5 April 1947 Liverpool 2 Blackpool 3


Three-goal shock for Liverpool


Liverpool 2, Blackpool 3 

By “Spectator”

Liverpool has gone football crazy this Easter weekend.

There were 63,000 people at Everton, where they closed the gates, yesterday, and this afternoon the queues were a quarter of a mile long and six deep at all the turnstiles outside Anfield for Blackpool's second visit to Merseyside in, two days.

Every street within a half-mile radius of the ground was so choked with traffic that the Blackpool team’s motor coach, after making a succession of detours, directed by mounted and foot police, had to be parked 30 or 40 yards from the players’ entrance.

The players had to force a path through three queues to reach their quarters and in the end less than 20 minutes were left when they reached their dressing-room.

It was a cold, wind-swept day, with gusts of rain falling.


Blackpool announced no change from yesterday’s team.

Liverpool fielded a side including eight of last week’s semi-final eleven. Two half-backs and one forward were missing. The forward was Jackie Balmer, who was specialising in “hat tricks” when Liverpool lost at Blackpool earlier in the season.


LIVERPOOL: Sidlow, Harley, Lambert, Kaye, Jones, Spicer, Fagan, Done, Stubbins, Polk, and Liddell.

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

Referee: Mr. W. Prestcott (Southport).


The 47,000 spectators had a thrill in the first minute.

Hayward lost a bouncing ball and fell on his knees in Liverpool’s first down-the-wing raid.

Stubbins darted to the ball, and was halted as Hayward retrieved an almost lost position with a last split-second tackle as he struggled from his knees.

Liverpool hammered away for a couple of minutes. Polk shot wide in this pressure, which ended only when Mortensen chased into a packed defence a ball which two Liverpool men lost in the excitement.

Away went Liverpool in another raid. Liddell shot a free- kick which went out by the far post, with half a dozen men hurling themselves at it.

After McKnight had shot into a pack of men after making position for himself, Stubbins gave Done a perfect pass, and as the inside-left raced in to shoot it in Sibley crossed his path to concede the first corner of the match in the fifth minute.


Liverpool play Cup-tie football

Four of these first five minutes had been dominated by a Liverpool front line playing football with pace and fury in it everywhere - Cup football in a League match.

Johnston made a great clearance as the pressure continued, and yet in the seventh minute Blackpool nearly snatched the lead in the front line’s second breakaway of the half.

McKnight made the chance, veered to his right, outwitted two men. and crossed a ball which Sid low lost on his knees at the foot of the near post, with Buchan racing in a second too late to walk it past him.

It was still tearaway football. Both teams were out for goals at any price. Hayward sliced the ball high over his own bar. and Kaye lashed a free-kick into a packed Blackpool goal area.

In the next minute Sibley forfeited a comer, which was not cleared, until Hayward nearly dived at the feet of the shooting Liddell.

A goal was always coming. It came in the 15th minute, and was nearly a duplicate of Alec Stevenson’s goal at Goodison Park yesterday.


A raid was built on the left. From it a high ball flew across the face of a Blackpool goal barely protected.

FAGAN, racing in from the wing, hurled himself at the flying ball, and tumbled a somersault as the ball shot as fast as a bullet off his head into the net.

Within a minute, Blackpool might have made it 1-1.

Mortensen lashed wide at a bouncing ball in the jaws of a goal left almost wide open.

Blackpool were not as completely outplayed as they had been before Liverpool’s goal.

There were actually times when the Anfield men were penned in their own half for minutes on end.

Few chances, however, were being offered to the Blackpool forwards and few being built by football which was not as direct as Liverpool’s straight-to-goal game.

Repeatedly, the fast-tackling Lambert halted Munro, who was being given pass after pass by his Irish partner.


This Liverpool defence was fast into the tackle, but there were times when it was inclined to panic against the Blackpool forward line, which appeared to be giving pounds away in every position.

When Liverpool escaped at last Stubbins was unexpectedly presented with a shooting position and shot a ball which Wallace beat out on his knees.

From a Blackpool free-kick Farrow lobbed a ball which Sidlow punched over the bar for Blackpool’s fourth corner.

The total of corners was four each with five minutes of the half left.

Half-time: Liverpool 1, Blackpool 0.


With the aid of the wind Blackpool were soon raiding in the second half. Within a minute a goal was disallowed.

Johnston’s long throw-in made the chance. A swarm of men with the ball bouncing among them, surged near a post.

Out of the pack the ball rolled over the line. Mr. Prescott pointed to the centre, but reversed his decision immediately as Liverpool protested.

I had the impression that the ball hit Munro’s hand before it crossed the line.

Afterwards as in the early minutes of the first half, the game followed the wind. Munro shot high over the bar before losing the ball to Lambert in the next minute after Mortensen and McKnight had made a position for him out on the wing.

Except when Hayward forced Done to a standstill as the inside man took Stubbin’s pass Liverpool were only once over the halfway line in the first five minutes.

McKnight raked Liverpool’s goal in this constant pressure.

Liverpool were limited to breakaways.

Yet in one of these spurts the lead was increased in the eighth minute of the half.

This time, for the second time in less than a minute, Blackpool defence was caught wide open as it stormed too far upfield to the aid of its forwards.,

Stubbins released a forward pass into a gap nearly half the width of the field.,

Into it DONE raced 20 yards unchallenged before shooting it at his leisure past the deserted Wallace.

That was a goal given away.

Blackpool still attacked even after this presentation of a goal, but still no shots were coming.


Yet a shot came at last and it made it 2-1.

A great shot it was. Dick crossed a low centre, Mortensen lost it. The ball bounced away from the centre-forward to BUCHAN, who was waiting for it and shot it fast and low and wide of the diving Sidlow.

That was in the 24 minute of the half. In the 25th minute Stubbins was all alone in front of a crouching Wallace, hesitated, and shot low into the goalkeeper's arms.

In the 26th minute it was 2-2. This was a great goal.

Farrow lobbed one of his famous forward passes.

MORTENSEN was in position, raced between Liverpool's two unprepared full-backs, and shot past Sidlow before any man could position himself.

That was the most dramatic three minutes I have seen on a football field for a long time.

Blackpool’s football was superb afterwards. Sidlow made the clearance of the match when Munro shot from Buchan’s pass a lacing ball which was flying out of the goalkeeper’s reach as he leaped at it.

Eleven minutes were left, with the spectators in a ferment, when Blackpool went in front.

Sidlow beat out another flying ball, punched it anywhere to his left. Munro pounced on it, crossed it again.

MORTENSEN, in a cat’s leap, reached it, and headed it between the desperate goalkeeper’s outstretched arms for bis 27th goal of the season.


LIVERPOOL 2 (Fagan 15min, Done 53min )

BLACKPOOL 3 (Buchan 69min, Mortensen 71min and 79min)


This was a game to remember. It had everything in it which is supposed to be exclusive to Cup-ties-football which was packed with drama from the first minute. There was nothing end-of-the-season about this battle of Anfield.

The wind dictated the game’s course. In the first half with its aid, Liverpool for 20 minutes threatened to sweep Blackpool out of the match.

After the interval, in 10 amazing minutes, the Blackpool forward line, which had been playing correct football but little else, produced a punch which shattered Liverpool’s defence.

The right wing of Munro and McKnight won back all its medals today, but in the last half-hour this Blackpool team would have beaten any team in the land.

Shimwell had one of the battling games which the match demanded, in a defence which steadied after wilting under earlier pressure.

This was Blackpool’s best show for months.

The attendance was 47,320. And nobody, I think, would ask for his money back today.


Two strings to their bow is

players’ way to a future

By “Spectator”

LAMENT of the professional footballer who can see beyond the day after tomorrow is “There's no future in it." 

For so many of them the glory fades and nothing is left.

Blackpool this week have opened the cul-de-sac for one of their men, Sam Jones, the long-service Irish wing-half - have given him a short term contract whose purpose is to equip him for a managerial or other administrative post in a year or two.

THERE is to be a future in it for this player, as there deserves to be after his irreproachable career on the playing field.

Sam can now pick up his musket again and take the first lessons in this new school for managers which Blackpool have opened.

But this modest young Irishman is only one of a multitude. What is to happen to the others?

Blackpool, whose treatment of this one player entitles the club to compliments, cannot be expected to institute a sort of postgraduate course for its professionals as they come to the end of their days on the field.

Not every club is a Burnden Park of the prewar days.


I WAS talking to Manager Joe Smith this week about the remarkable success achieved in football administration by men who served Bolton Wanderers as players.

Among the managers recruited from the Wanderers are Joe Smith himself at Blackpool, Ted Vizard at Wolverhampton, David Jack at Middlesbrough.

Billy Butler succeeded the Blackpool manager at Reading. Billy Jennings served Notts County and Cardiff, and in trainer’s posts there were - and still are in one or two cases - Jim Seddon at Wolverhampton, Harry Nuttall at Bolton, Dick Pym at Exeter.

J. R. Smith was at Cardiff when he died.

All this, however, was merely a coincidence - a coincidence that in one generation there were at Bolton so many professionals suitable for such appointments.

Case strengthened

THAT was an evening game, too, as all these matches have been for years. If it lured a dozen people from their workbenches I should be surprised to hear it.

Blackpool will not be inclined to lose those games without a protest.

The case has been strengthened, too, by the permission given this week for greyhound racing meetings in midweek at such towns as Blackpool, and by the sanction granted to midweek speedway racing, with certain limitations on the attendances at the big stadiums.

In the meantime, while this has been happening, the prohibition has continued on the medal competitions at Fleetwood and Lytham during a week when the Lincolnshire has been permitted and when the M.C.C. has been informed that its county programme and the visit of the South African tourists will be outside the ban.

Few chosen

Many may be called, but as a club requires only one manager and two trainers, and there are only 88 clubs in the League, few are chosen.

So what, I ask again, is to happen to the others?

This code of football will never, I am convinced, solve this problem until it adopts the system operating in the Rugby League.

The day will come - economic necessity will compel it - when all professionals in the Football League will be obliged to work by day, even if it is only a half-time apprenticeship, and train during out-of-work hours.

Only solution

THAT is the only solution of the problem. No player can earn in 12 or 15 years sufficient to ensure his financial future.

The present generation, too, has had this nightmare aggravated by the loss of six wartime years and the forfeiting during those years of all income from benefits, apart from the loss of wages.

One of these days this question of forfeited benefits may cause a crisis in football.

But that is a side-issue. The lament still is, “There’s no future in it.” It is up to football to find one for the men who serve it.


Blackpool should have had two points

Two draws - one win. That was Blackpool F.C.’s Good Friday. You can call it fairly good.

BETWEEN 3,000 and 4,000 people saw the under-19 team defeat the famous Nottingham County Association team - last year’s Wembley finalists and three England players among them - by 6-0 in the morning.

Mudie, a young centre-forward from Scotland, about whom Blackpool have been maintaining a discreet silence, shot four of the six. Sowden, the game’s No. 1 forward, and Fenton completed the total.

It was an in-off-the-blue goal - the royal blue of Everton - which won Blackpool a point which should have been won half an hour earlier at Goodison Park.

There were 63,617 people inside gates which had to be closed a few minutes before the kick-off. There was not a lot to excite them after little Alec Stevenson, the Irishman who was one of Blackpool’s wartime guests, had headed a brilliant goal in six minutes.


Blackpool spent the rest of the first half subduing the Everton forward line until it became a mere breakaway force. Nearly all the second half they were raiding the Everton goal.

There were too many passes in the Blackpool front line’s football, and the new Munro-McKnight wing shed a lot of its glamour. Then Harry Johnston, a grand wing-half, who played: the game of an England wing- half all the afternoon, took a long throw-in Tom Jones, a superb Everton centre-half, leaped at the flying ball and headed it backwards inches out of the reach of the clutching hands of his goalkeeper.

A minute later, and Blackpool nearly won as Greenhalgh headed out a McKnight shot which had “goal” written all over it.

Blackpool made hard labour of this match. It should have produced two points instead of one.


Blackpool may send a team on a tour of Denmark during the latter half of May.

A TOUR which had been planned by Arsenal may, I hear, be allotted to Blackpool, one of the few clubs who will not have teams in the field until June.

If final approval. is given by the F.A. and the Danish football authorities agree, the players will leave England immediately after the final League match with the Cup finalists, Charlton, at Blackpool, on May 17, will play their first match on Danish soil four days later, and will return on June 2.


Six matches are in the itinerary, including three in Copenhagen.

It is probable that in four of the six games Blackpool will be without Stanley Mortensen and Harry Johnston, who are almost certain to be in the F.A. team touring Portugal and Switzerland in early May.

The last match in this tour will be played five days before Blackpool would go home. Both might be called to Denmark to complete the Blackpool fixtures.

ottings fro
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BY "SPECTATOR" 5 April 1947

A Liverpool draw

IT was on April 1, 1939, that Liverpool last played a First Division match at Blackpool.

The game ended in a 1-1 draw. Dai Astley gave Blackpool a first-half lead which was held for less than 10 minutes.

The Blackpool team: Roxburgh, Blair (D.), Butler, Farrow, Hayward, Johnston, Munro, Astley, Dodds, Eastham and O’Donnell (H.).


THE Mayor of Blackpool (Coun. A J. R. F. Hill, M.M., J.P.) seldom misses a big sports event whenever he can take an hour or two off from his present seven-days-a-week post.

He was at the Ronnie Clayton - Joe Carter massacre at Liverpool Stadium. Two days later he went to Blackburn for the Burnley - Liverpool Cup semi-final.

He’s one of the few who thinks Liverpool will win the replay. He may be right, too.

They all said - all the professors and the experts - that Newcastle would beat Charlton - and look what happened.


THE victory of Charlton in the Cup semi-final and the consequent postponement of the London team’s visit to Blackpool from April 26 to May 17 means that Blackpool’s season will be the longest in the club’s history, except for the war years.


NEWS of Sam Jones’ new appointment at Blackpool recalls a remarkable League record.

When he came to England in October, 1933, somebody had to be left out of the team to admit him. The man omitted was the captain of those days, Bob Crawford. That ended a sequence almost without parallel in League football, for until that time the half-back from Preston had made 47 successive appearances for Blackpool after 235 in succession for North End.

Crawford had missed only two League games in eight years.


NEARLY 15,000 at a Blackpool match at the season’s ebb and on an afternoon when there was one of the F.A. Cup semi-finals as near as Blackburn and the Grand National at Aintree - in everybody’s loudspeaker.

Such an attendance would cause no particular excitement at most First Division grounds, but at Blackpool it confirms the boom which Blackpool football has enjoyed this season.

There’s no overdraft now.

I should estimate that the club’s financial position today is sounder than it has ever been in Blackpool’s 50 years in the League.


HALF AN HOUR before he took the field against Leeds United last weekend, George McKnight told me: “I prefer playing at inside-right.” During the rest of the afternoon he showed how much he preferred it.

He became a centre-forward at Linfield merely because the Irish club had nearly as many inside-rights on their books as the Old Woman in the Shoe had children.


SEVERAL familiar names will be out of the cast when Stoke City come to Blackpool next week.

Each team is giving a couple of men to the England - Scotland match at Wembley.

The City will lose Stanley Matthews and Neil Franklin;

Blackpool Harry Johnston and Stanley Mortensen, who will be watching his third representative match this season as one of the reserves.


EXCEPT for Jock Wallace, Blackpool are fielding an all-English defence these days.

The forward line, by contrast, resembles a bit of U.N.O. In it last weekend were one Englishman, three Scots and an Irishman.

Lancashire rivals

ONE of these days Manager Joe  Smith must write a book. Now and again you can persuade him to talk about the good old days. He could go on for hours-if he felt inclined.

Last weekend he was recalling the ancient rivalries of Bolton Wanderers and Bury.

For a week before one of these battles the schoolchildren of Bury were rehearsed - in school hours, too!- in the mournful chant, “Poor old Joe!” They sang it before the match - and for a time during the match. They ceased singing it only after “Poor old Joe” had shot the ball three times past the Bury goalkeeper.

“The bigger the match and the better I liked it,” reflects Blackpool’s manager. It was always said that as Bolton’s captain he was the coolest man among the 200,000 at the first Wembley Cup final.



TWENTY-FIVE goals for Stanley Mortensen with six games to play. That was the position before the Easter matches.

The centre-forward cannot expect to equal his last season’s total of 38. But he can reach 30, and there’s an outside chance of a new First Division record for him as a Blackpool forward.

The present club record in First Division football was established with 31 goals by Jimmy Hampson in 1930-31.


Passes had a purpose

GEORGE AINSLEY, the first of Blackpool’s wartime captains, is not finished yet.

He seldom promised to score a goal for Leeds at Blackpool last weekend, but his football was as intelligent as it was constructive. Every pass had a purpose in it.

I have seen many worse relegation teams than these Leeds men. What’s chiefly wrong with them is that there is not a shooting forward on the books.

BY the time these notes appear the trips to Everton and Liverpool will have taken place and it is hoped that all who have travelled with the club have had an enjoyable outing.

Thanks are due to Mr. Mahew, who has attended the ground daily for inquiries and the selling of the tickets

Broadcasting system

AT the committee meeting last week, it was decided to go on with the purchase of the broadcasting system for the ground, and a subcommittee has been appointed to consider tenders.

It is hoped to have the equipment installed by the start of the next season.

The committee decided to send a donation of 25 guineas to the Mayor’s flood distress fund.

The quarterly meeting, at which it is hoped all members will be present, will be held shortly, when it is hoped to arrange a “brains trust.’’

National Federation

THE Blackpool club has now joined the National Federation of Supporters’ Clubs, to which many league supporters’ clubs are attached.

We offer out congratulations and good wishes to Harry Johnston on his selection for the Wembley international and to Stanley Mortensen on being chosen as reserve - both honours are thoroughly deserved.

Any member of the club who is willing to officiate on Easter Monday at the all-ticket match with Everton should report at the ground on Monday morning.

Membership appeal

THE committee are concerned that the club membership is only in the vicinity of 500. Surely this is very low for a town of Blackpool’s standard, particularly when one considers that we have a First Division team challenging the leaders. Fill up the form immediately, and hand it in at the club hut at the ground with the 2/6d. membership fee.

Tickets for the dinner and dance at the Spanish and Baronial Halls on Monday, April 14. are now on sale

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