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Burnden Park Dsiaster

I came across this story today. Its not a story I had heard of before and as it is so extraordinary I thought it might be of interest.

The incident happened in 1946. The country was in celebration mode post war and crowds were massive. Crowd control was limited and for an FA Cup Quarter Final between Bolton and Stoke, over 80000 people showed up. Crowd control couldn't cope, some people locked out climbed over fences and eventually a gate was opened and the crowd outside rushed in. A crush ensued, two barriers collapsed and 33 people lost their lives. While I hadnt heard of this particular incident, sadly i am aware similar has happened before and after - most famously obviously Hillsborough.

Th extraordinary bit is what happened next. The dead were laid out on the side of the pitch and their still warm bodies were covered with coats. They took up a bit of room but using a bit of initiative all was not lost. With a bit of sawdust they marked out a new rudimentary touchline and 30 minutes after the incident occurred, the game restarted and the last 80 minutes of the match were played out as normal - except presumably the players were careful not to tackle too hard on that side of the pitch.

By today's standards I just find that jaw-droppingly amazing yet the older amongst us were alive at the time.

I dont really have a wider point to make. Just thought it was worth sharing.

Comments

  • Indeed. What an interesting story.

  • I had stories of that day along those lines. I suppose a parallel would be playing the 1985 European Cup final at the Heysel Stadium with dead people in the ground Was the thinking that the situation gets worse if you abandon the game and you then invite more trouble ?

  • A story that I read last week about a similar incident at Ibrox that I wasn’t aware of:
    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2020/dec/03/rangers-football-forgotten-tragedy-ibrox-stadium-disaster-glasgow

  • Hadn't heard of that before, seems crazy that could happen

  • I wonder if the war had numbed people a little? There had just been several years of stiff upper lips and carrying on as normal through unspeakable violence and loss of life.

    Either way, it is astounding!

  • @Chris said:
    A story that I read last week about a similar incident at Ibrox that I wasn’t aware of:
    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2020/dec/03/rangers-football-forgotten-tragedy-ibrox-stadium-disaster-glasgow

    I remember that day very clearly. A very sad day indeed.

  • Ibrox is surely known by anyone who doesn't just know football through fantasy premier league?

    Disasters were always imminent, as eloquently described by Hornby in his timeless 'Fever Pitch'

    Ignorance will continue as long as people say silly things like 'I don' t trust any English people who travel'

    What a wally

  • (wally not directed at you dev.. Not this time..)

  • Old enough to remember the news reports at the time about Ibrox.
    What makes the Ibrox Disaster even worse was that there had been the earlier loss of life in '61 in an almost exact same manner and nothing was done.
    Reading that report, thanks @Chris, makes you realise just how little regard clubs had for supporters safety back in the day.
    Sadly it was to take until Hillsborough until something was actually done.
    You can't imagine what pain those affected must have felt watching their loved ones going to a football match and never return.

    We take for granted our safety at football matches now, it wasn't always so.

  • @LX1 said:
    Ibrox is surely known by anyone who doesn't just know football through fantasy premier league?

    Disasters were always imminent, as eloquently described by Hornby in his timeless 'Fever Pitch'

    Ignorance will continue as long as people say silly things like 'I don' t trust any English people who travel'

    What a wally

    I'm 38 and have followed football closely at all levels since I was about 10. Shockingly to me, I had neither heard nor read anything about the Ibrox disaster until @Chris posted that link. Perhaps less surprisingly, I also had no awareness of the disaster at Burnden Park.

  • I think thats the nub the general contempt owners had for the paying public and the players.

  • Due to some quirk of life, outside Wycombe I have more Bolton mates than any other club. > @YorkExile said:

    @LX1 said:
    Ibrox is surely known by anyone who doesn't just know football through fantasy premier league?

    Disasters were always imminent, as eloquently described by Hornby in his timeless 'Fever Pitch'

    Ignorance will continue as long as people say silly things like 'I don' t trust any English people who travel'

    What a wally

    I'm 38 and have followed football closely at all levels since I was about 10. Shockingly to me, I had neither heard nor read anything about the Ibrox disaster until @Chris posted that link. Perhaps less surprisingly, I also had no awareness of the disaster at Burnden Park.

    Yes sorry a silly statement on my part. We are lucky to live in an age where these things are almost impossible

  • Amazing bits of football and social history. Seems impossible now but shows how attitudes have moved on.

    The story makes up for the thread spelling disaster. Sorry for the cheap shot @DevC . I'm probably the worst for typos

  • 11th May 85 is the tragedy imprinted on my mind. Bradford v Lincoln.

  • It is a testament to football how much these sad events influence us. Not wishing to bring people down but obviously tragic events happen every day around the world. Years ago I picked up a book about the Superga plane crash. 'The Day Italian Football Died' Manna/Gibbs. A decent effort imho on a difficult subject

  • @Fit2drop said:
    11th May 85 is the tragedy imprinted on my mind. Bradford v Lincoln.

    Football Focus did an extremely well presented feature on the Bradford City fire on the Saturday closest to its 25th anniversary which remains fresh in my mind 10 years on. I feel very fortunate that reforms in stadium safety broadly coincided with my starting to regularly attend games. It is just so unthinkably tragic that it took such disasters to push such reforms through.

  • I seem to recall there was a big hoo hah when the Bradford fire footage was sold to Fox who included it (including a copper having to whip off his burning helmet) as part of a US Fox sports bloopers show...look at these crazy English soccer fans they set fire to their own stand and themselves !
    And Sky broadcast it or something. I think Rupert had to do a bit of grovelling.

  • I suppose humans learn lessons from disasters not from risk assessments sadly. Aviation learnt from crashes, formula one arguably from Ayrton Senna etc. I have a vivid memory of feeling totally out of control leaving the old Highbury clock end one day - the exit was essentially a narrow passage through someones back garden. If the guy in front had fallen over, I would be dead now. "elf and safty" gets a bad press but it does save lives.

    @Right_in_the_Middle said:
    Amazing bits of football and social history. Seems impossible now but shows how attitudes have moved on.

    The story makes up for the thread spelling disaster. Sorry for the cheap shot @DevC . I'm probably the worst for typos

    You are not remotely in my league Righty! Oosp.

  • Who were Wycombe playing at Loakes Park on the day of the Hillsborough disaster? I remember listening in our others radios and only really getting the true ghastly context on the way home.

  • Think it was Altrincham. Just remember hearing rumours during the game, and was aware fairly early on it was as a result of a crush, thinking back to my experiences at Ipswich and Norwich in cages when I lived that way and often went along, sometimes in the away end, but then looking at the low perimeter fence around Loakes Park and thinking how lucky I was

  • I was at work watching it on the telly. My brother in law was supposed to go (Forest end) but didn't because he had had a similar crushing experience at a semi-final at Hillsborough (the year before?) that, though there were no fatalities, had been widely complained about and, obviously, ignored by the FA and Hillsborough.

  • I can't think of another event that has had an impact on me like the Hillsborough disaster.

    Even now, being so familiar with what happened it is still too unbearable to think about what those fans went through that day.

  • edited December 2020

    On the day of the Bradford fire, I was shopping in MK with the wife. (We were newly married and I hadn't found a good enough excuse not to go).
    She went off to buy a few bits in Boots and I stopped and watched as the scene unfolded on a TV in one of the TV rental shops.
    She was only gone a few minutes and in that time it went from a few wisps of smoke at one end of the stand to a ragging inferno with the terrible consequences we now know of. The images remain vivid to the day.
    It's why I have a soft spot for Bradford City and zero tolerance for anyone letting off flares inside a football ground.


    (The Vimeo link does work and content can be viewed without installing the app)

  • 2nd Jan 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the Ibrox Stadium crush @Chris.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/extra/B0cJMZS3B1/Fiveboys

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