My experience of Burnley are not favourable and I nearly got into a fight in a Burnley pub near the railway station when I upset some of the locals by going into their pub and quietly reading.
It seems reading is a provocative act in Burnley.
Such an incident was well in the future when I was taken to my second ever game at the Victoria Ground a thrilling 8 goal feast one bleak November Saturday.
John Ritchie was a goal machine in the autumn of 1963 scoring 11 goals in 7 games and much was expected against a Burnley side known to have a brittle defence. Stoke’s defence,on the other hand, was strengthened by the inclusion of a new keeper Lawrie Leslie from West Ham. Stoke also had in its side Jimmy McIlroy who enjoyed the opportunity to play against his old team covering a great deal of ground in the early exchanges.
Stoke’s defence at this stage was solid and little was getting through to Leslie to deal with.
After 10 minutes Stoke went ahead when the former Turf Moor favourite shook of a vigorous challenge from Miller and passed to Bridgwood whose cross was met by a meaty header from Bebbington past a the Burnley keeper Blacklaw.
On 27 minutes Palmer’s cross from the right was headed home powerfully by Ritchie. Stoke’s big forward maintained his extraordinary scoring record.
Stoke took a breather and then scored a third just before half time when Ritchie met a pass from Palmer in his stride and beat the keeper from close range.
The crowd rose to the centre forward as the teams went in at half time.
Things changed dramatically within 10 minutes of the start of the second half when Burnley forward Lochhead turned in a Connelly cross.
On the 57 minute Allen scored an own goal turning a Connelly cross past a stranded Leslie.
Stoke’s defence was crumbling although Palmer tried to reignite the attack. He succeeded and fed McIlroy whose cross was headed home by Dobing with 9 minutes to go.
Connelly and Clamp got involved in a tussle and the Stoke defender was ordered off. Harris scored a thunderbolt from the free kick.
Stoke only had a couple of minutes to hang on to collect all points, but with only a minute left Leslie fumbled a Meredith cross and Harris again scored for the visitors blasting home from close range.
Concur the unfavourable experiences at Turf Moor. It must have been around Easter 1968 and we were in a relegation scrap. At that time Turf Moor had an open end that continued down and around to terracing down a side of the pitch parallel to the touchline,, with no barriers to separate it. The Burnley fans gathered behind the goal, whilst Potters fans were mainly in the centre of the side. Stoke played abysmally and were 4-0 down, but that was not enough for the Burnley nutters, who charged around the ground at the Stoke contingent with numerous weapons (knives, bicycle chains etc) Things got very serious and I had to get down the embankment and climb over the wall and out of the stadium to escape the mayhem.....and it was only just after halftime!! The mayhem continued after the match with buses (no posh coaches in those days) getting smashed up.