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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub 17:16 - Dec 6 with 1699 viewsSheffdale

As some of you know, I'm doing a series of articles for TVOS, focusing on the first promotion season. I hope to do one piece which imagines us all meeting up in this virtual pub where we share our memories of that season. Time travel back to the evening of 10 May 1969 and put down your memories of that season in this thread. What were your highlights? Who was your favourite player? Who did you go to matches with? Do you still go to matches with the same people? Many of you have shared these memories before but it would be great if you could put them here and I'll collate. PM me if you would like your real name mentioned in the write up which will be early New Year I think. Join me in the Virtual Cemetery Hotel - the first drink is on me - it's going to be a lock-in.
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 20:37 - Dec 6 with 1280 viewskiwidale

"The Virtual Cemetery Hotel" and TVOS

This has got clique written all over it
[Post edited 6 Dec 20:38]

DONT FEED THE TROLL.

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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 22:12 - Dec 6 with 1213 viewsSheffdale

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 20:37 - Dec 6 by kiwidale

"The Virtual Cemetery Hotel" and TVOS

This has got clique written all over it
[Post edited 6 Dec 20:38]


Well if it's a clique, you're a founder member Kiwi! Come on I know you were there - give me something to work on as I head down under for Christmas!
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 07:44 - Dec 7 with 1126 viewsEllDale

I didn't miss a home game that season.
There was a regular routine where Colin Smith-Markl used to meet me in Shawclough Village at 2.00pm and we used to walk to the ground through Turners.
We were only 14 so no trips to the pub!
I used to see Vinny Leech and Tony Buck drive down Shawclough Road from their homes on Cowm Park Way in Whitworth on their way to the game. They both had a Vauxhall Viva and I can still remember Buck's registration - PWO 263.
I was trying my hardest to be a what would these days be called a holding midfielder in the school team so my favourite player was probably Leech although I loved the sheer enthusiasm of Steve Melledew.
My dad knew his dad I think, I'm sure he said that he had a tobacconists at one time on Spotland Road.
Highlights were the six goal hammerings of the two Bradford clubs and Grimsby and the opening day win over Scunny.
I remember, along with many others, going to help Joe Duff shift a load of snow off the pitch one Saturday in February so that it was fit for Buck's debut versus Darlington on the Monday night.
There were an awful lot of drawn games before Christmas but the team clicked after that.
I remember an easy 4-0 home win over Colchester, victory over York 2-1 on Easter Saturday and then wins on Wednesday nights against Wrexham and Halifax, the latter being a real two-pointer.
There were 13000 on Spotland for the latter and 17000 at the Shay the following week. There was just one long convoy of coaches over Blackstone Edge from about 5.30pm that night.
And then there was that final 3-0 win over Southend. Grown men crying in the Sandy and then the pitch invasion at the end...I could go on for ever but I'll never forget that season
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 08:53 - Dec 7 with 1097 viewsSheffdale

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 07:44 - Dec 7 by EllDale

I didn't miss a home game that season.
There was a regular routine where Colin Smith-Markl used to meet me in Shawclough Village at 2.00pm and we used to walk to the ground through Turners.
We were only 14 so no trips to the pub!
I used to see Vinny Leech and Tony Buck drive down Shawclough Road from their homes on Cowm Park Way in Whitworth on their way to the game. They both had a Vauxhall Viva and I can still remember Buck's registration - PWO 263.
I was trying my hardest to be a what would these days be called a holding midfielder in the school team so my favourite player was probably Leech although I loved the sheer enthusiasm of Steve Melledew.
My dad knew his dad I think, I'm sure he said that he had a tobacconists at one time on Spotland Road.
Highlights were the six goal hammerings of the two Bradford clubs and Grimsby and the opening day win over Scunny.
I remember, along with many others, going to help Joe Duff shift a load of snow off the pitch one Saturday in February so that it was fit for Buck's debut versus Darlington on the Monday night.
There were an awful lot of drawn games before Christmas but the team clicked after that.
I remember an easy 4-0 home win over Colchester, victory over York 2-1 on Easter Saturday and then wins on Wednesday nights against Wrexham and Halifax, the latter being a real two-pointer.
There were 13000 on Spotland for the latter and 17000 at the Shay the following week. There was just one long convoy of coaches over Blackstone Edge from about 5.30pm that night.
And then there was that final 3-0 win over Southend. Grown men crying in the Sandy and then the pitch invasion at the end...I could go on for ever but I'll never forget that season


That's more like it - thanks EllDale!
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 10:01 - Dec 7 with 1070 viewsD_Alien

Slightly younger than EllDale, i too saw every home game that season, plus my first two away trips, to Bradford City & Halifax. I walked from Deeplish down through Broadfield Park and along Mellor Street

There was a real sense following our 3-2 home win against Scunthorpe on a typical sunny August Saturday that something special might happen, which then seemed to founder in the autumn fog with Stokoe leaving, but the feeling was the players we had were just too good and it might be just a matter of time. I'd never seen the Dale really 'click' but for me it was the form of Norman Whitehead that set things going. He scored his first goal (against Grimsby, i think) and suddenly the forward line ignited

Things became quite tense towards the end of the season, but the 1-0 win against Halifax (on a Monday evening btw, not Wednesday) with Dennis Butler scoring a scorcher gave us the added impetus before our final game. Ironically, one of my main memories remains a dour 0-0 draw on Easter Monday against leaders Doncaster. It was the first time I'd seen Spotland packed with a gate over 10,000

The final day celebrations after what proved to be a comfortable win over promotion rivals Southend were unbridled joy. The game started with me overhearing two visiting fans discussing how they were going to roll us over then win their final game ( they had a fixture backlog) to overtake us. Steve Melledew eased nerves with the opener at the Pearl St end quite early on, then Reg Jenkins got a couple at the Sandy Lane end; first a penalty followed shortly after by a simple tap in. As the ball reached him, he actually looked up at the fans and smiled before stroking it home. Game over, cue pandemonium
[Post edited 7 Dec 10:26]

I'm in the unhinged bracket

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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 22:26 - Dec 8 with 865 viewsOxDale

As a 7 year old, taken by my Dad, my first game was the Bradford City in ’68. 6-0. Easy. Now the reason my first game was Bradford was because I was born in Bradford, and my whole family were from Bradford and we were the only ones who didn’t live in Bradford. So no surprise my second game was Park Avenue, my Grandad’s team. 6-0. I was hooked believing we (now aligned with Rochdale) always won 6-0! Little did I know what the next 50 years were going to bring!
Other vivid memories of that season. The traffic jam going over the tops to Halifax, probably my first away game and for some reason a blue and yellow flag at the Southend game, behind the goal at the Pearl Street end, which I think was a Southend flag, strange things you remember!
Just back from the Wimbledon game. A classic game of two halves! In complete control at half-time and deservedly front. Second half we never got started and it wasn’t until they ran out of steam with 10 minutes to go that we got a foot hold in the game. And we should have nicked it.
UTD
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 22:31 - Dec 8 with 860 viewsOxDale

How many games have we won 6-0 since then? I'm not sure I've seen one since?
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 03:19 - Dec 9 with 798 viewskiwidale

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 22:31 - Dec 8 by OxDale

How many games have we won 6-0 since then? I'm not sure I've seen one since?


we scored 7 away to Stockport.

DONT FEED THE TROLL.

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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 04:03 - Dec 9 with 786 viewssmaclad1

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 03:19 - Dec 9 by kiwidale

we scored 7 away to Stockport.


You will incur the wrath of TVOS who, as official Board statistician and professional mathematician, will be along in due course to point out that
- 7 is not 6
- Stockport scored twice and so 2 is not 0
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 08:13 - Dec 9 with 755 viewsTVOS1907

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 22:31 - Dec 8 by OxDale

How many games have we won 6-0 since then? I'm not sure I've seen one since?


Just the once, in April 2001 at home to Carlisle.

Paul Connor scored a hat-trick and even Wayne Evans found the net.

A member of the FNC since December 2017, who's just being helpful.

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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 08:25 - Dec 9 with 745 viewskiwidale

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 04:03 - Dec 9 by smaclad1

You will incur the wrath of TVOS who, as official Board statistician and professional mathematician, will be along in due course to point out that
- 7 is not 6
- Stockport scored twice and so 2 is not 0


I should have known better.

DONT FEED THE TROLL.

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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 09:02 - Dec 9 with 724 viewsCleedale

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 08:13 - Dec 9 by TVOS1907

Just the once, in April 2001 at home to Carlisle.

Paul Connor scored a hat-trick and even Wayne Evans found the net.


Paul Connor hey?

A fully fit Connor (from back then btw.) could've possibly been the missing link in today's team?

Also, just got a set of plans for a real-life tardis. Construction work will be testing (for me) and some of the time-machine electronic-quarkisms look a tad complicated.

When complete if anyone would like to give it a 'first bash' they're welcome. Trouble being...you might well not end up in that same season
or virtual pub.
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 10:33 - Dec 9 with 675 viewsOxDale

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 08:13 - Dec 9 by TVOS1907

Just the once, in April 2001 at home to Carlisle.

Paul Connor scored a hat-trick and even Wayne Evans found the net.


Thanks, yes I remember now. I was exiled by then and missed it. So the those first two games were my first and last (so far)!
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 11:01 - Dec 9 with 656 viewsdownunder

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 22:26 - Dec 8 by OxDale

As a 7 year old, taken by my Dad, my first game was the Bradford City in ’68. 6-0. Easy. Now the reason my first game was Bradford was because I was born in Bradford, and my whole family were from Bradford and we were the only ones who didn’t live in Bradford. So no surprise my second game was Park Avenue, my Grandad’s team. 6-0. I was hooked believing we (now aligned with Rochdale) always won 6-0! Little did I know what the next 50 years were going to bring!
Other vivid memories of that season. The traffic jam going over the tops to Halifax, probably my first away game and for some reason a blue and yellow flag at the Southend game, behind the goal at the Pearl Street end, which I think was a Southend flag, strange things you remember!
Just back from the Wimbledon game. A classic game of two halves! In complete control at half-time and deservedly front. Second half we never got started and it wasn’t until they ran out of steam with 10 minutes to go that we got a foot hold in the game. And we should have nicked it.
UTD


Those games v Bradford and Bradford PA were my first 2 games as well.
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 11:09 - Dec 9 with 649 viewsTVOS1907

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 10:33 - Dec 9 by OxDale

Thanks, yes I remember now. I was exiled by then and missed it. So the those first two games were my first and last (so far)!


We have won only eight times by a 6-0 scoreline in our FL history:

29/8/25 v Hartlepool (h)
31/3/34 v Chester (h)
28/9/46 v Carlisle (h)
2/10/62 v Barrow (h)
27/12/65 v Wrexham (h)
21/9/68 v Bradford C (h)
2/11/68 v Bradford PA (h)
10/4/01 v Carlisle (h)
[Post edited 9 Dec 11:48]

A member of the FNC since December 2017, who's just being helpful.

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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 11:44 - Dec 9 with 621 viewsOxDale

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 11:09 - Dec 9 by TVOS1907

We have won only eight times by a 6-0 scoreline in our FL history:

29/8/25 v Hartlepool (h)
31/3/34 v Chester (h)
28/9/46 v Carlisle (h)
2/10/62 v Barrow (h)
27/12/65 v Wrexham (h)
21/9/68 v Bradford C (h)
2/11/68 v Bradford PA (h)
10/4/01 v Carlisle (h)
[Post edited 9 Dec 11:48]


To keep the 6-0 theme going. I remember the 0-6 at home to Plymouth, way back. Which I recall was 0-6 at half-time. Scary. Only compensated by turning round in disgust and spotting a fiver on the floor. A significant find back then.
And next week, for my first home game of the season, who are we playing???
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 16:33 - Dec 9 with 558 viewssmaclad1

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 08:13 - Dec 9 by TVOS1907

Just the once, in April 2001 at home to Carlisle.

Paul Connor scored a hat-trick and even Wayne Evans found the net.


A pity Wayne didn't leave a map for todays defenders.
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 02:08 - Dec 10 with 476 viewspioneer

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 11:44 - Dec 9 by OxDale

To keep the 6-0 theme going. I remember the 0-6 at home to Plymouth, way back. Which I recall was 0-6 at half-time. Scary. Only compensated by turning round in disgust and spotting a fiver on the floor. A significant find back then.
And next week, for my first home game of the season, who are we playing???


And the next season they stuffed us 5-0 down at their place - with a teenage Paul mariner tearing us to shreds if memory serves me correctly. It was the season from hell though so he wasnt alone in that.

I just hope Sheffdale never gets the idea of recalling 1973-74 for his programme pieces. If he does I hope it carries the freephone number of suicide help lines.
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 08:02 - Dec 10 with 421 viewsEllDale

The first game of that season wasn't too bad if I remember rightly, a 1-1 home draw with a decent Brighton team.
That was basically Dick Connor's team though before Walter Joyce started to herd them towards the exit.
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 10:15 - Dec 10 with 395 viewspioneer

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 08:02 - Dec 10 by EllDale

The first game of that season wasn't too bad if I remember rightly, a 1-1 home draw with a decent Brighton team.
That was basically Dick Connor's team though before Walter Joyce started to herd them towards the exit.


There had been a clear out at the end of 72-3 following Connor’s sacking. Joyce came in and packed the team out with kids.
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 11:30 - Dec 10 with 371 views49thseason

FWIW, I have a very tatty but largely readable copy of the back page of the Wednesday Observer from May 9th 1965. As far as I can recall, it was probably the first time the Observer used blue ink as a headline colour by way of celebration. The page shows Jenkins, Ryder, Leech and Harker in the communal bath drinking champagne!
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 14:58 - Dec 10 with 308 viewsmingthemerciless

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 11:30 - Dec 10 by 49thseason

FWIW, I have a very tatty but largely readable copy of the back page of the Wednesday Observer from May 9th 1965. As far as I can recall, it was probably the first time the Observer used blue ink as a headline colour by way of celebration. The page shows Jenkins, Ryder, Leech and Harker in the communal bath drinking champagne!


It can't be that readable if the date is 1965 !

Too many great memories of that season really. The bright start at home to Scunny. Then the 5 consecutive 1-1 draws with Ego scoring each of the goals. That must be some sort of record. Battering Bradford PA then a goal less period of 5 or 6 games. The ' Dale looked anything but promotion material at that point of the season. We weren't doing much really until the Grimsby 6-1 game in early January.

After that the team really kicked on started scoring goals for fun. The game that convinced me promotion could be on the cards was the 3-0 thrashing of a good Aldershot team on a rain soaked pitch. The football played that day was scintillating.

I was an acquaintance of Vince Ratcliffe at the time, his wife worked with my wife, and I remember him telling me a few days before the event that a big money centre forward signing was in the offing. I finally got it out of him that the player in question was Tony Buck.
After that things got better and better.

The big game against Doncaster was a damp squib, a very dry pitch and blustery conditions ruining what should have been a good game. It was great to be in a huge crowd again though and the town was starting to get the buzz !

Points kept getting racked up in some hard fought games until the next big one came along. A night match against fellow contenders Halifax Town. That was in front of the biggest crowd I'd ever seen . Cars were parked all over the Spotland area as far back as " The Bowling Green " .
The game itself was pretty dour, the sort that is always settled by one goal. Dennis Butler getting the all important goal for the ' Dale in front of a packed Sandy Lane End.

A week later came the return match at The Shay. That was packed to the rafters. Another dour game were the 'Dale never really got their football going on a tiny pitch and got beaten 1-0.
So on to the last game of the season, Southend at Spotland, they were no mugs and had a chance of going up themselves.

Any fears that nerves might get to the lads were soon put to one side as the 'Dale footballed Southend to death. They got a foot on Southend's throat after about 20 ninutes and never let up. The result was never really in doubt.
At the final whistle everyone ran on the pitch. I got to slap Big Reg on the back. It was like slapping a tree. Unforgettable moments.

What people forget is in the run up to promotion the team played 9 games in April alone !

My pal Vince was released along with Joe Fletcher. I know Vince felt hard done to because he'd played right back for the first 20 games and then filled in for Colin Parry and Joe Ashworth at centre half when they were injured. He played in some vital games including the crucial home win against Halifax Town.

His place was taken by a young lad from Liverpool called Paul Clarke, he was supposed to be a world beater but ended up doing next to nothing. They'd have been better off sticking with Vince.
[Post edited 10 Dec 15:03]
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 19:41 - Dec 10 with 239 viewsD_Alien

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 14:58 - Dec 10 by mingthemerciless

It can't be that readable if the date is 1965 !

Too many great memories of that season really. The bright start at home to Scunny. Then the 5 consecutive 1-1 draws with Ego scoring each of the goals. That must be some sort of record. Battering Bradford PA then a goal less period of 5 or 6 games. The ' Dale looked anything but promotion material at that point of the season. We weren't doing much really until the Grimsby 6-1 game in early January.

After that the team really kicked on started scoring goals for fun. The game that convinced me promotion could be on the cards was the 3-0 thrashing of a good Aldershot team on a rain soaked pitch. The football played that day was scintillating.

I was an acquaintance of Vince Ratcliffe at the time, his wife worked with my wife, and I remember him telling me a few days before the event that a big money centre forward signing was in the offing. I finally got it out of him that the player in question was Tony Buck.
After that things got better and better.

The big game against Doncaster was a damp squib, a very dry pitch and blustery conditions ruining what should have been a good game. It was great to be in a huge crowd again though and the town was starting to get the buzz !

Points kept getting racked up in some hard fought games until the next big one came along. A night match against fellow contenders Halifax Town. That was in front of the biggest crowd I'd ever seen . Cars were parked all over the Spotland area as far back as " The Bowling Green " .
The game itself was pretty dour, the sort that is always settled by one goal. Dennis Butler getting the all important goal for the ' Dale in front of a packed Sandy Lane End.

A week later came the return match at The Shay. That was packed to the rafters. Another dour game were the 'Dale never really got their football going on a tiny pitch and got beaten 1-0.
So on to the last game of the season, Southend at Spotland, they were no mugs and had a chance of going up themselves.

Any fears that nerves might get to the lads were soon put to one side as the 'Dale footballed Southend to death. They got a foot on Southend's throat after about 20 ninutes and never let up. The result was never really in doubt.
At the final whistle everyone ran on the pitch. I got to slap Big Reg on the back. It was like slapping a tree. Unforgettable moments.

What people forget is in the run up to promotion the team played 9 games in April alone !

My pal Vince was released along with Joe Fletcher. I know Vince felt hard done to because he'd played right back for the first 20 games and then filled in for Colin Parry and Joe Ashworth at centre half when they were injured. He played in some vital games including the crucial home win against Halifax Town.

His place was taken by a young lad from Liverpool called Paul Clarke, he was supposed to be a world beater but ended up doing next to nothing. They'd have been better off sticking with Vince.
[Post edited 10 Dec 15:03]


The Dennis Butler goal against Halifax was at the Pearl St end
[Post edited 10 Dec 19:46]

I'm in the unhinged bracket

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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 19:42 - Dec 10 with 239 viewspioneer

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 14:58 - Dec 10 by mingthemerciless

It can't be that readable if the date is 1965 !

Too many great memories of that season really. The bright start at home to Scunny. Then the 5 consecutive 1-1 draws with Ego scoring each of the goals. That must be some sort of record. Battering Bradford PA then a goal less period of 5 or 6 games. The ' Dale looked anything but promotion material at that point of the season. We weren't doing much really until the Grimsby 6-1 game in early January.

After that the team really kicked on started scoring goals for fun. The game that convinced me promotion could be on the cards was the 3-0 thrashing of a good Aldershot team on a rain soaked pitch. The football played that day was scintillating.

I was an acquaintance of Vince Ratcliffe at the time, his wife worked with my wife, and I remember him telling me a few days before the event that a big money centre forward signing was in the offing. I finally got it out of him that the player in question was Tony Buck.
After that things got better and better.

The big game against Doncaster was a damp squib, a very dry pitch and blustery conditions ruining what should have been a good game. It was great to be in a huge crowd again though and the town was starting to get the buzz !

Points kept getting racked up in some hard fought games until the next big one came along. A night match against fellow contenders Halifax Town. That was in front of the biggest crowd I'd ever seen . Cars were parked all over the Spotland area as far back as " The Bowling Green " .
The game itself was pretty dour, the sort that is always settled by one goal. Dennis Butler getting the all important goal for the ' Dale in front of a packed Sandy Lane End.

A week later came the return match at The Shay. That was packed to the rafters. Another dour game were the 'Dale never really got their football going on a tiny pitch and got beaten 1-0.
So on to the last game of the season, Southend at Spotland, they were no mugs and had a chance of going up themselves.

Any fears that nerves might get to the lads were soon put to one side as the 'Dale footballed Southend to death. They got a foot on Southend's throat after about 20 ninutes and never let up. The result was never really in doubt.
At the final whistle everyone ran on the pitch. I got to slap Big Reg on the back. It was like slapping a tree. Unforgettable moments.

What people forget is in the run up to promotion the team played 9 games in April alone !

My pal Vince was released along with Joe Fletcher. I know Vince felt hard done to because he'd played right back for the first 20 games and then filled in for Colin Parry and Joe Ashworth at centre half when they were injured. He played in some vital games including the crucial home win against Halifax Town.

His place was taken by a young lad from Liverpool called Paul Clarke, he was supposed to be a world beater but ended up doing next to nothing. They'd have been better off sticking with Vince.
[Post edited 10 Dec 15:03]


great memories, but Radcliffe lost his place, following injury, to Graham Smith, who was one of the few players who remained from the pre Stokoe days and continued toplay right back while accumilating a club recordnumber of appearances finally being released after the season from hell. Paul Clarke was more of a central defender who turned out to be a big disappointment making only a handful of appearances.
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The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 20:53 - Dec 10 with 200 viewsmingthemerciless

The 1968/69 Virtual Pub on 19:41 - Dec 10 by D_Alien

The Dennis Butler goal against Halifax was at the Pearl St end
[Post edited 10 Dec 19:46]


Really, I was behind the goal at the Pearl St end and I could have sworn the goal came at the far end. It is a very long while ago now.
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