Blackpool FC Memory Match

Mudie (left) four-goal hero
Mudie (left) four-goal hero

Blackpool 6, Fulham 2 - January 26, 1957, FA Cup

This match has to go down as one of the most remarkable in Blackpool’s post-war history.
It was an eight-goal thriller, with Blackpool scoring six, four of them being debited to hot-shot Scot Jackie Mudie.
And the Pathe newsreel was there to capture the action, and the clip, narrated by that legendary voice of Bob Danvers-Walker, makes for a fascinating snapshot of Blackpool football history.
It starts with a bizarre moment with what looks suspiciously like the late Syd Bevers, of Atomic Boys fame, orchestrating a pre-match stunt - he is dressed up as an Arab taking mock newsreel pictures on the touchline.
And they say that alternative comedy is a modern-day invention!
And once the match gets under way there are a plethora of goals for the real cameras to record.
The crowd is put at 26,248, but it looks much, much more than that, a contrast to these sad days at Bloomfield Road in 2017 when to all intents and purposes it looks as though the meagre crowd numbers have been over-estimated.
Remarkably enough, Bloomfield Road provided the second lowest gate of the day in the FA Cup - only at Newport County (22,450) was it lower.
As the camera spans the ground, there is hardly a spare spot to be seen with youngsters spilling over the crush-barriers, waving their rattles with much abandon and gusto as the goals go in.
Another interesting point is that none of the Fulham players appear to have no numbers on their backs, which hardly makes for the best identification.
As for the action, according to The Gazette report of the time, it was ‘a game that never let up.’
However, the sub-editor was getting carried away with himself with the headline: ‘Blackpool are heading again for Wembley.’
Famous win that it was, it was only the fourth round of the FA Cup, after all.,
Just to underline how out-of-kilter the prediction was, the Seasiders road to Wembley that season reached a cul-de-sac in the very next round as they were knocked out after a replay by West Bromwich Albion.
Fixture-planning clearly was not part of the equation back then.
You would have thought common-sense might have prevailed and given the fact that Blackpool were at home in such a big match Blackpool Borough Rugby League team might have changed their fixture against Whitehaven, but it went ahead at the Shore Stadium as normal in front of a mere 1,000 spectators.
Borough lost 12-7, the match being refereed by that no-nonsense character ‘Sergeant Major’ Eric Clay, one of the most high-profile officials in the game at the time.
That mainstay of the Blackpool athletics scene at the time, Gerry North, was in winning form.
The then 20-year-old runner clinched the Mid-Lancashire Cross Country League with victory in the sixth and final race of the season at Barrow.
He covered the seven-and-a-half-mile course in 38 minutes, 58 seconds, finishing a full 30 seconds in front of his nearest rival.
As for the Blackpool v Fulham encounter, the pre-match news was made by Tommy Garrett, who was forced to pull out with a recurrence of a thigh injury, leading to a late call-up for reserve David Frith.
The expectant crowd did not have to wait long for the goal action to start against a Fulham side that included the likes of Eddie Lowe, Jimmy Hill, Roy Bentley and Johnny Haynes, who at 21 skippered the Londoners.
Gazette reporter Clifford Greenwood conveyed the sense of excitement of the early goal rush as he told his readers: “I have never seen sun an opening to a cup-tie in all the years I have been watching football.”
Mudie struck for Blackpool after only 56 seconds.
Bill Perry tested the Fulham goalkeeper with a shot, which Ian Black could only block with his chest - the ball fell to Mudie who prodded it home into an empty net.
On three minutes, Blackpool doubled their lead - through Mudie again as the Scot seized on to a cross from Stanley Matthews.
On 16 minutes Fulham pulled one back.
Hill showed an impressive turn of pace on the right flank, squaring to team-mate Lowe, who rifled it home.
After 32 minutes, Fulham’s revival was capped with a goal by Bentley, who shot accurately past Blackpool goalkeeper George Farm.
Mudie put the Seasiders back in the ascendancy as he completed a first half hat-trick.
Perry headed the ball on following a corner by Matthews and Mudie got to it before Black and virtually walked the ball over the line to give his side a 3-2 half-time advantage.
Mudie, a constant thorn in Fulham’s side, was at it again 10 minutes into the second period.
Ernie Taylor, at the heart of Blackpool’s attack on so many occasions on this memorable afternoon, was the provider and Mudie latched on to the cross to beat Black yet again.
Within three minutes, the home side had made it 5-2.
On this occasion it was credited as an own goal by Fulham’s Derek Lampe.
Blackpool were very much on top by this stage and their path to the fifth round looked to be facilitated even further when Haynes handled the ball in the area, but Ewan Fenton stabbed the ensuing penalty past the right-hand post.
Two minutes later, however, Blackpool did hit Fulham for six.
Not for the first time on this entertaining, exhilarating afternoon, Taylor and Perry combined to devastating effect.
Perry supplied the final pass, pushing it inside to Dave Durie - it looked for a split-second as though he would lose control of the ball in the Bloomfield Road mud, but he connected in full stride and lashed it past the groping hand of Scottish international Black in the Fulham goal.
Greenwood described it as the finest shot of the afternoon and the Pathe News pictures back it up.
The Gazette’s man in the press-box that day, Don Creedy told his readers: “The Londoners felt the full fury of a Blackpool attack at its most aggressive and most skilful.”