Amazing At Wolves


Burnley had a strong start to the 1973–74 season with three victories and a tie in the first four games. In game number five against Wolves at Molineux, our players put on a performance that can only be described as very remarkable, giving us a 2-0 victory.

We can shop whenever we want in the modern world.

Supermarket shopping is available 24 hours a day on six of those days for those with irregular work schedules or insomnia, and many stores are open all seven days of the week, albeit with some limits on a Sunday.

So it might come as a surprise to some that in 1973 it was revealed that there would not even be six day shopping any time soon.

This came following a meeting of Burnley and District Chamber of Trade when such a proposal was discussed by local shopkeepers.

The six day plan was originally suggested a month earlier by member Mr Duncan Harrison at the AGM. He urged shopkeepers to take the lead before the multiple stores and national firms got in ahead of them.

HIs plan got very little support at the meeting with members agreeing that the plan could bring hardship on smaller shopkeepers who might then have to employ more staff.

Market trader Mr George Holden spoke out against it. He said: “The market traders are very much against this idea.

They are adamant because a lot are one-man businesses, and opening an extra day would just add to their expenses.” Chamber president Mr Owen Roberts added: “The plan is forward thinking, but I don’t think it takes account of the smaller traders who would be hard put to.”

Mr R. A. Young, another member, warned that this plan could even drive trade away if some shops did decide to open six days and some didn’t. He said people wouldn’t know whether the shops would be open or not.

And so it remained that shops would not be open on a Tuesday afternoon, Burnley’s designated day for half day closing.

A 25-year-old local miner, Mr Robert Riley, went on a drinking spree and his later actions led to him appearing in court where he pleaded guilty to arson and was remanded for four weeks for social reports.

He was granted bail only because of an additional surety of £50 from his own father Mr James Riley.

Just days earlier he had set fire to two wooden store huts and a pigeon cote on spare land near to the canal at Gannow Top. They were gutted by the fire with the damage estimated at over £175.

He then went on to start fires at two houses, one in Adamson Street and the other in Keith Street with damage at the two properties estimated at around £250.

On admitting all three offences he said, in a statement to the police, that he had been out drinking with friends but had only had either ten or eleven pints.

He’d got home safely enough but then decided to take his dog for a walk.

 He lit paper in the yard at the Keith Street address and admitted that he didn’t think the house would catch fire as it did but said he did stand on the street to watch it.

After burning down the wooden huts and pigeon cote he said: “I know the man who owned the pen, but I have no grudge against him. I was probably so drunk I didn’t know what I was doing.”

It was bus pass discussion time again with Burnley Town Council approving the lowering of the age at which pensioners became eligible for a pass which entitled them to half fare.

The system at the time was to issue passes to persons of 70 years with the plan agreed to drop it to 65 years for men and 60 years for women.

Councillor Ernest Bacon applauding the recommendation, and compared the action of the Joint Transport Committee with the present day approach of the so called do-gooders who have infiltrated into organisations.

He said: “The free thinkers, the protectors of the undisciplined rabble of self-expressionists, the defenders of drug addicts and purveyors of vandalism.

The mouthpiece of communities who haven’t the remotest claim to any rights in this country, the ugly voices that moulded the Hitlers and Mussolinis are being heard again above the mobs of hooligans who think this country owes them a living.

 So I applaud the Joint Transport Committee for some old fashioned thinking and awarding a little concession to our own old folks, the true backbone of Britain.”

But Councillor Abel Bridge wasn’t so sure and told council: “The concession may seem a nice gesture, but to most people in the senior citizens’ class it is rather humiliating to have little bits thrown at you. Sign this and you can have a little bit of butter.

 We ought to be pressing the Government to give the pensioners a bit more money so that they can pay for what they desire.”

It was the end of an era for the Cabaret Club in Rosegrove.

Spiralling costs and heavy losses had resulted in the management having to rethink their future policy, and that meant, by mid-September, the club would close after the final curtain with a new style club to emerge in time for Christmas.

There would be no more stage shows but the discotheque, then in a small room on the upper level, would be extended complete with two bars, restaurant facilities, a large dance floor and a small stage for limited live entertainment.

A new lounge would be created on the ground floor with potentially space for a restaurant and possibly one or two small cinemas.

Mr Brian Tattersall, managing director of Continental Casinos Ltd. and Unit Four Cinemas Ltd.

explained: “It has become economically impossible to run the club successfully. We are not short of an audience, the club is often packed, but we still find that we have lost heavily at the end of the week.” He added: “People think that the club is doing well, and indeed it has over a decade.

But tastes and trends change, and we now intend to bring the club into line with what today’s clients expect. It will cater, I hope, for all age levels in its new form.”

So the Cabaret Club, where I once saw Shane Fenton & The Fentones live, was not doing well but one Burnley club was and that was Burnley Football Club.

Everyone who had been to White Hart Lane on the Wednesday night was still on a high after seeing such a terrific performance from the Clarets, and excited about the trip to Molineux to face Wolves.

The big news for manager Jimmy Adamson was that he had Paul Fletcher back after the centre forward missed the game at Tottenham with a knee injury.

It was revealed after the game that he hadn’t even travelled to London but he was able to resume training the day after the game and had come through with no ill effects.

He was added to the squad to travel to Wolves and was expected to come straight back in for Ray Hankin who himself had enjoyed a promising debut.

Fletcher, though, had started the season so well he was almost certain to come straight back in.

Martin Dobson goes close with a header

Billy Rodaway had been added to the travelling party to London as 13th man but he dropped out and didn’t travel to the Black Country where, when the teams were announced, Fletcher did return as expected against Bill McGarry’s team.

The first two away games of the season had been won and Burnley made it three out of three with a 2-0 win against Wolves. But how did we play? Was the performance on a par with that at Spurs? The answers to those questions are quite simple.

This performance was even better than that produced three days earlier. This was something very special.

“We were like Feyenoord when they won the European Cup,” said one jubilant Burnley player after this performance and one of the Sunday papers compared us favourably to Dutch champions Ajax, the current Kings of Europe.

Was it really that good? I spoke to Colin Waldron recently about it and he picked it out as THE best performance from this team.

He told me that the players didn’t need to say anything when they got into the dressing room after the final whistle, they all knew just how well they had played.

This was certainly a Burnley performance that reached new heights. We just didn’t go to Wolves and beat them, we totally outplayed them and this despite fears from some fans ahead of kick off that we might just struggle against their front pair of John Richards and Derek Dougan.

Richards started brightly but quickly faded out of the game and as for former Blackburn player Dougan, little was seen of him.

Burnley were the better side for the whole of the first half but came in without a goal to show for it at half time.

We’d seen off any early threat from the home side and gone on to dominate proceedings with Geoff Nulty, Martin Dobson and Doug Collins totally controlling the midfield.

If there had been any failing then it was in front of goal. It only needed a goal to get us in front, and it came just three minutes into the second half.

It started with a move down the right with Frank Casper playing the ball out to right-back Peter Noble.

Geoff Nulty scores the second goal

Noble played the perfect ball back to CASPER on the edge of the penalty area and to the right of goal.

He let fly with a right foot shot that goalkeeper Phil Parkes somehow got a hand to but he had no chance of keeping it out.

If Wolves thought they were going to get back into things then they were very much mistaken.

The goal was just what was needed and we just got better and better. On a sweltering afternoon we had the home side chasing shadows as we literally played them off the park.

We played the ball around from man to man showing off our skills and the by now ragged Wolves could do nothing about it.

It was great stuff for the Burnley fans to enjoy and the icing on the cake came eight minutes from time with a second goal to ensure the points were ours.

We  won a free kick out on the left as Wolves found this the only way to stop the irresistible Leighton James. Doug Collins took the kick and NULTY came running in to head home.

The scoring was complete. This had been a performance to savour by a team in perfect harmony.

No one could deny the link with Ajax after this performance. There wasn’t a team in the league playing better football than Burnley had done in those last few days.

Wolves: Phil Parkes, Gerald Taylor, Derek Parkin, Barry Powell, Frank Munro, John McAlle, Steve Kindon, Alan Sunderland, John Richards, Derek Dougan, Dave Wagstaffe (Jim McCalliog).

Burnley: Alan Stevenson, Peter Noble, Keith Newton, Martin Dobson, Colin Waldron, Jim Thomson, Geoff Nulty, Frank Casper, Paul Fletcher, Doug Collins, Leighton James. Sub not used: Billy Ingham.

Another win for Burnley but still not enough to catch league leaders Leeds who were still to drop a point.

Their latest win, a 3-0 home victory against bottom of the table Birmingham, brought Peter Lorimer the first First Division hat trick of the season and he was now the leading goalscorer with six in total.

We were just a point behind with the five clubs directly below us all on two points less, but down at the bottom Birmingham had been joined by Arsenal and Chelsea in the relegation places.

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