Clarets beat Napoli on great Turf Moor night

Last updated : 01 March 2007 By Tony Scholes
Malcolm Hebden with his leading lady in Ring Round the Moon
The whole town was buzzing, but for those without an interest in football there was plenty of alternative entertainment. Down at the Cabaret Club in Rosegrove there was a special appearance from Ivy Benson and her all girl Showband, whilst Lance Percival was appearing at the Casino Club in Manchester Road.

For the cinema enthusiast there was 'Beau Geste' at the Odeon and the Empire were showing 'One Million Years BC' starring Raquel Welch. For the specialist audience there was 'The gentle art of seduction' showing at the Continental.

Also in the area were two people who years later would become well known for parts in popular television programmes. At the Imperial in Nelson there was a wrestling programme featuring heavyweight Pat Roach who would go on to play Bomber in Aufwiedersehen Pet and our local amateur group The Highcliffe Players were performing the play 'Ring Round the Moon' with the leading role played by enthusiastic amateur Malcolm Hebden. What would Norris Cole think?

Burnley were concerned that the Italians would include Omar Sivori in their side, even though he was suspended from domestic football in Italy whereas should Andy Lochhead receive a suspension for five bookings he would be forced to miss the tie because of our FA having different rules. It didn't matter in the end, Andy played, Sivori didn't and got himself in trouble for speaking out against his manager.

Burnley had gone off for special cup tie training, this usually meant they spent a few days in Blackpool and paused for a picture running down the promenade, a picture that would feature in the local press. Being out of town they missed the fuss created when the Italians arrived minus four of their best players.

The press were accusing Napoli of insulting Burnley, and the competition, but they confirmed that Sivori, Ottavio Bianchi, Toni Juliano and Pierluigi Ronzon would all miss the first leg. Burnley were warned though that this was no average side, and even without four of their top players would still give the Clarets, suddenly in a poor run of form, a very difficult game.

I've been watching Burnley now for over 46 years, I've seen big games and big crowds, and some not so big, but in all of my years supporting our club I cannot recall ever witnessing an atmosphere to come close to this particular night at Turf Moor.

The ground wasn't full, far from it, but standing in the old cricket field end the support was incredible. It started almost an hour before kick off and continued throughout the game as Burnley won the battle, and what a battle it was.

"A display of brutal and bad tempered football by Italy's third-ranked team", wrote the Daily Mail. "Two of their forwards in particular, the great Altafini at inside-left and centre forward Orlando, seemed intent on provoking a minor war," wrote the Daily Mirror.

How tough was it? Captain Alex Elder, who was ruled out with injury, wrote after the game: "This game was so tough it made the usual Burnley-Leeds clashes seem like Sunday school parties. Certainly, to my mind, both teams were at fault, but if any player should have been sent off it was Orlando, their centre forward. This man went through the game hitting everything in site, and how he was allowed to keep on doing it without a booking at least is just beyond me."

Andy Lochhead (white shirt) is down in the penalty box. Panzanato (number 5) is about to be sent off

None of them mention the score, but it was Burnley who won 3-0 and gave us a good lead to take to Italy for the second leg. Manager Harry Potts was ecstatic and coach Jimmy Adamson admitted to being delighted but felt his decision to change tactics at half time possibly cost us even more goals. It was a change he made because Napoli were down to ten men following the early sending off of centre half Panzanato.

I can still picture the defender, down on his knees pleading with the referee, arms held out in true Italian style. His crime? Lochhead had gone in for a diving header and as he led in the penalty box, Panzanato kicked him in the head. He had to go, there was no option, but he threatened Andy as he left the field saying he would get him in the second leg. "You won't," Andy replied, "You'll be suspended."

Ralph Coates scored our first early in the game. He nipped in when the keeper and defender made a mess of a goal kick. It was soon 2-0; Lochhead headed a Fred Smith free kick across goal for Les Latcham to head home. And in the second half Lochhead got his name on the score sheet with a shot from just inside the area.

It had been a hell of a night, the Burnley fans had never been in better voice, the players rose above the terrible provocation and did more than enough to surely take us into the quarter finals.

We could expect a difficult second leg, that was for sure, and maybe the last word should be from captain Elder, who looking forward to that game said: "It's sure going to be a battle when the return game is played. Perhaps they will have to call the riot squad in, I was talking to an Italian press man and he said the Neapolitan supporters would not like this result at all."

The teams were;

Burnley: Harry Thomson, John Angus, Fred Smith, Brian O'Neil, Brian Miller, Sammy Todd, Willie Morgan, Andy Lochhead, Ralph Coates, Gordon Harris, Les Latcham.

Napoli: Bandoni, Nardin, Micelli, Stenti, Panzanato, Emoil, Cane, Montefusco, Orlando, Altafini, Bean.

Referee: Senor Gardeazabal (Spain).

Attendance: 24,519.