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Here's an obscure topic, LOL. Jimmy Frizzell had only been in the manager's job for around four months at the end of the 1969-70 season, but already he'd saved us from having to apply for re-election to the Football League, and then masterminded a cup final win. This was the 'Manchester Senior Cup' , with the Latics hammering Bury (in Div 3 at the time) 4-1 at Boundary Park on a Tuesday evening in late April or early May. Both sides put out full strength teams, and Bury took the lead after about 20 minutes through Paul Hince, who a few years later became a journalist on the Manchester Evening News, but in a performance typical of that early Frizzell era, we stormed back in great style - can't remember our goalscorers, but I've a feeling Jim Fryatt scored at least twice and may have got a hat trick. Only about a couple of thousand were at the game, which was a pity.

 

What I've always wondered about is: how did the Latics get to the final of this competition? I can't recollect any games from earlier rounds, and club programmes from that season don't mention any. The first I knew of it was when the Bury match was announced in the Oldham Chronicle a few days before it took place. Maybe Oldham and Bury were the only two clubs which entered the competition and contested the final by default, but that doesn't seem very likely. Can any veteran supporters perhaps shed some light on this matter?

 

Looking on Ebay recently I noticed a programme for the Manchester Senior Cup final between Latics and Bolton on 20th May 1963. The starting bid is £17.99. Good luck with that one, Mr Vendor! I won't be bidding, that's for sure...

 

Edited by Summerdeep
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If I remember accurately - and that is a big if - the competition was at that time limited to invitation to two clubs. Interest in a full blown tournament had seriously dwindled and so the Manchester FA chose two clubs to have a “final”.

 

 

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Obscure indeed. The 1970 match isn't listed either in Stewart Beckett or Garth Dykes' books, so no help there. We did win 3-1 at Gigg Lane in the League Cup 1st round on 18 Aug 1970, with Shaw, Fryatt and Bryceland scoring, but I can't find any mention of the cup final. 

 

Neither Beckett nor Dykes mention the 1963 final, either. A bit odd as both books are good at listing pre-season/end of season friendlies. Maybe the MSC games weren't viewed as first XI/"senior" fixtures?

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Posted (edited)

Definitely mentioned in my edition of Garth Dykes's "Oldham Athletic Complete Record 1899-1988", in a short article on Jimmy Frizzell (page 43).

 

That 3-1 League Cup win at Bury was a great performance too, coming just two or three days after a crushing 4-1 defeat at Grimsby on the opening day of the season.

 

Getting back to the original theme, there are quite a few obscure, ill-documented games from that era which are remembered, if at all, by a dwindling number of supporters. Another such was a 2-0 friendly win against Blackpool, newly promoted to Div 1, just after the end of the 69-70 season. They sent their first team, with players like Tommy Hutchison in the line up, and we sent them packing with goals by Fryatt and Wood, both in the last couple of minutes of the game.

 

Also there was an interesting match against Liverpool in the semi-final of the Lancashire Senior Cup in around February 1971. Shankly was in the process of dismantling his late 60s lineup and replacing the old guard with players like Clemence, Lindsay, Heighway and Keegan, which gave Boundary Park punters a rare chance to see the likes of Tommy Lawrence, Ron Yeats, Ian St John and Peter Thompson in the flesh. We won 1-0 to qualify for the final v Rochdale, but I can't recall who scored.

 

Finally does anyone else remember a friendly against Hibernian at the end of the 70-71 season? They were probably the third best club in Scotland at the time, after Celtic and Rangers, and had class players like Pat Stanton and John Blackley. We beat them 1-0, but again I don't recall the scorer.

 

Edited by Summerdeep
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The Lancs Senior Cup started in 1879/80 as the Lancashire Cup but in 1885 the Lancs Junior Cup began so it was renamed with Senior . Actually what’s engraved on the base of the trophy is “ Lancashire Football Association Challenge Cup”. 
I don’t have records from recent times but upto 2007 Latics had won it three times: 1908, 1967, 2006.  
As Summer says, we did get to the final in 1971 after beating Liverpool 1-0 in front of 2984. Lost in final to Dale at Scotland 3-2, Barry Hartle and David Shaw scoring. Decent crowd of 7003. 
 

Thanks Summer for recalling these competitions 

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Posted (edited)

^No probs, LP! I often wish it were still 1970 rather than the dire times we live in today, football wise and in other respects too.

 

I was at that Lancs Senior Cup final at Spotland, and have always been a bit miffed at Frizzell for 'resting' Fryatt and Bryceland on that evening. It gave Dale a better chance to achieve a 'treble' against us that season (they'd already beaten us in a pre-season friendly at BP, and in the FA Cup First Round at Spotland). There was indeed a decent attendance there that night, though that was only half the 14,000-ish all ticket turnout for the FA Cup tie the previous November. We were 3-1 down early in the second half, but pulled one back, then had a goal disallowed for a dubious offside!

 

Edited by Summerdeep
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6 hours ago, Summerdeep said:

Definitely mentioned in my edition of Garth Dykes's "Oldham Athletic Complete Record 1899-1988", in a short article on Jimmy Frizzell (page 43).

 

That 3-1 League Cup win at Bury was a great performance too, coming just two or three days after a crushing 4-1 defeat at Grimsby on the opening day of the season.

 

Getting back to the original theme, there are quite a few obscure, ill-documented games from that era which are remembered, if at all, by a dwindling number of supporters. Another such was a 2-0 friendly win against Blackpool, newly promoted to Div 1, just after the end of the 69-70 season. They sent their first team, with players like Tommy Hutchison in the line up, and we sent them packing with goals by Fryatt and Wood, both in the last couple of minutes of the game.

 

Also there was an interesting match against Liverpool in the semi-final of the Lancashire Senior Cup in around February 1971. Shankly was in the process of dismantling his late 60s lineup and replacing the old guard with players like Clemence, Lindsay, Heighway and Keegan, which gave Boundary Park punters a rare chance to see the likes of Tommy Lawrence, Ron Yeats, Ian St John and Peter Thompson in the flesh. We won 1-0 to qualify for the final v Rochdale, but I can't recall who scored.

 

Finally does anyone else remember a friendly against Hibernian at the end of the 70-71 season? They were probably the third best club in Scotland at the time, after Celtic and Rangers, and had class players like Pat Stanton and John Blackley. We beat them 1-0, but again I don't recall the scorer.

 

Good spot, so it is 👍. I only checked the fixture lists at the back of the book. It's a mystery!

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6 hours ago, Summerdeep said:

Definitely mentioned in my edition of Garth Dykes's "Oldham Athletic Complete Record 1899-1988", in a short article on Jimmy Frizzell (page 43).

 

That 3-1 League Cup win at Bury was a great performance too, coming just two or three days after a crushing 4-1 defeat at Grimsby on the opening day of the season.

 

Getting back to the original theme, there are quite a few obscure, ill-documented games from that era which are remembered, if at all, by a dwindling number of supporters. Another such was a 2-0 friendly win against Blackpool, newly promoted to Div 1, just after the end of the 69-70 season. They sent their first team, with players like Tommy Hutchison in the line up, and we sent them packing with goals by Fryatt and Wood, both in the last couple of minutes of the game.

 

Also there was an interesting match against Liverpool in the semi-final of the Lancashire Senior Cup in around February 1971. Shankly was in the process of dismantling his late 60s lineup and replacing the old guard with players like Clemence, Lindsay, Heighway and Keegan, which gave Boundary Park punters a rare chance to see the likes of Tommy Lawrence, Ron Yeats, Ian St John and Peter Thompson in the flesh. We won 1-0 to qualify for the final v Rochdale, but I can't recall who scored.

 

Finally does anyone else remember a friendly against Hibernian at the end of the 70-71 season? They were probably the third best club in Scotland at the time, after Celtic and Rangers, and had class players like Pat Stanton and John Blackley. We beat them 1-0, but again I don't recall the scorer.

 

Stewart Beckett's book does list that one. 27 April 1971, Jim Fryatt got the only goal, attendance 3,949.

 

We also played three friendlies in early June that year, beating Lloret del Mar (!) 6-1 away on 2 June (Fryatt 3, Robins 2, Spence); lost 3-0 to Swansea on 3 June; then beat Lloret del Mar again 2-1 on 6 June (Wood, Fryatt).

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12 minutes ago, Worcester Owl said:

Stewart Beckett's book does list that one. 27 April 1971, Jim Fryatt got the only goal, attendance 3,949.

 

We also played three friendlies in early June that year, beating Lloret del Mar (!) 6-1 away on 2 June (Fryatt 3, Robins 2, Spence); lost 3-0 to Swansea on 3 June; then beat Lloret del Mar again 2-1 on 6 June (Wood, Fryatt).

Notwithstanding the current travel restrictions, but can you imagine if we played Lloret del Mar in an away fixture  now. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Worcester Owl said:

Stewart Beckett's book does list that one. 27 April 1971, Jim Fryatt got the only goal, attendance 3,949.

 

We also played three friendlies in early June that year, beating Lloret del Mar (!) 6-1 away on 2 June (Fryatt 3, Robins 2, Spence); lost 3-0 to Swansea on 3 June; then beat Lloret del Mar again 2-1 on 6 June (Wood, Fryatt).

 

Re the Hibs game, it's rather surprising and disappointing that the attendance was below 4000. It was a lovely warm spring evening, and the Latics had secured promotion just 3 days earlier, so it should have been party time! Besides, Scottish football was of massively higher quality at that time than it is today - in 1970 Celtic had reached their second European Cup final in four seasons, and in '72 Rangers were to win the UEFA Cup, beating Bayern Munich en route: Hibs were a quality team as well, and often finished not too far below the Old Firm. Just four days later, almost 12,000 turned up at Boundary Park to watch a dreadful 1-1 draw against a poor Stockport County side, LOL.

 

I don't remember much about the game, not even Fryatt's goal, but do recall the sight of the Hibs left back, Eric Schaedler, launching long throw-ins almost 40 yards, so that they could be the equivalent of a corner kick in some circumstances. This he did with an extraordinary arching of his back prior to releasing the ball. Ian Hutchinson of Chelsea was famous for his long throws, but this guy was even more impressive. I was shocked to discover when researching Schaedler for this post that he had committed suicide in the mid-1980s when still only in his 30s. How sad.

 

On the subject of the Spanish tour, I remember reading some Oldham Chronicles from June 71 in the Local History Library some years ago, and was struck by how chaotic the arrangements seemed to be. There was no proper itinerary or fixture list, and the Latics often didn't know who they would be playing until the day of the match. That certainly applied to the Swansea game and they were also scheduled to play a game against Calella, but I'm not sure it ever took place. Maybe the second game against Lloret replaced it? Incidentally, that latter game turned into a bit of a bloodbath, with more than one mass brawl - David Shaw was sent off for fighting, and Jim Fryatt punched one of the Spaniards in the mouth. Good job this game didn't count for the Ford Sporting League!

 

 

 

Edited by Summerdeep
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13 hours ago, Worcester Owl said:

Stewart Beckett's book does list that one. 27 April 1971, Jim Fryatt got the only goal, attendance 3,949.

 

We also played three friendlies in early June that year, beating Lloret del Mar (!) 6-1 away on 2 June (Fryatt 3, Robins 2, Spence); lost 3-0 to Swansea on 3 June; then beat Lloret del Mar again 2-1 on 6 June (Wood, Fryatt).

I actually saw a game in Lloret de Mar (but not that one). It was my first ever overseas holiday, in 1970 I think. Maybe my Dad was scouting potential tour venues for Latics... 

Edited by Dave_Og
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I recall the Manchester Senior Cup game.

 

Quite a significant game as it came after the end of the season and was the last game for Alan Lawson, John Colquhoun and Reg Blore. It was an early sign of the steel of Jimmy Frizzell who was releasing players he knew well over along period and who had done well for him in the six months since he took over. He was to repeat the same script with Jim Bowie, Bill Cranston, Ronnie Blair and John Hurst. One of the things that made him such a good manager was that very few of his sales came back to haunt him.

 

As for the game itself, it was a resounding win. Ian Towers played for Bury, I think. Don't remember any detail except that I was there with my older brothers and watched the second half from behind the dug outs and Reg Blore was being harangued from our bench. He turned round, looked quizicallly and said, 'Pardon?'. I am not sure it was the response anyone expected!

 

As for David Shaw, he was a magnificent player, but did have a temper. Remember him being sent of late in his second spell after about two minutes against Blackpool for an apparently unprovoked off the ball headbutt. Wonder if he knew he was finishing and was settling an old score?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

While we're on the subject (or getting more and more off the subject, according to your point of view), the Latics played at least one or two games on the European continent around 1973. Recollections of this are very hazy indeed, and not helped by the absence of any Oldham Chronicle match reports at the time (maybe the Chron couldn't afford to pay Jim Williams's expenses). But I'm almost certain that we played PAOK Thessaloniki in Greece, and secured a 0-0 draw. That would have been a very creditable result indeed, as they finished runners up in the Greek First Division in 72-73, and reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup Winners Cup in 73-74.

 

And I've a feeling we may have played another match at around this time, maybe in Portugal. Did we beat one of their top division sides 2-0? Possibly, but it definitely wasn't  Benfica, Porto or Sporting Lisbon (as if...). In the video clip below, Ian Wood appears to be talking about a game in which the Latics were winning 2-0, and from the fact that he says Bobby Collins was playing, that would place it circa 1973. Wood is infuriatingly vague here though, and doesn't mention the name of the opposition or even the country! The interviewer does helpfully inform us it was 'abroad' however. The relevant bit starts at the 9:30 mark. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Summerdeep
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Just the year  I started  going to watch Latics after some mates from Glodwick said I was missing a treat with Fryatt and Shaw.

I do however  remember  the Anglo  Scottish  games with fun against  Hearts, St Mirren and Morton in the late 70s.

Edited by Flemboy
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