12 April 1947 Blackpool 0 Stoke City 2


Old lesson from Stoke City


Blackpool 0, Stoke City 2 

By “Spectator”

ANOTHER shuffle of Blackpool’s forward line was announced half an hour before the kick-off in the Stoke City match this afternoon.

Willie Buchan caught a chill yesterday and reported unfit. Two positions were affected by his absence.

McIntosh was given another game in the First Division at outside-left, and Dick left the position to become an inside- right again.

That produced a forward line of four Scots and one Irishman and a team which contained no fewer than five of the men who defeated Stoke’s second team last week on this ground by 6-0.

The City had three reserves on view too. In addition to the absence of two England players at Wembley, Mitchell made a late appearance at inside-right for Peppitt.


This season there has been rain and hail and snow week after week. Today, at last, the sun shone and attracted so many people out into the open that the attendance approached 18,000.

The stands were reserved but not packed. They preferred Spion Kop, the terraces and the paddocks today.


BLACKPOOL: Wallace, Garrett, Suart, Farrow. Hayward, Lewis, Munro, Dick, McKnight, Blair and McIntosh.

STOKE CITY: Herod, Mould, McCue, Sellars, Brown, Kirton, Mountford, Mitchell, Steele, Baker and Ormston.

Referee: Mr. H Holt of Rochdale.


There were several hundred visitors from the Potteries. They soon let the City know that they had arrived.

Suart’s first clearance had length and decision.

Jim McIntosh, too, revealed resource the first time he went into action, taking McKnight’s pass, swerving away from the full-back, and crossing a centre which curled on to the roof of the net.

Nothing end-of-the-season about the early football in its pace.

In the glare of the sun Blackpool’s half-backs and full-backs repelled several raids on the north goal.

The first corner came in the fifth minute, McKnight winning it on his own from Brown.

The Stoke centre-half was soon in the game again, halting McKnight as the centre-forward chased one of Garrett’s long clearances.

With 11 minutes gone Stoke’s front line had scarcely been in the game as a cohesive force.


Great shot by Blair - and a great save

Blackpool were nearly in front in the 15th minute.

Dick opened the raid. Blair Continued it with a picture pass to McIntosh, and after the wing forward’s centre had been lost by one man Blair shot it fast.

Herod leaped to the ball, reached it as it was rising away from him beat it up in the air and held it as it fell into his waiting arms again.

That was a great shot - the first scoring shot of the match - and a great save.

The City were still outplayed. In a couple of breakaways Suart twice in a minute mastered George Mountford.

Blackpool’s pressure continued, yet, the City almost completely outplayed, went ahead in the 24th minute.


It was a goal which, as I saw it, should never have counted.

Sellars opened a raid, racing from his own half of the field to the penalty area before releasing a pass to the waiting Mitchell. The Stoke inside-right and Suart pursued the pass.

The forward fell as the fullback tackled him desperately, but still, as I saw it, playing the ball.

Without a single appeal from a Stoke man Mr. Holt unexpectedly gave a penalty.

ORMSTON said, “Thank you" for this little gift, and converted it.

Within a couple of minutes Herod made sensational clearances from McKnight and Dick in rapid succession.

With 35 minutes gone, Blackpool were still in arrears and still pressing but not shooting as often as they should have done.


Yet there should have been a goal in the 36th minute as Munro, chasing a long Farrow pass, brushed past two men and lobbed forward into an unprepared defence a ball which McKnight, taking it as it bounced, lifted on to the roof of the net.

A minute later there was a double accident. McKnight and Brown went after a slow ball. The two men fell, rolled over the line, and hit the concrete barrier in front of the paddock.

Ambulance men and both trainers were summoned.

McKnight was soon on the field again, but then, escorted by the trainer, hobbled into the dressing - room massaging a shoulder.

A couple of minutes passed before Brown limped back.

Even with four forwards Blackpool raided almost continuously until half-time.

Only a desperate defence and the Blackpool forwards’ fatal disinclination to take a chance enabled the City to go to the dressing room a goal in front.

Half time: Blackpool 0, Stoke City 1.


I hear that McKnight had three stitches in a cut in his jaw and expected to be back in the game again before it ended.

Blackpool’s 10 men began raiding as soon as the second half opened.

Yet the first time that Fred Steele entered the game it was nearly 2-0 for the outplayed City. The centre-forward taking a pass from Mountford and hooking inches wide of a post a ball which Wallace could never have reached.

The resolution of Blackpool’s depleted team compelled admiration. It was forcing the City into retreat for three minutes out of every four.

But the men who could shoot were still in the other forward line.

A second goal came in the 10th minute of the half, a minute before McKnight returned with his jaw in bandages.

A centre was crossed from the left. Wallace and four other men leaped at it, and seemed to lose it.

Out of this pack the loose ball fell in front of MOUNTFORD, who took his chance as a shooting forward can, hitting the roof of the net before the unsighted Wallace could move again.

Dick led the Blackpool forwards, with McKnight out on the right wing and Munro inside.

The odds were piled high against Blackpool by that time.

Munro shot barely wide of the far post direct from Blair’s perfect long pass.

The City were still retreating everywhere, against these 10 Blackpool men and a passenger who would not surrender.

Herod made a great clearance from Blair as Blackpool’s raids continued and another from McIntosh.

With 20 minutes left Blackpool were still playing as if the game were open, McKnight enabling Blair to win a corner with an astute forward pass.


Blackpool were fortunate not to surrender another penalty as the City came storming belatedly into the game in the closing minutes.

The game’s best man was Roy Brown, the City’s coloured centre-half. You could call him the star of the day.



STOKE CITY 2 (Ormston pen 23min, Mountford 55min)


On the principle that it’s goals alone that count Stoke City took the points today. Yet if there was ever a game in which the losing team might think that justice had not been done by the result it was this one.

For 70 of the 90 minutes Blackpool raided, and for nearly an hour with four forwards and a passenger.

Add a debatable penalty, and Blackpool have cause to advance a case against this defeat.

Actually, with five reserves it was no small achievement to outplay the City as completely as the Stoke men were outplayed in this match.

Mortensen was missed, for without him there was no man to complete the front line’s raids.

All the time, too, there was a tendency to walk the ball into the net instead of shooting it in.

Yet the match revealed:

(1) Tom Garrett is as good a back as I have been told he is. He held the game’s best wing, the Baker-Ormston partnership.

(2) Lewis may yet make a wing half-back.

(3) Suart was entitled to a game again in the First Division.

The tireless aggressive game of Dick and Munro and a few of Blair’s flashes of class featured the football of a forward line which seemed to be able to do everything except shoot.


By “Spectator”

BLACKPOOL had only a 100-to-l chance of the First Division championship before the Everton fiasco. 

Today there is not a bookmaker in the land who would not offer 500-to-l.

Is there anything left to play for? 

Is it all to end in a stalemate?

The answer is “No." There is still one stake left on the table.

The Football League still sanctions talent money for the players in the first four teams in the table. The first club is permitted to pay £275. the second £220. the third £165 and the fourth £110.

It would work out at less than £10 a man if Blackpool finished fourth in the list, for, obviously, the grant could not be limited to 11 players during a season when as many as 23 have been selected for First Division games.

Can Blackpool do it? The odds will be against even this minor achievement unless Stoke City have lost both points this afternoon. If Blackpool have won today, the last two games - at Middlesbrough next week and against the Cup finalists, Charlton Athletic, on May 17, will, at least, possess some significance.

Beyond that, it’s all now merely a case of playing out time.

The Everton failure

THE inquest on the Everton failure continues. People are saying, “They should have changed the team after it had played its first two Easter games.”

That’s a feasible argument. Yet those folk advancing it would, I suspect, have been among the first to demand “Why change a winning team?” if one or two reserves had been introduced and the match had still been lost.

I have never subscribed to the parrot-cry, as old as football itself, “Never change a winning team.” But I confess that after Blackpool’s last half-hour at Anfield on Saturday I should have been disinclined to shuffle the team’s forces for the Everton game two days later.

The moral is contained in the question, “Who’d be a football manager, anyway?” And nobody knows the answer to that one.

On-transfer men

IN the meantime, there are letters in every mail protesting against Blackpool’s decision to put Jimmy Blair and George Eastham on the transfer list.

“These two men are the finest exponents of ball control in the British Isles,” writes one correspondent among a dozen or two. “To let George Eastham leave: Blackpool would be madness.”

Blair has had the chance today to play himself off the list - if he wants to be off it. Eastham. I think, could come off it tomorrow if he made the request.

Nobody can blame Blackpool for granting the request. If Blackpool had refused it - and each player insisted that he wanted to leave - all those good folk who talk so glibly about slave markets and boardroom dictator, ships in football would have talked louder than ever.

The last word is still with the player - as it ought to be - about whether he remains with a club or leaves it. Direction of labour has not come to football yet.

ottings fro
m all parts 

BY "SPECTATOR" 12 April 1947

Stoke made a draw

STANLEY MATTHEWS seems fated to miss Stoke City games at Blackpool. He watched the last - before this afternoon's match - on October 22, 1938, when the only goals of a 1-1 draw were shot in the last 12 minutes.

Alec Munro scored the first. The City equalised - outside-left Baker was the marksman - with five minutes to go.

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

Dennison's cartoon on the front page that October day before the war featured Sam Jones as captain of Blackpool Reserve, the only undefeated second team in the country.


THE three-goals-in-10-minutes riddling of the Liverpool defence a week ago inevitably recalled another sensational Liverpool collapse in a Blackpool match during the war.

Game was the second instalment of a Cup-tie. Blackpool still two goals in arrears on aggregate with 15 minutes left and hundreds leaving the ground.

Came the bombshell - five goals in 12 minutes - Jock Dodds (2), Bob Finan (2), Ronnie Dix (penalty) - and Blackpool won 5-0 and a month and a half later won the Cup.


THIS is a Blackpool record.

In two days at Liverpool during the Easter weekend the Blackpool team was watched at Anfield and Goodison Park by a total of 110,937 people.


EITHER Harry Eastham is not playing half the game he played against Blackpool in two Lancashire Cup-ties early in the season or else he must be thinking that nobody loves him at Anfield. Otherwise he would be in Liverpool’s team today.

Captain Fagan is still the forthright player he always was - his goal against Blackpool last weekend was a gem - but he is not the fast elusive outside-right the former Blackpool forward revealed himself as being when I saw him last October.


IT’S almost a joke at Everton - as it used to be at Blackpool during the war - that Alec Stevenson can’t score goals. He can - but not often. When one comes it’s a masterpiece.

Such a one was the goal he headed against Blackpool in the first of the Everton matches, then he shot another on Monday.

His League total for Everton this season is six goals in 24 games.


YOU can forget all those mischievous reports which have been circulating in football about differences of opinion between Jock Dodds and the Everton board.

He was out of Everton’s team a long time because even when he was pronounced fit after a month on the casualty list it was decided that the frozen grounds would not suit him. 

His deputy, too, was playing such good football that Jock himself said. “Let him have the chance”

That’s not gossip. I was told that by an Everton director who said, too, “We’ve never regretted signing him.” Gossipmongers - please note.


CLAIM that Blackpool boys’  teams have never lost a match in inter-town holiday games is challenged by Stanley Mortensen.

He is entitled to challenge it, too. Stan played his first game on the Blackpool ground - his partner was Dick Withington, the Blackpool reserve - for a South Shields which beat a Blackpool team 3-2 on Easter Monday 1938.

It was after this game that Blackpool signed the Shields right wing.


THEY are proud of their playing pitch at Anfield - and of the men who have made it all that it is.

Last weekend after the Blackpool match, the Liverpool chairman presented a £100 cheque to the head groundsman as a 70th birthday present.

I hear that Blackpool intend to spend a lot of money again on reconditioning the playing area at Bloomfield - road during the summer.

It needs it - after this season's frosts and rains.


AMONG my companions in the Press box at Goodison Park for the Blackpool match were Jock Dodds and the South African, Barry Nieuwenhuys.

It was one of the last matches that the latter will see in England, for, according to all reports he is going back to his homeland in the summer for a professional appointment in golf. For years he has been one of British football’s star golfers.

He has been such a good footballer. too, that the barracking of him at times this season by the Anfield crowd has been unwarranted and ungracious.


RECORD long-distance trekkers in Easter football - Queen of the South, the Scottish League club. I met their team at Preston on Good Friday en route - all the way by road - from Dumfries to Portsmouth.

All for a match against Portsmouth Reserve which the Scotsmen lost 6-1 before boarding their coach again to go North for a game at Galashields on Easter Monday. About 1,000 miles there and back.


IF there were League scouts at Blackpool last weekend - and I should be surprised if there were not - they! must, I am told, have been impressed by the football which Blackpool’s on-the-transfer-list inside forwards.

Jimmy Blair and George Eastham, played in the Central League rout of Stoke City Reserve.

Jim McIntosh, too. I hear, silenced a few of his critics.


Cardwell to be player-coach

LOUIS CARDWELL, the former Manchester City and Blackpool centre-half, yesterday went on a free transfer as player-coach to Ashton United, the Cheshire County League team.

He was selected to play against Port Vale Reserve today.

A product of Fylde junior football. Cardwell signed for Blackpool in April 1930. In season 1934-35 he was introduced as a regular first team man. making 29 appearances.

In the following two seasons he never missed a match.

After 11 appearances m the 1937-38 campaign he was injured in a home match against Chelsea on October 16 and lost his position to Eric Hayward

Then in 1938. a season of sensational Blackpool transfers he was transferred for £6,000 to Manchester City.

Six months ago he was put on the transfer list at his own request. A month ago he was granted a free transfer.

Still a Blackpool resident Cardwell trains at Bloomfield road


THE first annual dinner and dance of the Blackpool FC Supporters’ Club is to be held on Monday at the Spanish and Baronial Halls of the Winter Gardens.

Tickets are 10s. 6d., and for dancing only 3s. 6d. The reception will be at 7-45, and dancing will commence at 8-0. Dinner is at 8-15.

Late transport has been arranged to take dancers home


THE Quarterly meeting of our club will be held in the Library on Monday, April 21, under the chairmanship of Colonel W. Parkinson, J.P. 

A “quiz’’ is also to be held at the meeting. It is hoped well-known sports writers will be present.


ON Friday, April 25 an exhibition snooker match is being held at the South Shore Hotel, in aid of our funds.

Mendel Showman (Manchester), Frank Edwards (Birmingham), and W. L. Crompton (Blackpool), are the players. The event starts at 7-30 p.m.

Summer events

THE committee is anxious that interest, should be maintained during the summer months, short as they will be before the new season opens. It is hoped to hold some events during the holiday period.

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