11 January 1947 Sheffield Wednesday 4 Blackpool 1


Wednesday stick to their lead


Sheffield Wednesday 4, Blackpool 1 

By “Spectator”

SHEFFIELD was engulfed in such a thick fog earlier today that two hours before noon it seemed improbable that this match would ever be played.

By mid-day the mist from the Derbyshire moors was lifting, but as the Blackpool team reached the ground at two o'clock there were signs that it would soon fall again.

So early in the afternoon the comer flags on the far side of the field were almost invisible from the main stand. A fine drift of rain was falling, too, on a field which yesterday had two inches of thawing snow on it.

The Wednesday, who made five changes in a big shuffle yesterday, had to announce a sixth before the kick-off.

Logan reported unfit. Influenza was diagnosed, and Cockcroft was given his position at right half.

Blackpool’s convoy of 11 motor coaches reached the town by one o’clock after one of them had been lost and crawled over the Snake Pass in a thick fog screen.


There were tangerine rosettes everywhere, but little of the excitement which ordinarily precedes these Cup matches, though the hundreds of Blackpool visitors, clattering rattles, were chanting “One, two, three, four” half an hour before the teams

In the end, Blackpool were given the sort of reception which they are seldom given at Bloomfield-road.

The fog and the rain reduced the attendance to fewer than 20,000 at the kick-off. There will be no big cheque in this match for Blackpool whatever happens.

Prospects that it would not be finished today were not remote.


SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Smith, Westlake. Swift, Cockcroft, Gale, Wands, Fox, Hunt, Dailey Froggatt, and Slynn.

BLACKPOOL: Wallace, Shimwell, Sibley, Farrow, Suart, Johnston, Munro, Dick, Mortensen, Buchan (W.) and McIntosh.

Referee: Mr. B R. Baker (Westcliff-on-Sea).


Blackpool faced wind and rain when Harry Johnston lost the toss. The atmosphere was clearer

The men were sliding and tumbling as fast as skittles in an alley in the opening minutes.

The Wednesday, off as fast as greyhounds, almost dominated these early skirmishes.

Blackpool were retreating everywhere for the first five minutes. All that came out of this pressure was a free-kick taken by Wands which Froggatt back- heeled into Wallace’s waiting arms.

It was one-way traffic, but not the way everyone expected it to be, for it was the Wednesday who were raiding.

It was only a flash in the pan but it was a long flash.

McIntosh had to gallop back to aid his hard-pressed defence in one of these raids after Shim- well’s clearance had been sliced out to an open right wing.


When at last Blackpool crossed the half-way line Dick eluded three men before releasing a long forward pass which Mortensen shot wide as he skidded to earth in the mud.

Twice in rapid succession Suart made great headed clearances to repel raging Wednesday raids.

In another Blackpool breakaway Munro took a long pass from Mortensen and crossed it fast - so fast that it escaped the centre-forward by a foot near the far post as a full-back sliced it desperately over the line for the first corner of the game.

Dick, refusing to submit to a neck-or-nothing tackle, won another corner in the next minute.


Wednesday’s centre-half clears anywhere

Afterwards Blackpool were raiding as constantly as the Wednesday had been earlier, and won a corner - the third in five minutes.

Buchan fell and lost the ball within two yards of a post with Mortensen waiting in front of a nearly open goal.

Then, a minute later, Buchan crossed a pass which Gale cleared anywhere with the goalkeeper out of position.

The Wednesday’s early storm had subsided.

Yet in a breakaway in the 14th minute the Wednesday went in front with a fine snap goal. The left wing advanced at a nearly incredible speed in the mud.

Slynn crossed a high centre which Wallace leaped at and half hit out.

In from the right wing the young Sheffield recruit, FOX, raced and shot low into the far wall of the net before the goalkeeper could position himself again.

A minute later Mortensen might have made it 1-1 as he hesitated, waiting for the offside whistle, and in the end shot low into Smith’s arms.

Blackpool were playing football which had a purpose in every pass, but it was Wednesday’s long crossfield passes which made progress.

These tearaway Wednesday forwards won their first corner in the 20th minute, and from it Froggatt might have put them further ahead as he headed wide a ball which flew from the flag across the face of a goal barely protected.

The Wednesday’s defence forfeited two more corners in the next two minutes, but neither led anywhere.

Blackpool were winning in the open, but not in goals, and it is goals that count in this game.


From another comer in this game of corners - five for Blackpool and three for Sheffield in the first 24 minutes - Wallace made a grand clearance from Fox.

In the next minute Blackpool were unfortunate not to be on terms when Mortensen leaped at a high centre and headed fast against the corner of bar and post with Smith yards away.

Blackpool’s football was still remarkably precise and orderly on such a surface, but it was the wrong sort of football for the surface - too close except when now and again a long pass reached the wings.

Shimwell crossed to an exposed right wing to repel one Wednesday raid. A minute later, Dailey outpaced Suart and shot wide when the centre-half challenged him,


As the interval approached, the Wednesday were going all out again. Pass after pass intended for Mortensen was being intercepted by an alert Sheffield defence.

In the 37th minute, the Wednesday made it 2-0.

Again it was the young outside-right, Fox, who made the goal as he accepted another long pass, raced away from Sibley, and crossed a low centre from the corner flag.

Suart seemed to be rooted in the mud and was half off balance as the ball passed him, and reached FROGGATT, who shot low into the net to a hurricane of cheers.

This was what they call a “turn-up for the book.”

Nobody could pretend that the Wednesday were not entitled to this lead.

Yet in one amazing minute - the 44th of the half - this lead might have been lost.

Mortensen chased one of those familiar forward passes down the mudcakcd middle, reached it, and shot a ball which hit the foot of a post with Smith near the other post and falling seconds late.

This raid had not been repelled. either, before a loose ball came out to Munro, who shot it fast, but stood in despair as it hit the bar with Smith beaten yet again.

Half-time: Sheffield Wednesday 2, Blackpool 0.


The Blackpool fans were still chanting the old goal chorus when the second half opened. They soon had something to cheer about.

With a minute of the half gone, Shimwell made one of his long distance clearances.

MORTENSEN went after it, raced between two hesitating full-backs, and, a split second before Smith, galloping out, could reach him hooked the ball into the open goal from 15 yards.

That was a goal out of the blue - or to be exact out of the fog, which was beginning to fall again.

Yet it counted for only two minutes.

Then away went the Wednesday. Farrow lost a skidding ball which Froggatt pounced on before finding his partner with a long pass.

Slynn raced to the line with the ball, and crossed it low to FROGGATT, who shot fast into the net past Wallace, who seemed to be impeded by one of his own men after beating out one shot.


The Blackpool defence was not so compact afterwards. Twice Suart had to cross to the wings to the aid of his outpaced fullbacks.

Yet Blackpool forwards won a couple of corners each time they advanced on the right, even if each of them went wrong as the heavyweight ball never reached the packed goalmouth from the flag.

All the time Mortensen was in gallant pursuit of passes too fast for him.

When at last he reached one and hooked it inside as he fell, no other forward was in position in front of an open goal to shoot it in.

With half an hour left Blackpool were still two goals in arrears, the attack aU out but getting nowhere.

It was Mortensen or no one to snatch this match from the ruins.

The little centre-forward, who has been ill in bed with a chill all week, shot over the bar as Blackpool’s pressure continued.

Then he nearly grazed the post from an intelligent forward pass by Dick.


Twenty minutes to go. The sands were running out.

It was still Mortensen v. the Rest in nearly every Blackpool raid, and there were still plenty of them.

Twenty minutes left, and it was still 3-1 in spite of all Blackpool’s constant pressure.

Fifteen minutes left, and three times in a minute, from two successive corners, the Wednesday goal escaped as Westlake headed away a ball shot wide of the goalkeeper.

Smith made a great punched clearance and Farrow brushed the top of the bar.

The Wednesday were being reduced to a massed, desperate defence.


Swift headed away another scoring shot by Johnston, with the Blackpool front line packing at times a seven-power attack, with the two wing half-backs in it.

Ten minutes left, and it was all over.

The Wednesday raided in a breakaway and won a corner.

The ball was repelled once, but cannoned out loose to WANDS, who shot it back, and with 30,000 people going mad, hit the back of the net with a ball which Wallace could never have seen.

No forward could lift the mud-caked ball further than a few yards at the end. Every man jack was dog tired.

There were a few handshakes as the teams left the field. It was nice to see that.


SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 4 (Fox 14min, Froggatt 31min, 49min, Wands 80min)

BLACKPOOL 1 (Mortensen 46min)


You can say that Blackpool should never have lost this match.

You can recall three shots which hit bar and posts and near misses almost beyond count. Yet you cannot mask the fact that Blackpool brought about their own defeat by playing a suicidal close game during the first hour.

Wednesday’s fast, open game with little in it except a gallant readiness to chase everything- the only sort of football which could be played on such a quagmire.

For too long, too, the Blackpool front line was limited to Mortensen, who raced after forward passes, with no other forward anywhere near to aid him in the shooting zone.

The defence should never have conceded four goals to such tearaway tactics as the Wednesday used.

Suart alone in this defence stood firm all the time. The fullbacks were too often passed in the first half by Wednesday’s young wing forwards.

Johnston was again sound and certain in all the panic, never put a pass wrong.

Otherwise, nearly all the others will be glad to forget this afternoon.

It was another of those Blackpool Cup fiascos which were so familiar between the wars.

The official attendance was 31,000.


Blackpool building for the future

By “Spectator”


This was what he said to each the 11 young footballers in the 1944-45 championship “A” team: “Play six games, for the first team - and I’ll furnish a house for you. Play for England - and I'll buy you a house.”

Not before time they are beginning to realise at Blackpool that there is talent on the club’s doorstep which for too long has been neglected.

It will be no random harvest which they will reap in the end. A definite policy is being pursued, a nursery being built which may ultimately produce stronger teams for Blackpool than ever the open cheque-book, buy-’em-at-any-price school created.

This new accent on youth was apparent at the beginning of the season. Recent events have confirmed its wisdom.

Unknown recruits

WEEK after week, young and unknown recruits are coming to town on trial, or being found in the town and offered trials. Some of them go back again. Others remain. There are no headlines in the

But out of these recruits a team which I saw for the first time last week in the Richardson Cup semi-final has been built. Today it is being expertly directed by Mr. V. F. McKenna, who, as secretary of the Blackpool Association of Boys’ Clubs and a schoolmaster, is admirably qualified for the post.

Two young men in this team are almost certain to make the grade into first-class football.

One is 20-years-old Thomas Garrett, a full-back from the North Shields area. The other is John Wright, who is a year younger, a wing-half from Bolton.

Both are employed in the mines and are therefore outside the Conscription Act.

Great promise

THOSE two may be in the big game - for I think both will qualify for it - sooner than a few of the others. But several of those others are already revealing great promise.

Too few people know anything about this “A” team. Probably it is preferable that they should not know too much.

But I know there have been times when the team, playing out at Highbury-road, St. Annes, have been watched by so few people that they have been discouraged.

There is no reason why they should be. Those Blackpool directors who can see further than the day after tomorrow have a personal interest in them, and little less interest, I suspect, in that Blackpool boys’ team, recruited from the B.A.B.C., which since last Easter has defeated 6-0 two touring teams who came to town with nearly invincible records.

Exports to halt

THERE is talent in this town.

Maurice Webster, Frank Swift, “Taffy” Jones, Harold Barton, the Eastham brothers - were cradled in Fylde football, and, except for George Eastham, who was recalled from exile at a cost of £3,000 or £4,000, were lost to Blackpool.

This is not to happen in the future.

Too many Fylde footballers in the past have been labelled “For export only.” If Blackpool cannot buy the ready-made article - and they seem unable to, in spite of all the money they have been offering - they can specialise in manufacturing their own.

It’s a long-term policy. They will have to wait a year or two for results. But those results may be worth waiting for.

ottings fro
m all parts 

BY "SPECTATOR" 11 January 1947

Hillsborough -1932

LEAVING out the War Cup Final of 1943 the last time a Blackpool team played at Hillsborough was as long ago as August 27, 1932, the first day of the season which ended in the club’s relegation.

Shape of things to come was visible so early when the Wednesday won in a canter by 4-1 against these

McDonough, Grant, Everest, Longden, Watson (P.), Smalley, Wilkinson, McClelland, Hampson, Douglas and Bridges.

Fourteen and a half years ago - it’s a generation in football. Not one of those men was left on Blackpool’s books even when the war began in 1939. Not one of them remains in football today.


WHAT a 90-minutes, all-out-every minute game the England wing-half, Bill Wright, played for Wolverhampton Wanderers against Blackpool last weekend. 

Fame has not gone to his 

The other England wing-half, Blackpool’s Harry Johnston, is another who has not had to order a new
size in hats since he went into international football.

These men still play every League game as if it is the key match of their career.


HERE’S a bet you are certain to win.

The all-ticket match when Preston North End come to Blackpool on February 15 will create new post-war records in attendances and receipts.

Every one of the 30,000 tickets will be sold. The receipts will be as near £3,000 as makes no difference.

And what a match it will be.


COINCIDENCE CORNER: The last time Blackpool played a Cup-tie on the death-or-glory system before this afternoon’s visit to Sheffield Wednesday was against the other Sheffield team the United.

It was in January, 1939. The game was at Blackpool on a ground so thick in mud and slime and thawing snow that gangs of unemployed -  yes, there were plenty of unemployed in those days - had to be hired to make the pitch fit for play.

And it was only a couple of hours before the kick-off that the referee passed it.

The United, who had to take the field without a scoring centre-forward called Jock Dodds, won 2-1 with 10 men and a passenger.

One of the ten was Harold Hampson, brother of Jimmy and one of the war’s casualties.


TWO former Blackpool players are recruiting men for Mr. Ted Vizard’s Wanderers at Wolverhampton.

Manager of the Wolves school for stars - and it is a team playing, not in the Midlands, but the Sheffield area - is Mark Crook, the little four-square centre-forward who was one of Major Frank Buckley’s signings when he was at Blackpool.

His assistant is Syd Tufnell, another of the pocket-edition brigade, and a fine little half-back in his time, too.

NOT even Highbury, the swank-spot of modern football, has such a luxurious Grand Hotel atmosphere as the Molineux Grounds, headquarters of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

There is even a miniature hospital for the treatment of casualties.

In its reception of the Press, too, the Wanderers can give a lesson to every club in the land.

Major Frank Buckley knew all that publicity is worth to football, but it is not mere self-interest which dictates this progressive club’s courteous and considerate attitude to both home and visiting reporters.

They have no time at Molineux for those aggressive, self-opinionated commissionaires whose theme-song is “You can’t come in ’ere.”

One brotherhood only a week or two ago lost a club a famous player not unknown in Blackpool.


THE light-heavyweight boxing champion of the B.A.O.R. is playing for Blackpool this season.

George Dick holds today a professional boxer’s licence which has not yet expired, was seriously contemplating a ring career and had made several appearances as a professional when he came on holiday to Blackpool last summer.

He called instead at the Blackpool ground and asked Manager Joe Smith for a trial. He was given one. You know what has happened since.

If a trial had been refused he would have gone to Chelsea. He had actually been offered a game at Stamford Bridge the day before he walked into the Blackpool manager's office.


STRANGE that such a loyal football public as the Wolves possess should only a few months ago have been guilty of barracking Stanley Cullis when the former England captain came home from overseas completely off his game.

They have forgotten all that now. Those who were sneering or jeering are cheering.

But if they are not ashamed pf their treatment of this fine player and perfect gentlemen they ought to be.

Football crowds, alas, notoriously fickle.

THE game went full circle for George Farrow when he played for Blackpool at Wolverhampton. It was for the Wanderers that he played his first games in League football.

Major Frank Buckley was guilty of one of his few errors when he released him to Bournemouth, but soon realised it and had sufficient courage to admit it.

When Blackpool were seeking a wing-half he told the club, “ Go to Bournemouth. There’s a man there I should never have let go.”

WELL, the first trip of the Blackpool Football Supporters’ Club has taken place. Eleven coaches were scheduled to leave for Sheffield, and with many other people travelling by road and rail our team had plenty of support.

It is most refreshing to note that during the past month the support for the ’Pool has been better. The cheers at the Central League match last Saturday when the half-time score at Wolverhampton came through, was most encouraging.

We must congratulate the team on their exhibition. Although defeated, they were far from disgraced.

General meeting

THE general meeting has been fixed A for Thursday, January 30, at 7-30 at the Albert Hall. The committee hope that all members will endeavour to be present. The permanent officials will be elected and the future activities of the Supporters’ Club discussed.

Future events

THE New Zealand snooker and A billiards champion, Clark McConachy, is visiting Blackpool next week. Through the efforts of our chairman he is giving two exhibitions in aid of the Supporters’ Club.
On Wednesday night he will play at the Ribble Social Club, George-street, and on Friday at the Blackpool Workingmen’s Club, Kent-road, where he will meet Jackie Clayton. Each match starts at 8-0.

A sub-committee has been elected to make the arrangements for the forthcoming dance.

The initial event of the Ladies’ Committee is a whist drive at Miss Marshall’s house, 227. Promenade, on Tuesday, January 21, at 7-30. Tickets, including refreshments, are Is. 6d., and may be obtained from the committee.

Make a note of these events and get your tickets early.


MEMBERS are still wanted, so get your membership forms completed and subscriptions paid. Many people have taken forms but have so far not returned them. It is requested that forms, with the membership fee, may be returned to the treasurer. Mr. T. Newton, as soon as possible, either at the football ground or at the meeting at the Albert Hall.

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