Bells, rattles and cheers swelled cup-tie fervour


Saturday, February 23 – 1952
Cup-tie enthusiasm reminiscent of that aroused by Burnley F.C.’s 1947 progress was displaying on Saturday, when upwards of 15,000 cheering, rattle-whirring, bell-ringing supporters – most of them sporting red-and-white-favours – thronged the main streets during the morning.

The first of 10 special trains from Merseyside reached Burnley shortly before 11-0 o’clock with an advance guard of 900 enthusiasts. Trains from Liverpool continued to arrive at Central Station up to 1-30 p.m.

By noon the greater portion of the followers had arrived, and public houses, restaurants and snack bars in the Centre an en route to Turf Moor had their busiest Saturday lunch-time period for many years. It is estimated that well over £5,000 was spent by the Liverpool supporters.

Many of the visitors – some of whom had not even got tickets – went straight to Turf Moor from the station. By 12-15 a crowd of about 150 had gathered there, waiting for the 1-0 p.m. opening of the turnstiles. And they were not Liverpool fans only. Amongst them could be seen groups of Burnley supporters sporting claret-and-blue scarves, berets and rosettes.

Directed by Burnley police officers assisted by others from Rochdale and Oldham, the crowd filed into the ground rapidly and in orderly fashion. By 2-0 o’clock, an hour before the kick-off, about 20,000 were assembled there. The tide of arriving partisans continued to flow Turf Moor-wards until the kick-off, and by that time there were 52,070 people present.

But for practically every person who saw the game one was disappointed. There had been 90,000 applications for tickets at the Turf Moor office, yet the police-imposed safety limit of 53,000 was not reached, although this number of tickets was sold.

Ticket touts, as anticipated were early at work. Stan tickets, priced at 7s 6d, were being offered – and readily bought at 30s. Enclosure tickets (3s 6d each) sold for 15s, and the 1s 6d ground ticket brought 10s each. But by 3-0 o’clock there were tickets to sell and no one to buy.

Rumours of a market “flooded” with counterfeit tickets were apparently baseless. Checkers at the ground turnstiles kept a lookout for forgeries, but “We have had no reports of any forged tickets,” a senior police officer told the Burnley Express.

To maintain easy control of the crowd police used walkie-talkie wireless sets with the main control in the Press Box in the stand.

Inside the ground the crowd were entertained by the Home Guard Association Band. Respective club mascots roused the cheers of the two sections of the crowd.

Eight trains for Merseyside supporters left Central Station 5-0 p.m. and shortly after 6-0 p.m., and there were two late trains, one at 10-7 and another at 11-10 for the anticipated followers who remained in the town during the evening.

Even so, about 200 Liverpool supporters missed the last train back to Merseyside – but that’s another story.
(Burnley Express, 27-02-1952)

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