3 May 1947 Preston North End 1 Blackpool 1

Farrow’s free kick made it a draw

Preston North End 1, Blackpool 1 

By our Preston Football Correspondent

A STORMY morning having given way to a pleasant breezy afternoon, North End’s game with Blackpool at Deepdale for the benefit of the Bolton Disaster Fund attracted a fair crowd.

Both clubs were strongly represented. North End had Corr, their new Irish player, at outside-right in place of Finney, who was on international duty.

Blackpool brought in McIntosh to play against old colleagues, and had Dick at centre-forward.

Before the game North End players presented a barometer to Will Scott, their team manager, who is leaving to be Blackburn Rovers’ manager.


PRESTON NORTH END: Fairbrother; Watson, Scott, Shankly, Williams, Hamilton, Coir, McLaren, McIntosh, Beattie, Wilson.

BLACKPOOL: Wallace; Shimwell, Suart, Farrow, Hayward, Johnston, Munro, Buchan (W.), Dick , Eastham, McIntosh (J.).

Referee: Mr. F. Thurman (Preston).

Ten thousand spectators saw North End go forward at the start when McLaren fastened on to a faulty pass by Johnston and made headway.

His shot cannoned off Hayward to Wilson who. instead of shooting from a good position; hesitated and was foiled by Shimwell.

North End came again and McLaren tried a fierce drive which went wide.

Preston’s McIntosh dribbled round three Blackpool defenders before trying a pass which Johnston intercepted. Farrow pushed through to Dick, but Williams stepped in.

Blackpool’s first real advance featured Eastham and Buchan in a passing move. The ball went to Munro, but hampered by Scott, the winger lost it over the line.


North End’s attack pressed again, and Wallace got down smartly to a long shot from Beattie.

Blackpool’s McIntosh was brought into the game, and was unlucky to lose the ball as he raced forward to intercept a back pass to Fairbrother.

Buchan and Munro made headway, but Buchan’s finishing pass to Dick was again intercepted by Williams, who was on top form.

Wilson looked dangerous as he tore in from the wing, but Hayward diverted his shot for a corner.

The prospect of a smart Dick-Mclntosh raid on the Preston goal fizzled out when Wilson rather easily dispossessed the winger.


Play was clever, but lacked the pep of a league encounter.

Dick ran out to the right wing in one Blackpool attack and centred perfectly, but none of his colleagues was on band to put on the finishing touch.

North End tried to bring Corr into the game, but Suart and Johnston gave the winger no scope.

Greatest danger to Blackpool came down the middle where McLaren was unlucky to run offside in intercepting a pass.

Blackpool’s best chance came to Buchan, but from an excellent position he fired wide.

Dick beat Fairbrother to the ball from a centre, only to see his header sail just over.


Then came a thrill at the other end.

Preston’s centre went tearing through on his own and looked a certain scorer but Wallace dived brilliantly to stop his shot and collect the ball at the second attempt.

An escape for Blackpool came when Shankly put across the goal with no Preston player on hand to nod the ball in.

Fairbrother dived riskily at the feet of McIntosh as the Blackpool winger was about to shoot at point blank range.

Half-time: Preston N.E. 0, Blackpool 0.

North End nearly started off with a goal - McIntosh slipped round Hayward but in making position for a shot could not control the bouncing ball and fired at Wallace.

Then Hayward, passing back, kicked too hard and Wallace had to dive to concede a corner.

Preston were having much more of the game.

Dick lost a a duel for the ball but forced Williams to a short clearance.

The ball went to Buchan and, with Fairbrother out of position, he could have placed his 10 yards shot at will. Instead, he kicked without steadying himself and was well wide.

Then, after 57 minutes, North End went ahead. MCLAREN took the ball up to Corr and accepted a return pass to fire it from a narrow angle.

It was a perfectly placed shot which, gave Wallace no chance.

The goal gave added zest to the game and for a time Williams and his men were given a lot of trouble without the Blackpool forwards being able to find a position for a shot.

Johnston, working tirelessly in the -middle of the field, tried repeatedly to create a real opening, and, when he managed it, Eastham hesitated just too long in' accepting a pass from Dick.

Then Dick took a pass on the right and put inside dangerously. Again, however, his colleagues had failed to close in on the Preston goal.

Blackpool now began to put on pressure and the Preston defence conceded a free kick which Shimwell placed accurately, but Fairbrother saved.


After 75 minutes another free-kick came. FARROW, taking the kick 20 yards out, scored a perfect goal in the bottom corner.

Blackpool almost went ahead when McIntosh with only Fairbrother to beat saw the ’keeper block a hard drive.


PRESTON 1 (Mclaren 57min)

BLACKPOOL 1 (Farrow 75min)


This friendly match was the third meeting of Preston and Blackpool this season and provided an interesting struggle.

Blackpool did themselves justice in sharing the goals, for after having rather less of the play than North End they rallied strongly in the latter stages.

Their forwards often disappointed after smart approach work.



By “Spectator”


Forget, too, the plans which are already being discussed for the strengthening of Blackpool's, team - the wing forward positions in particular - for next season.

Allow this week a few of the men who have made 1946-47 Blackpool's best First Division season in history to take a bow.

I name a dozen of them, not forgetting there are others.

No.1 on the list has not been in the first team in its last two matches. But he played in the previous 39. And at the beginning of the season Blackpool would have been prepared to release him for a fee which in present day football currency would be considered chicken feed.

Eric Sibley is the name. He is the full-back who came back when nearly everybody said he had finished. I can recall few players silencing the critics as he silenced them this season.

England class

HARRY JOHNSTON, the captain, who has achieved England rank during the year, and Stanley Mortensen. an inside-right who has made such a habit of scoring goals as a centre-forward that he has hit the net in 24 of his 38 First Division games, demand inclusion in the list.

I protested for a long time that the new centre-forward, a lightweight for the position, should never be playing there.

“I prefer it.” he said. And. as month succeeded month. I had to confess that there was not another man on the staff within measurable distance of him as a front-line spearhead.

The England selectors are being converted to the view. For the third time this afternoon he was watching as reserve an England team which one day he may lead.

And he stayed

THEN there is George Farrow, who 12 months ago so despaired of ever playing for a Blackpool first team again that he asked for a transfer. The first team had played 11 games before he was given a match jn it.

If he had been compelled to wait many weeks longer - as I can now reveal - he might have followed Jock Dodds across to the Free State - but. once in the team only an atomic explosion could have blown him out again.

His prewar partner, too. Eric Hayward, who came back from the East weighing a stone or two less than when he went away, whose future in the game seemed to have been jeopardised by his long absence from it. similarly re-established himself in the First Division with the odds all against him.

Charlton midweek ?

'THERE is a prospect, I hear, that Blackpool’s First Division season may end earlier than May 17, the postponed date of the visit to town of Cup Finalists, Charlton Athletic.

An approach has been made to the League this week for permission to play this match in the evening on either Wednesday, April 30, which is four days after the London team will have played at Wembley, or a week later, on May 7.

The League may, I am told, sanction the lifting of the midweek ban in such a town as Blackpool, where an evening match could not affect industrial output. The ultimate decision, however, will rest with the Athletic, who, according to the latest information, may be reluctant to come to town in midweek because of the probable loss of revenue.

The old firm

THE old firm of Farrow - Hayward - Johnston has come back to the game-again  - and Blackpool football, probably as a result, is at its strongest for years.

“Give me that half-back line,” a famous manager once said to me, “and I’ll build you one of the best teams in the country.” I could not give it him. and I know that Blackpool never will.

In a lesser degree. Alec Munro, Tobruk prisoner of war, has made his name all over again at a time when most people expected it to fade out of everything except the record books.

Then there is the amazing case of George Dick, cruiserweight boxing champion of the B.A.O.R. who one day decided to become a professional footballer, walked into Manager Joe Smith’s office to ask for a trial last August, and today, eight months later, has played in 29 First Division games.

And Eddie Shimwell is promising to be worth every penny of the £8.000 which Blackpool paid Sheffield United for him. He took a time to settle, but he has settled now.

Reserves, too

Nor should the men in reserve be forgotten, among them Johnny Crosland, who is going to be Blackpool’s first-team centre-half one day; Joe Robinson. the goalkeeper who cost £50 when he came from Hartlepools last summer, and George McKnight - if you can count him a reserve any longer - who has scored 21 Central League goals as a centre-forward. but who is destined, I think, to achieve his fame as an inside-right.

There are others, several others, I know, for football is a team game, and the stars alone cannot win matches unaided.

You can. I think, say “Thank you” to the lot of them. Blackpool’s 39 professionals have given to Blackpool football in the last eight months a distinction which only a small minority expected this first post-war season.

And last August that small minority was being accused of wishful thinking!

Jottings from all parts 

BY "SPECTATOR" 3 May 1947

Deep in the dale

THE last time before today's game that a Blackpool team went to Deepdale for a match outside the First and Second Division was on September 3, 1945.

A few days earlier North End had been beaten 6-3 at Blackpool. The tables were turned in this second meeting. Blackpool lost 0-5 with this team on the field:

Roxburgh, Sibley, Lewis, Farrow, Suart, Paterson, Matthews, Eastham, O’Donnell (F.), Fenton and O’Donnell (H.).

What a forward line to finish a match without a goal.

One of Preston’s five was scored by Jim McIntosh, now with Blackpool.


PERSONALITIES in the Cup final: Jim Bray, the Burnley wing-half, was once in Blackpool’s “A” team. Jim Strong, the Burnley goalkeeper, was one of Blackpool’s wartime guests.

Sam Bartram, the Charlton goalkeeper was once given a trial by Manager Joe Smith at Reading - but in those days he was a centre- forward, and not such a good centre-forward.


TWENTY-EIGHT goals for Stanley Mortensen in the First Division for Blackpool this season. His total may finish there.

He may be, probably will be, according to my information, away in Portugal or Switzerland with the F.A. tourists when the Charlton match, Blackpool's last game of the season, is played.

Jimmy Hampson’s 31 goals in 1930-31 will probably remain Blackpool's First Division record.


WHEN Blackpool last played Burnley - on Easter Monday last year in a match which Blackpool won 2-1 - the Turf Moor club fielded seven of the 11 defeated at Wembley last week, including the goalkeeper and both full-backs.

Peter Kippax, the amateur, scored Burnley’s goal.

Eight of Charlton’s winning Cup team played against Blackpool at the Valley last December and lost by the only goal - a Willie Buchan penalty.

This proves nothing at all. It’s merely interesting.


THE Irish people, I hear, were very impressed by the game that George Dick played against Distillery in the North of Ireland tour.

And not merely because he scored a couple of goals, either. His football in the open made a few folk consult their programmes. This Richard opened the door to a few speculations - and to one or two offers.

Manager Joe Smith politely said, “Nothing doing.” That’s been said to him once or twice in Ireland this season.


WHAT’S going on ? Stanley Matthews has now scored twice in successive games for Stoke City. It’s probably a record for the man who makes goals by the dozen but never seems particularly interested in scoring them.

Yet when he scores - what a goal it can be. I still count his goal against Blackpool at Stoke this season as the best I have seen in 1946-47 - and probably the best I shall see for another year or two.


STRANGE game this football. Blackpool Reserve played 17 games without defeat.

Now three have been lost in succession, and in those three games - in four and a half hours, in other words - the forwards have not scored a goal.

How often this sort of thing happens when an undefeated sequence is ended.


FORGET all these rumours that Peter Doherty may come to Blackpool, after all, during the summer, that once he has served his purpose with Huddersfield Town the Yorkshire club will be prepared to transfer him.

There’s no truth in them.

The Town paid over £10,000 for the Irishman, and he will have been cheap at the price if as a result Huddersfield still have a club in the First Division next season.

Peter is still such a player that his omission from a British team which has now an inside-right in the inside-left position has invited no little criticism.

The Town won’t transfer a player of his class either to Blackpool or anywhere else. Why should they


LAST team to win the Cup before the war, Portsmouth. came to Blackpool after Wembley. Now Charlton Athletic are booked for a visit.

It’s all very nice for the box-office.

Portsmouth came with the Cup and lost 2-1. The Athletic are, I hear, coming with the Cup, too. And if they lose I wouldn’t be surprised.


STOCKPORT COUNTY are reported to be interested in Malcolm Butler, Blackpool’s Irish full-back on the transfer list.

I know that Blackpool will not prejudice this player’s prospects in the game by asking an exorbitant fee. He has given such good service to the club that I hope every assistance will be offered him to establish himself in foot- M. Butler ball again. '

I chiefly recall him as one of those men -maybe not a stylist, but a 90-minutes-a-match player - who will give his best in every game.

He is, too, one of the few fullbacks I have ever seen who in one game solved the Stanley Matthews riddle, played close on him from the first second, and as nearly played the Stoke miracle man out of a match as he ever has been.


"WHAT a match!” they were saying after the Cup final. But was it such a lot worse than a few other finals? How often do you see a good game at Wembley?

Players are under such a tension that few men can produce anything approaching their best. Nerves are torn to shreds before ever they take the field.

Manager Joe Smith, of Blackpool, will tell you that in two of his finals a few players couldn’t lace their bootlaces before they went on the field, such was the trembling and quivering in their fingers.

Saturday 10 May 1947

MATTHEWS will sign tonight

Blackpool agree to pay £12,000

All details settled

On the eve of the “match of the century” at Hampden Park today Stoke City and Blackpool agreed on terms for the transfer of Stanley Matthews, the “ winger of the century.”

Though the actual transfer was not due to take place till after the Great Britain v. Rest of Europe game, all details were settled in the morning, and the signing was only a formality.


Mr. McGrory, Stoke manager, gave the news to a Press Association reporter in a Glasgow hotel before the game, following negotiations with the Blackpool representative.

“We are very reluctant to part with Stanley,” he said.

“He has rendered fine service to the club, but the directors have considered his own interests in reaching their decision.”

Matthews, now 32, has been with Stoke since he was 15, and almost automatic choice as England’s right-winger since 1934.

He owns a hotel on the South Promenade at Blackpool.

Told by a Press Association reporter just before he entered the dressing rooms at Hampden that his transfer to Blackpool had been arranged, Matthews said, “I am very glad to hear it.”

THE exhibition snooker and billiard matches at the South Shore Hotel on Friday of last week were a big success. £48 being raised for our funds.

Our thanks go to Mendel Showman, of Manchester. Frank Edwards, of Birmingham, and W. L Crompton, of Blackpool, the players who gave a fine show.

We are also indebted to Mr. Bert Collinson who. through his untiring efforts with the auction, made the financial result so satisfactory.


T'HE committee are enrolling a number of vice-presidents £2. 2s. and upwards.

National club: 

THE club has joined the National Federation of Supporters’ Clubs


WE hope to purchase a further supply of cushions for next season.

Future events:

ALTHOUGH the club’s football season is nearly over the committee is anxious that the Supporters’ Club shall remain active throughout the summer.

It is hoped to arrange many summer events.

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