two days making investigations after a man claimed he was held up at gunpoint and robbed of £28. Investigations hadn’t gone too well and the man later admitted that he’d lost the money on one-arm bandits and had made up the story to avoid telling his wife the truth. He was fined £50 after his previous good character was taken into account. He said: “It wasn’t an offence that was caused maliciously, but by the confusion in my own mind. I got into a trap as to how to explain the absence of the money. I have separated from my wife now, so I have the freedom to pursue my activities properly.”

Local business man Frank Tyrrall had put his town centre furniture shop and warehouse up for sale. He’d done so to enable him to give at least £11,000 towards the estimated £100,000 it was costing to bring the Flying Scotsman back to these shores from the United States. That’s the Flying (with an F) Scotsman, a train that should not be confused with anyone who went on to manage Burnley some years later. It was a life’s dream for Mr Tyrrall who had started a fundraising campaign to raise the £100,000 but it had fallen some way short having brought in just £200. Now he was giving that fund a massive boost.

Burnley were at home to Hull City so there was no need for a special train to get the supporters to the game, not even the Flying Scotsman. Jimmy Adamson had real injury concerns over Paul Fletcher but hoped he’d be able to shake off an injury. He was back in training but only at three-quarter pace. Having struggled in the first half against Huddersfield  we were much improved in the second half. Adamson said: “We have got to reproduce the form we showed in the second half against Huddersfield. It will be tough, but they are all tough for us now.” Burnley’s lead at the top had been cut to one point after QPR beat Huddersfield at Loftus Road on the Tuesday, so a win was vital to stay at the summit.

Three goals in four games for Billy Ingham as Burnley go 3-1 in front

The Clarets had been playing their best football away from home and supporters who only watched the team at home could be excused if they had doubts about the team’s ability. This game answered all their doubts. It was the match that the home fans had been waiting for. This was the day that Burnley turned it on at Turf Moor to destroy Second Division opponents. “The best home display for some time,” was how Adamson described it and it was certainly the best showing from the Clarets at Turf Moor since we’d beaten Aston Villa by the same scoreline back in August. All the exciting skills which characterised this Burnley team were harnessed together in a display that was a joy to watch. Slick passing, neat skills, bold running. It was all there as Burnley, particularly in the second half, gave the Tigers a mauling.

And all this was achieved with Fletcher missing with a groin strain and both Mick Docherty and Doug Collins only risked after late fitness tests. Collins had been ill but overcame it with a brilliant display and Docherty hadn’t trained all week with strained ligaments. It was always going to be a game of different styles as Hull tried all they could to make it a physical battle. Burnley rose above it.

After an early flurry it was Hull who twice came close in an even start to the game but by the half hour mark it was Burnley who were starting to stamp their authority on proceedings. And it was just past the thirty minutes that we eventually took the lead with a simple but well executed goal. Martin Dobson started the move with a pass down the right wing for Leighton James. Taffy came inside defender Don Beardsley and crossed to the far post. Goalkeeper Jeff Wealands started to come for the ball but was caught in no man’s land leaving Frank CASPER to head home unchallenged into the empty net. It proved to be the only goal of the first half but it was so nearly 2-0 right on half time when James burst through from Casper’s pass only to see Wealands block his first shot and then player/manager Terry Neill head the second effort off the line. So 1-0 at half time and everything seemed well for those with a claret and blue persuasion. It was, however, to get worse before it got better in the second half.

Just five minutes in and, totally against the run of play, Hull equalised and a controversial equaliser it was. Hull played a long ball but as Docherty came across the linesman flagged for offside. He played the ball back to Alan Stevenson, or tried to, but it was too short. Referee Roy Capey incredibly ignored his linesman and Stuart PEARSON got to the ball, took it round Stevenson and hit a shot that Colin Waldron, who had got back onto the line, couldn’t keep out.

Martin Dobson completes the scoring

Straight from the kick off Docherty got the ball down the right wing for Billy Ingham, who had come in for the injured Fletcher. Ingham’s cross from the right touchline was measured to perfection for Geoff NULTY to head superbly into the top corner from around ten yards out. We’d regained the lead within a minute and we weren’t to lose it again. Just five minutes after that Nulty goal it was 3-1 thanks to some great skill from Collins. He teased the Hull defenders on the edge of the penalty box before putting over the perfect cross. Dobson reached the cross but could only head it up into the air. The ball dropped to Nulty who volleyed it across goal and the ever alert INGHAM lurched forward to turn it in.

It was all Burnley now and there was to be one more goal, thirteen minutes from the end. Collins’ free kick into the box caused all sorts of trouble for the Hull defence. They eventually cleared it but Keith Newton latched onto it and immediately sent Collins clear down the left wing. This time his pin-point cross was headed down by Nulty for DOBSON to smash home and the scoring was complete.

A delighted Jimmy Adamson admitted the gamble of playing Docherty and Collins after the game: “It was a risk. We did not know whether either of them would be able to last out. I have cover for the two players but it was a question of trying to keep the same side together. Both players were most keen to play and that was the reason that finally made me decide to take the chance. Happily the risk was well worth taking.”

Adamson knew he’d have to make at least one change in the next game at Carlisle but hoped to have Fletcher back. If so it was likely that Ingham would drop to right back to cover for Docherty who had to serve a two match suspension.

The teams were;

Burnley: Alan Stevenson, Mick Docherty, Keith Newton, Martin Dobson, Colin Waldron, Jim Thomson, Geoff Nulty, Frank Casper, Billy Ingham, Doug Collins, Leighton James. Sub not used: Ray Hankin.

Hull City: Jeff Wealands, Frank Banks, Don Beardsley, John Kaye, Terry Neill, Ken Knighton, Jimmy McGill, Ken Houghton, Stuart Pearson, Philip Holme, Roy Greenwood. Sub not used: Stuart Blampey.

Referee: Mr R. Capey (Madeley Heath, near Crewe).

Attendance: 13,730.

There was some good news on top of the win with QPR having been held to a 0-0 draw by Forest at the City Ground. That meant our lead at the top was back to two points and with a game in hand.

If we could maintain the sort of form we’d shown in this game then promotion would definitely be the likely outcome at the end of the season. We were now two thirds of the way through the season and all we needed to do was maintain the sort of points return we’d achieved so far.

Second Division Results

Tuesday 6th February 1973
QPR 3 Huddersfield 1

Saturday 10th February 1973
Brighton 2 Luton 0
Burnley 4 Hull 1
Cardiff 1 Carlisle 0
Huddersfield 1 Fulham 0
Middlesbrough 2 Bristol City 1
Millwall 3 Oxford 1
Nottingham Forest 0 QPR 0
Orient 2 Blackpool 0
Preston 0 Portsmouth 5
Sheffield Wednesday 1 Sunderland 0
Swindon 1 Aston Villa 3

Burnley’s Goalscorers

10: Paul Fletcher
8: Martin Dobson, Leighton James
6: Frank Casper
4: Geoff Nulty, Dave Thomas
3: Billy Ingham, Colin Waldron
1: Doug Collins, Keith Newton, own goals

League Table

Pos Team pld w d l f a ga pts
1 Burnley 28 15 11 2 49 27 1.81 41
2 QPR 29 14 11 4 51 32 1.59 39
3 Aston Villa 28 13 9 6 35 28 1.25 35
4 Fulham 28 11 10 7 44 32 1.38 32
5 Blackpool 29 12 8 9 42 35 1.20 32
6 Luton 28 12 8 8 35 31 1.13 32
7 Middlesbrough 30 11 10 9 28 31 0.90 32
8 Oxford 29 13 5 11 35 29 1.21 31
9 Sheffield Weds 29 11 8 10 45 40 1.13 30
10 Hull 28 9 10 9 43 37 1.16 28
11 Millwall 29 10 7 12 38 34 1.12 27
12 Bristol City 28 9 9 10 35 37 0.95 27
13 Nottingham Forest 28 9 9 10 31 34 0.91 27
14 Preston 29 10 7 12 28 44 0.64 27
15 Portsmouth 28 9 8 11 33 33 1.00 26
16 Carlisle 27 9 7 11 40 33 1.21 25
17 Sunderland 25 7 9 9 33 34 0.97 23
18 Swindon 28 6 11 11 34 44 0.77 23
19 Orient 28 6 11 11 26 34 0.76 23
20 Huddersfield 29 6 11 12 25 37 0.68 23
21 Cardiff 26 9 4 13 30 39 0.77 22
22 Brighton 29 3 9 17 30 65 0.46 15
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