It’s guest blog time again and, prompted by our recent run of MFW nostalgia (there’s precious little else to talk about), Dave Butcher – better known to most as DaveB 2 in the comments – takes us back to 1967 for a game that’s been recorded for posterity on the EA Archive.
Take it away, Dave…
The recent article by Malcolm Robertson started to bring back to life some memories of the Sixties. Specifically, the Sixties at Carrow Road.
A while ago, I stumbled across footage of an FA Cup 5th round tie against Sheffield Wednesday at Carrow Road on March 11th, 1967. What follows is a tribute to both the team and the East Anglian film archive at the UEA.
It wasn’t the first time we’d played Wednesday in the Cup. There’d been the second round tie at Newmarket Road in 1908 and in 1935 another fifth-round tie at The Nest.
The first game produced a 2-0 win and boasted Newmarket Road’s highest-ever turn-out of 10,366, the second a 1-0 defeat, with Wednesday going on to win the Cup that season.
There would have been much anticipation about this match in 1967 though, hot on the heels of a remarkable 2-1 away victory at Old Trafford in the previous round, featuring the likes of George Best, Bobby Charlton, and Denis Law.
Wednesday were also a First Division team, albeit a mid-table one. They were the biggest team I’d seen at the time and 40,999 other people were there to witness the event; not far short of the record attendance of 43,984 against Leicester.
I can only think that the extra 3,000 must have been sitting on the roof because we were standing like sardines.
I was 10 and had been to school that morning – an idiosyncratic arrangement that was designed to facilitate the playing of sports on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons – but, in truth, was bigoted at not having football on the curriculum in the first place.
Undeterred by this madness, I had proceeded to school with a yellow and green scarf concealed about my person. We were in the ground as soon as it opened and had taken up position in the front row of the South Stand. This was important as there were no seats in that stand and I was knee-high to a grasshopper.
I remember the sunshine and the resplendent Wednesday shirts, that, for some reason, I recall as being purple, rather than blue, with white sleeves.
In those days City wore black shorts, no doubt emblematic of the call to ‘do different’. In later years someone had the canny idea to change them to green so as to match the scarves.
As kick-off approached, younger fans were escorted around the ground to sit down in front of the fencing, barely ten years before they would be fenced into the terraces themselves.
There were class players in the Wednesday line up – Ron Springett, England forerunner of Gordon Banks, Eustace, McCalliog and Quinn – but they were surely no match for the likes of Kevin Keelan, Mal Lucas and Dave Stringer.
But we were two down before half-time. For the first, a cross from the right from Fantham found Ritchie towering over Laurie Brown with a nod down to John Quinn, who made no mistake with a drive from the edge of the penalty area.
The second came courtesy of a divot.
Back then goalkeepers used to bounce the ball around the penalty area before drop kicking up the field but, unfortunately, pitches were not of anything like the same quality then as they are now. And sure enough, Keelan bounces the ball, which subsequently hits a divot and a combination of Ritchie and Ford make capital of the calamity.
The practice is no longer fashionable in the modern game though it didn’t stop Ron Springett doing the same thing in the same penalty area in the second half. I bet he had a close eye on the divot though.
But City pull one back. A cross from Terry Anderson is met by a far-post header from Tommy Bryceland that goes in; probably a collector’s item in its own right, and had the Barclay youth chanting ‘We want two’.
But ten minutes later a cross from Eustace found Ritchie and Fantham rifled it home. 3-1 Wednesday.
Owls’ fans started singing: ‘Ee aye addio, we’re going to win the Cup’.
It was a harsh lesson and on another day it might have been different. City lost to a better team but were certainly not embarrassed. We left discreetly as we inched our way back to the car.
So what of the film itself? Well, it’s 20 minutes long and, for its time, is pretty good quality.
The Carrow Road stands have long since been replaced and the pitch no longer resembles a ploughed field.
If you look to the top left corner and you will see the letters of the alphabet just in front of the Barclay, next to what is now the Snakepit. At half-time numbers would appear next to the letters to indicate what the half time scores around the country were, but to decipher them you had to buy a programme first. Cunning eh?
In the bottom right-hand corner in front of the River End, there is a small vehicle, allowing access for a disabled fan. The pitchside fans seem to be impeccably behaved and contained by very few police constables; health and safety had yet to be invented.
You might wear a rosette or ‘wind’ a rattle without getting arrested for being in possession of a dangerous weapon.
Now, what did I do with my rose-tinted spectacles?
Here’s the link…
http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/923 …. enjoy.