2 November 1946 Blackpool 1 Chelsea 0


Full marks for the goalkeepers


Blackpool 1, Chelsea 0

By “Spectator”

FOR the first time for eight years a Chelsea team came to Blackpool today.

It was a team glittering with famous names, its cost estimated at between £50,000 and £60,000.

Blackpool put in the field 11 men whose transfer prices were about a fifth of that total.

On a cold, crisp day, and with a turf firmer than Blackpool have yet played on this season, there were nearly 25,000 people present.

Before the match, a band of girl pipers marched and played Highland airs.


BLACKPOOL: Wallace, Sibley, Lewis, Farrow, Suart, Johnston, Eastham, Dick. Mortensen. Blair and McIntosh.

CHELSEA: Robertson, Winter, White, Machin, Harris, Macauley, Spencc, Walker, Lawton, Goulden and Bain.

Referee: Mr. A. C. Hall (Chester).


Blackpool set a fast pace in the opening minutes, but the defence facing these early shock raids refused to be stampeded.

Chelsea never crossed the halfway line for a couple of minutes. When at last their forwards raced over it 

Lewis made two resolute clearances in succession before Sibley headed away a high centre crossed by Spence.

For a time all Blackpool’s final passes went wrong. The tall Robertson’s only task in the first five minutes was to retrieve long forward passes which a greyhound might have reached but no creature on two legs.

At last Mortensen went searching on his own for the ball, reached it in the inside-right position, outwitted two men, and shot over the bar at a great pace.


Chelsea were outplayed and yet twice might have snatched the lead.

The first time, Wallace was found yards out of his goal as Spence sliced a centre over the dead line, with three forwards waiting in front of an open net.

The second time Wallace fell to his right to hold on the line a ball headed fast and wide of him by Lawton.

These Chelsea forwards had a design in every raid. Every pass was studied.

Wallace made another daring dive at Lawton’s feet, with Blackpool’s defence in a state bordering on chaos.

The tide flowed steadily against Blackpool for minutes afterwards. There were as few incidents in the first 15 minutes as there had been a glut of them in the Manchester United game a fortnight ago.


- And Blair gives Blackpool the lead

The Blackpool forwards could find no gaps nor batter any in a Chelsea defence which stood firm as a rock, never lost position. and anticipated every pass.

Blair headed into Robertson’s hands from McIntosh’s centre before Farrow from near the half-way line forced this 6ft. 3in. goalkeeper to a punched clearance.

Shots were coming at last. McIntosh nearly grazed a post with a shot to which Robertson leaned like a cat.

This sudden storming pressure produced a goal in the 23rd minute.

It followed an attack which even Chelsea’s defence seemed unable to clear.

In the end, Johnston hit a fast low ball which cannoned on to BLAIR, fell at his feet and left him to hook it high into the roof of the net.

Twice within a couple of minutes Chelsea’s fast-raiding forwards nearly equalised.


Wallace made two grand clearances from Walker and Lawton within a couple of seconds of each other - clearances so brilliant that Tommy Lawton, always a grand sportsman, applauded them.

There was plenty of excitement now.

White, in a great leap, headed off the line a rising shot by McIntosh which was flying away outside Robertson's touch.

Twice afterwards Wallace positioned himself perfectly to hold fast low shots on his knees before Mortensen’s great speed seemed almost to hurl him past two men before shooting a ball which missed the far post by a fraction*

There was still a plan in every Chelsea pass. Lawton was unfortunate to lose one ball in front of an untenanted goal.


This England centre-forward never made a pass which did not find its man.

Yet the sort of football which wins games was being played by Blackpool after a subdued opening.

Eastham was constantly raiding on the right. Dick, too, was keeping the ball on the move.

There was a punch in this line towards the end of a half which had gone faster every minute.

Mortensen could not be subdued.

On half-time, after chasing a panicking full-back for 30 yards, he intercepted the expected pass back to the goalkeeper. No one was in position for a pass. In the end, he had to shoot into the side net.

But these days they cannot keep this young man down.

Half - time: Blackpool 1, Chelsea 0.


Neither goalkeeper was in the game, except for a watching brief, during the first five minutes of the half.

Then Wallace, partly unsighted, held a fast low shot from Spence.

Again, as in the first half, the Blackpool forwards were a long time building a big attack.

When a chance offered itself, Dick shot high over the bar. Then Eastham sent another ball wide after he had wandered into one of the inside positions.

Dick made a 40-yards’ raid on his own before releasing a pass Which McIntosh shot back into a. packed Chelsea defence.

There were few gaps in this defence. And there were few in Blackpool’s. Shooting
chances for the forwards were scarce.

Lewis, on top of his game today, nearly became a forward in one Blackpool attack, shooting a ball which cannoned out and gave McIntosh the chance to flash another of his “specials" wide of a post.


At last Robertson missed a corner kick, and Mortensen was moving to shoot it into the gaping net when Harris, a grand centre-half, hooked it away from him.

Blackpool were piling on the pressure again. Another corner came, and another, and yet a third, all on the left wing.

In between them Lawton headed backwards brilliantly from a free-kick a ball which Wallace, falling to his knees again, held on the line.

With 20 minutes left there was still only a goal in it.

Mortensen nearly settled it with a great shot from Dick’s pass, which Robertson punched out like a second Joe Louis.

As near a goal was Bain with a shot which the brilliant Wallace beat round a post.

There was still little in it with 10 minutes left as Mortensen raced away after a ball which for once Harris missed - a bouncing ball which the centre-forward shot wide of a post as the goalkeeper dived at him.


BLACKPOOL 1 (Blair 23min)



Two resolute defences were on view today. Otherwise there would have been more than one goal in it.

You can give full marks to both goalkeepers - two men as brilliant as they were audacious - and to Suart and his opposite number in the Chelsea team.

There was not a failure in either defence.

Some men seemed always to be In the thick of it. One of them was Lewis.

There were no gaps today for loose forwards to wander into. In such a game these forwards inevitably had to play second fiddle a lot.

Yet the tireless, dauntless raids of Mortensen and the nonstop football of Dick, who is a lot better footballer than many people seem to think, left a definite impression.

Chelsea had not spent all that money for nothing. They held Blackpool to a goal, and that in these days is no mean achievement.

In the meantime, the only 100 per cent, home record in the First Division remains intact.


Transfer Drama: Last Act

By “Spectator”


Col. W. Parkinson, J.P., the Blackpool chairman, was one of the cast of three. As soon as the centre-forward had signed the form which Mr. Theo Kelly, the Everton secretary - manager, had been asking him to sign for an hour, the epilogue was spoken.

“Good luck, Jock,” said Col. Parkinson, “ Now you can begin all over again.”

They shook hands afterwards. In this atmosphere of good-will the centre-forward who had worn the royal blue jersey of Everton this afternoon and the man who has never lost faith in him parted.

It is betraying no secret to disclose that earlier this week Col. Parkinson - was one of the minority on the board who might have been prepared to have resigned Dodds again.

Strange game this football. A week ago this player’s value to Blackpool, In spite of his 251 goals for the club, was potentially nil.

A cheque bordering on £8,000 can now be banked with the other cheques totalling about £3,000 which have been paid to Blackpool in minor transfers in the last month and a half.

There will be little of the famous - or notorious? - overdraft left now. It was listed at £11,750 in the last balance-sheet.

In Trial Game

ANOTHER man in the news this week is Harry Johnston.

I know one member of the Blackpool staff who was so confident that the Blackpool captain would be playing for England against Wales at Maine-road on November 13th that he booked two 6s. tickets in advance for the match in order to watch this grand wing-half make his bow in international football.

The fact is that when he took the field at Reading he knew that he would not be selected. Not for the first time, the England selectors, I understand, selected the team for the Welsh match an hour or two before the trial sides went into action. And they told the teams of this decision before the game.

England Reserve

BUT they were sufficiently impressed by the Blackpool captain to nominate him as one of the two reserves, which is not only an honour in itself but means the £20 match fee for him.

So now Harry Cockburn (the accepted pronunciation, if it interests you, is “ Ko-burn ”) has to play only one game below the high standard he has set himself and it is a high standard, for he's a first-class little half-back - for Harry Johnston to be in.

Jottings from all parts 

BY "SPECTATOR" 2 November 1946

Chelsea Lost Pre-war

BLACKPOOL was never a happy hunting ground for Chelsea in prewar days.

The last time the London team came to Blackpool, on October 8th, 1938, it was the old, old story. The defence collapsed, and Blackpool’s forwards had a joy day.

That time it was Frank O’Donnell’s day. He was played at inside-left instead of centre-forward, but he scored one of Blackpool’s few prewar "hat tricks” Willie Buchan made it five, and Ten Goal Payne shot one for Chelsea in this 5-1 match.

The Blackpool team was: Wallace, Blair (D.), Sibley, Farrow, Hayward, Johnston, Munro, Buchan, Finan, O’Donnell (F.), and Dawson.


THERE’S gold in Blackpool football these days.

Over £14,000 was taken at the turnstiles at the first six home games. Total for the entire season in 1938-39, the last pre-war season, was £25,764.

Entertainment tax has increased since those times - there's been war on, and football has to help to pay for it - but never was there such a public for the game in these parts.


GEORGE FARROW, the Blackpool wing-half, has twice proved the experts wrong.

Early in his career Major Frank Buckley gave him a free transfer from Wolverhampton.

Nearly 10 years later he was on  Blackpool’s transfer list for a month or two - and there was no queue for him.

Now he is playing football which is impressing everybody. Mr. Walter Winterbottom, the England team manager, who saw him at Bolton, was very complimentary about him. And a Bolton director confessed, “If only we’d known. . . when he was open to transfer."

A few others are saying that now.


JIM McINTOSH has shot only three goals for Blackpool this season. But two of the three have been worth a point each.

The first was in the last minute at Derby when 10 men beat the County 2-1. The second at Bolton last weekend retrieved a point from the match, gave the team its first draw of the season in its 13th game.


THE name “Joe Smith" has lost none of its magic in Bolton.

There was the inevitable swarm of autograph - hunters outside the gates of Burnden Park on Saturday.

But this time few of them were interested in the players. Nearly all of them were waiting for Blackpool’s manager.

When at last he appeared he almost immediately disappeared  - engulfed by a pack of fans too young ever to have seen him play, but told, I suppose, year after year, that there had seldom been a forward to equal him.


NOT one man has played in every match for Blackpool Reserve this season.

Nearest approach to an ever present record among the 25 players who have been fielded is 10 out of 11 by Gordon Kennedy and George McKnight.

There are five in the first team who have yet to miss a match - Jock Wallace, Eric Sibley, Harry Johnston, Stanley Mortensen and Jim McIntosh.


FEW off-the-front-page transfers here and there have made about £3,000 for Blackpool this season. It all adds up.

That overdraft, which soared to over £30,000 before the war, must be in four figures now for the first time for years.


“I’VE seen all these cars labelled, 'Somebody - or - Other for Marton ’ and ‘Somebody Else for Stanley;” said the little boy standing at the corner of the street yesterday, Election Day.

“ All I’m waiting for now is the one labelled ‘Dodds for Everton”


STRANGEST goal in the League last weekend was scored for York City at Wrexham. The City were losing 3-0.

The forwards were out of the match.

The centre-half decided that he would show them how it should be done, raced out of the third full-back position, crossed the 'half-way line, took a surprised Wrexham defence by storm - and shot a grand goal.

Who was it? Bill Park, the centre-half who was transferred by Blackpool a month or two ago.


THEY have no band at Burnden Park.

But they have a loud-speaker system and employ it for broadcasting gramophone records and issuing team changes and other announcements.

What about installing one at Blackpool?


THREE of the first half- dozen teams in the First Division table are managed by former Bolton forwards.

There is Mr. Joe Smith at Blackpool, Mr. Ted Vizard, at Wolverhampton, and Mr. David Jack at Middlesbrough.

At this rate there will soon be a queue at Burnden Park waiting for players to hang up their boots and come out to be signed as managers!


THE goal which George McKnight shot to beat Liverpool Reserve at Blackpool last weekend was his eighth in five games.


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