Heroes of the hour: The day Burnley won the FA Cup
THERE is so much for the current Clarets squad to celebrate, and a Premier League future to look forward to. But the promotion party will not stop the club honouring its proud past.
It is 100 years since Burnley secured their only FA Cup win – not just a momentous occasion for the club, but also for football.
For it was the first time a reigning monarch had not only attended association football’s most important occasion, but presented the trophy.
Tommy Boyle was to receive it, after Burnley earned a 1-0 win over Liverpool in what was to be the last cup final played at the Crystal Palace Grounds. And to this day the 1914 captain remains the only Clarets skipper to lift the world’s most famous domestic trophy.
The club will recognise that achievement tomorrow, with a specially commissioned shirt to be worn by the players for their final home game of the season – and fixture closest to that famous win – against Ipswich Town.
It is fitting too, that there are plans for the promotion winning team of 2013/14 to set off on their open top bus tour of the town on May 4 from the Rose Grove spot where the 1914 cup winners began their parade.
Burnley, who had just returned to the First Division, earned three successive home cup ties and progress against South Sheilds, Derby and Bolton.
They faced their most stern test on the long road to the final next, away to Sunderland, a side who they lost to in the previous season’s semi final and who then went on to become league champions.
An epic, goalless encounter led to a re-match four days later.
A crowd of 50,000 turned out to dwarf the previous Turf Moor record.
Burnley had the edge in the performance, however, and were rewarded with goals for Teddy Hodgson and Richard Lindley. Despite a last minute consolation from the visitors it was enough for John Haworth’s side to claim the win.
Unfortunately, their league form suffered and four straight league defeats followed. The cup sparked them back into life.
Burnley had three meetings in a week with Sheffield United, twice in the cup. They scored only once, but that solitary strike, by captain Boyle, fired them into the final.
A crowd of 56,000 watched a goalless game at Old Trafford, in which goalkeeper Jerry Dawson was injured.
Reserve keeper Ronnie Sewell deputised for the replay at Goodison Park, where Boyle made the difference.
The squad prepared to play for King George V, and for silverware against Liverpool. Extra trains were put on in the build-up to the game, such was the demand for travel from the north west.
Burnley left from Lytham, bound for London, where temperatures had reached 74 degrees, and without rain for a week it had made the pitch hard and dry.
It was a struggle for both teams on the day, but Burnley managed to step things up in the second half.
With almost an hour gone they won a throw-in on their right.
The ball was picked up by Billy Nesbitt, who found Hodgson with a high cross. He beat Liverpool full back Longworth in the air and his header dropped perfectly into the path of Bert Freeman as he steamed into the penalty area.
Freeman met the ball perfectly on the volley and bulged the Liverpool net. Burnley tried to add a second but Hodgson hit the post, Nesbitt stumbled with the goal at his mercy, Lindley shot wide with just the keeper to beat.
Freeman’s fine effort was enough for Burnley to get their hands on the FA Cup for the first, and so far last, time.
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