The scorer of THAT goal returns to the Turf

Last updated : 19 January 2002 By Tony Scholes

Some goals are fairly routine and some lift you out of your seat. Did you see Prosinecki's goal for Portsmouth last night? He might have done little else in the game but brought the whole ground to its feet with a stunner.

We get ‘Goal of the Month' and ‘Goal of the Season' and so some goals are remembered more than others. Some are remembered for their significance and Glen's winner at Scunthorpe falls into that category as do goals such as Ian Britton's against Orient in 1987 and Trevor Meredith's at Manchester City in 1960.

And then there is Tommy Cummings' goal against Newcastle United 50 years ago tomorrow. I hasten to add that I did not see this goal but I lost count of the number of times my dad told me about it. Now stories get exaggerated and I'm sure the last time my dad told me Tommy beat 35 Newcastle players and carried the ball some 400 yards.

Whatever it must have been one incredible goal to still be talked about 50 years later, not only that a book was written about it a couple of years ago. I can't talk about the goal in great detail but Tommy won the ball on the edge of his own box and started to move forward with it. Full backs didn't often go past the half way line in those days but Tommy just kept going, presumably because he had no support, no one to pass to.

Eventually he beat the last man, future Newcastle manager Joe Harvey, before hitting an unstoppable shot left footed past keeper Ronnie Simpson, the same Ronnie Simpson who 15 years later was to win a European Cup Winners Medal with Celtic.

Less than two months earlier Tommy had scored his first ever Burnley goal in a home win against Wolves but he had some time to wait for his 3rd league goal for the Clarets. That came over ten years later on Good Friday 1962 in a 2-0 win at the Turf against Blackpool.

You could say he wasn't a prolific scorer, just 3 in 434 league games for the Clarets. There were 33,719 witnessed his second and most remembered goal but many thousands more Clarets fans have been told about it.

His last game for the Clarets was at Bolton on 22nd August 1962 and in March 1963 he left to join Mansfield Town as player manager. From there he became manager at Aston Villa, his last job in the professional game.

After football he was landlord at the Shooters Arms in Nelson and then the Hare and Hounds at Briercliffe. It was whilst at the Hare & Hounds, in 1985, that he offered me with a complimentary brandy after crashing my car right outside. Sorry I couldn't accept it Tommy but the police were on their way.

Tommy's goal will get a special 50th anniversary present tomorrow when he returns to the pitch he graced so often to be introduced to the fans. I never saw the goal but just like every Claret I can picture it. Now will Fred West do the same tomorrow?

The Burnley team 50 years ago was: Jimmy Strong, Jock Aird, Harold Mather, Jimmy Adamson, Tommy Cummings, Reg Attwell, Jackie Chew, Billy Morris, Bill Holden, Les Shannon, Billy Elliott.

I am also delighted to have the opportunity to use the above photograph, the first photograph ever to appear on the CISA site.