LEGENDA

- Le voci a fianco della data hanno il seguente significato: CA = Campionato; AM = amichevole; CEU = Coppa Europa; CF = Coppa Federale; CE = Coppa Emiliana; CI = Coppa Italia; CAI = Coppa Alta Italia; TEP = Torneo Esposizione Parigi; CLI = Coppa di Lega Italo-Inglese; TAI = Torneo Anglo-Italiano; CDC = Coppa dei Campioni; CU = Coppa UEFA; CC = Coppa delle Coppe; IN = Coppa Intertoto; MIC = Mitropa Cup.

- Gli asterischi significano rispettivamente: * = campo interno; ** = campo esterno; *** = campo neutro.

- Il risultato è indicato con riferimento al Bologna e cioè: la prima cifra indica le reti segnate dal Bologna, la seconda quelle segnate dalla squadra avversaria.

 

 

BLACKPOOL

(Inghilterra)

12-06-1971

TAI

*

1-2

04-04-1973

TAI

*

0-1

 

 

RIEPILOGO

Campo

G

V

N

P

RF

RS

*

2

-

-

2

1

3

 

 

 MATCH REPORT

 

GOALACCIO!!!

 

BOLOGNA 1 - BLACKPOOL  2 (after extra time)

Attendance: 40.000

 

BLACKPOOL - Burridge, Bentley, Hatton, Ainscow (Wann), Alcock, Suddaby, Burns, Green, Craven (Johnstone), Suddick, Hutchison.

 

BOLOGNA - Vavassori, Cresci, Fedele, Roversi, Perani, Janich, Gregori, Rizzo, Savoldi, Scala, Pace.

 

Interest in the Anglo-Italian Cup had increased for the 1970/71 season and with Swindon Town the holders Gigi Peronace, the tournament organiser, stressed that it was imperative for an Italian club to win back the Cup. Bologna, unbeaten winners of Group One were to contest the Final against Blackpool who had come through from Group Three with a 3-3 draw at home to Verona, a 3-1 home defeat by Roma and away wins at Verona, 4-1, and at Roma, 2-1.

 

Blackpool's only drawback was the fact that they had to play the game, as they had done the earlier ones, with the weighty psychological disadvantage of a side that had just been swept to relegation to Division Two.

 

With points for goals as well as results, Blackpool had 11 points going into the last round of matches and Stoke City had 10 points so it was one of these two teams that would qualify for the Final, as the English clubs, Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion, were already out of contention from Group Two. Stoke City's 2-1 defeat by Verona on the same night ensured that the Seasiders would be in their first major Final since 1953; the 2-1 win over Roma was a bonus.

 

Blackpool flew over to Italy, Squires Gate to Rimini, and trained on a local ground at Montecatini on Thursday 10 June and it was then that they received an additional injury scare. Alan Ainscow, who had played in the tournament but who had not at that time made his League debut, had a damaged rib, suffered against Roma and then Alan Suddick injured an ankle in training.

 

Manager Bob Stokoe , who had flown back to England to discuss the possible transfer of Tony Green with Newcastle United manager Joe Harvey, reported "Suddick hurt himself during a six-a-side match. Fortunately the ankle so far has shown no signs of swelling. We will just have to wait and see if he recovers in time for the final." A late fitness test was to be the outcome with Dennis Wann standing by just in case. "as long as all the players are available for selection I am fairly certain to field an unchanged team" was Stokoe's last word on the matter. On the Tony Green issue which was in every Seaside supporters' mind he said "There will be no further moves until after we return home next week. I have nothing more than that to say at the moment."

 

In the Italian camp star midfield player Giacomo Bulgarelli was absent through injury but Stokoe's view was "Even without Bulgarelli, Bologna are a very good team indeed and we will not underestimate them in any way." In addition, left back Adriano Fedele had been injured playing for the Italian Under 23 side against Sweden on the Thursday night, a game in which Bologna manager Edmondo Fabbri had not wanted him to play. He announced that he would like the defender to play at least one half but he wondered whether two games in three days would be too much for the youngster.

 

In the event both Suddick's and Ainscow's injuries cleared in time for them to play and, for Bologna, Fedele also made the starting line-up. Blackpool included goalkeeper John Burridge who, two months earlier had been playing in from of a few hundred spectators for Workington reserves and who would now be playing in front of thousands of baying partisan fans. He commented on the biggest day of his life to that date "I know they do all they can to upset visiting goalkeepers, but playing in front of 50,000 won't worry me. I am determined to do all I can to make sure Blackpool win the Cup. there were times when I played for Workington reserves when I wondered if I would ever make the grade. I am grateful to Blackpool for giving me the chance."

 

Before the game Bob Stokoe promised positive football and commented "We will be having a go, If you can take your chances against the Italians it can upset them. We will try to play with the same flair and attitude as in our previous games." And Blackpool lined up with Blackpool; Burridge, Bentley, Hatton, Ainscow, Alcock, Suddaby, Burns, Green, Craven, Suddick, Hutchison.

 

The game kicked-off at five o'clock, local time, and a crowd of 40,000, including just over a hundred Blackpool fans, had gathered in heat which was not too oppressive, the high 60s, but which was much warmer than English players were normally used to. Union Jack flags and tangerine and white scarves fluttered in the slight breeze in response to the hundreds of red and blue banners wielded by the supporters of the ancient university northern Italian town club which had finished fourth in the previous season's Italian championship.

 

The game started with Bologna adopting a typically Italian cautious approach but even so it was the home side who created most of the chances. Blackpool in contrast had a disappointing first half as they found it difficult to settle into a rhythm and only some good saves by young Burridge from strikes by Perani (twice), Savoldi and Pace kept the Seasiders in the game.

 

But after 32 minutes they fell one goal behind; relying on the breakaway as they had so often done, the Bologna forwards worked the ball through to Pace (left) who gave Burridge no chance with a hard-hit shot. But that was the only goal of the half and Blackpool went into the break relieved to be only the one goal behind.

 

Harsh words must have been exchanged at the interval as Blackpool came out and looked a different side; gone was the uneasiness and in its place was new enthusiasm and commitment with Tony Green, who by his standards, had a quiet first half running at the Italians and starting to cause their defenders problems. Alan Suddick also came more into the game and with Bill Bentley making constant forays into the Italian half, it was suddenly all Blackpool.

 

It came as no surprise when Blackpool equalised after 62 minutes. And it was wholehearted captain John Craven who scored the goal. It came after a period of sustained pressure when a lovely through pass from Bill Bentley found Craven just inside the penalty box; he struck the ball firmly and it flew into the corner of the net. The goal spurred Blackpool on and, more importantly, seemed to drain the confidence out of the Italians so much so that it looked as though there was going to be only one winner - and that was Blackpool.

 

However, try as they might an equaliser could not be found; Vavassori saved splendidly from Micky Burns and Craven came close to adding to his earlier strike, But at the 90 minute whistle the two sides were still locked at 1-1 with a tiring 30 minutes extra time beckoning. And the way the Blackpool men, unused to playing in such climatic conditions, picked up their legs to go into the extra time was magnificent.

 

Alan Ainscow, suffering from total exhaustion, and John Craven, cramp, were both substituted and Denis Wann and Johnny Johnston replaced them. By then the home supporters were strangely quiet, perhaps suspecting an against-the-odds win and after 99 minutes, the silence in the stadium was almost complete. It was then that Blackpool struck what turned out to be the winning goal; Denis Wann hit a 30 yard pass up the left wing where Burns took it in his stride and, as the Bologna defenders backed off, cut inside, shrugged off two defenders and from 25 yards struck a swerving shot which eluded Vavassori and went high into the net.

 

The remaining 21 minutes was a great test of strength of character for the Blackpool players; many of them went down with cramp but they all stuck to their task to preserve the one goal advantage which meant that the dreaded penalty shoot-out would not be required. As the minutes ticked by, the Italians lost heart and when the final whistle went the 2-1 win was greeted with a tremendous roar from the Blackpool fans high up in the grandstand and even the Italian supporters joined in with sporting applause.

 

Blackpool had been magnificent, none more so than John Burridge whose saves early on kept Blackpool's hopes high. The back four were excellent with Dave Hatton and Bill Bentley also causing the Bologna defence some trouble with their overlapping runs. Alan Ainscow, in the most important match of his career to that date, played well in midfield and Suddick, who had been Blackpool's outstanding player throughout the tournament, had a splendid match. But all round it was a magnificent team effort and it was fitting that Micky Burns, ever on the look-out for a goal opportunity, should score the winning goal. Of his goal he later said "Denis Wann gave me a fabulous pass and as soon as I hit it I knew it was going in. What a tremendous feeling." John Craven spoke of the opening goal, "It was the first clear-cut chance I had" he said and then added "This is the first Cup I have ever received as a professional and I only hope that it's the first of many."

 

John Craven duly collected the Cup and delightedly displayed it from on the shoulders of his team-mates. Then it was into the relative cool of the dressing room where celebratory glasses of orange juice were drunk by the players, reserves, Bob Stokoe, assistant-manager Brian Doyle, coach Len Graham and youth team manager Paddy Sowden; the champagne was to flow later when the team arrived back at its Bologna hotel.Watching the Final was Football League secretary Alan Hardaker who commented.

 

"They [Blackpool] have made a tremendous lot of friends in Italy by their behaviour both on and off the field. Wherever I have gone these last 48 hours, everybody has been delighted with Blackpool. By their behaviour and their efforts they have been England's finest ambassadors of The Football League."

 

Blackpool believed that they had a relatively trouble-free tournament because they had done their homework. The players had been warned not to tackle from behind, challenge goalkeepers or protest to the referee over decisions, all actions more heavily frowned on on the continent than in England. Bob Stokoe said "The lads carried out their instructions almost to the letter and I'm proud of them for their self-discipline" although in the Final, Blackpool did have two players booked by Austrian referee Herr Schiller, who seemed on the whole to favour the Italians. Johnston had his name taken for time-wasting in extra time and Burns was booked for putting the ball into the net after he had been blown up for off-side. Burns could not, however, be wholly blamed for this latter incident for he was only making sure that it was the referee's whistle that had blown and not one of the spurious ones blown by members of the crowd.

 

Of the morale-boosting victory Bob Stokoe said "I hope it will be a boost for us for next season when we are aiming for promotion. The way the lads came back after not having a particularly good first half was very impressive. I think the strength of character in the side has been rebuilt in the last fortnight. It has been a great tournament for us." Brian Doyle then revealed that the Blackpool players had trained at five o'clock each evening so as to fully prepare themselves for the game; "the reason some of our lads were getting a bit of cramp late on was that we were running and the Italians weren't" he explained.

 

Chairman Frank Dickinson added "we went into this competition sparing no expense and until we reached the Final it looked as though we would lose money on it. Our players won the respect of everyone at the hotel. They were always ready to sign autographs and were helpful and courteous. I thought they behaved impeccably in their attitude towards the different interpretations of the rules on the field. Although they were at times under provocation, they always kept their heads. I'll never forget the way the Roma supporters rose to them." He finished with "Altogether it has been a wonderful experience for us, and we have come out of the competition not only with a profit, but with a tremendous fund of goodwill for the name of Blackpool in Italy. This has put us on the the map in European football."

 

As for profit, secretary Des McBain later said "It is far too early to say what the final position will be. It will be some time yet before we know how much our expenses have totalled and these were considerable indeed. We spared no expense in entering this competition both from our own side and in entertaining our Italian guests." Gate receipts from the Final were £26,000, 20 per cent to be shared equally by the pool of 12 competing teams, five per cent to go to the Italian government and on municipal taxes, another cut towards Blackpool's accommodation and subsistence for the three days surrounding the Final with the remainder divided between Blackpool and Bologna. Estimates were that the club would make a profit of £10,000 to £15,000. And on the monetary front, the Blackpool players were to collect a bonus of £250 per man plus a little extra for each goal that they scored in the tournament.

 

Not surprisingly, the homecoming was memorable for the players. Police escorted the coach to Bloomfield Road where 500 supporters stood in steady rain to welcome their heroes. It was then to the Pleasure Beach, down the promenade, with the red and blue striped flag of Bologna waving through the coach's open roof, to the Town Hall where a crowd of 6,000 was in Talbot Square to cheer the team on. Welcoming the team the Mayor, Alderman Horace S A Ward, said "You have proved you can do it in Italy. I am sure you can do it in England next year. Let's hope you are back in the First Division next season." And chairman Frank Dickinson jokingly commented "This is the best gate of the season" and added "I feel very proud of these young men."

 

Interviewed on the steps of the Town Hall by tourist boss Bob Battersby, Micky Burns said "I didn't know I was so tired. I was just happy to see the ball in the back of the net. I think it was one of the best goals - certainly the most important - I have scored for Blackpool." And Bob Stokoe commented for the assembled crowd "We are all very delighted. This has made up for being relegated, and I hope it is the start of a better future for Blackpool Football Club. I don't think any English team could have done better." He then paid tribute to the crowd and told them "this is something we never expected."

 

The final act was a reception in the Mayor's Parlour where once again manager Stokoe was obliged to say something. "The win has given us stature and confidence. I think it was a tremendous performance yesterday. It was a struggle at first. Then we came back and then beat them on their own ground with only a handful of our supporters urging us on. It has been a tremendous boost for the town and the club" he told the assembled dignitaries.

 

It was an occasion for all Blackpool supporters to savour. Sadly the following season did not bring an instant return to the First Division, a sixth place finish being the best Blackpool could manage, but, as holders of the Anglo-Italian Cup, it did bring automatic entry to the 1971/72 tournament.

 

Gigi Peronace graciously tipped Blackpool to win the Cup once again. Bob Stokoe replied with "It is nice of him to tip Blackpool for a second win in this competition. We shall certainly try to emulate what was perhaps a surprising performance last year." And taking delight in recalling the win he reminded everyone "I had arrived at Blackpool too late to save the club from relegation to the Second Division, but was committed more or less to a safety-first approach. Once our fate had been sealed and the season ended we felt free to play our natural game. It was the first time since I had taken over that we were able to experience going all-out for goals - for they counted just as much as winning games in the final tally.

 

But in doing this we left ourselves open to that familiar Italian tactic, the fast break, and though we lost 3-1 to Roma we learned quickly and held Verona to a 3-3 draw [Stokoe actually remembered these results the wrong way round - the draw with Verona was on 26 May while the defeat by Roma came on 29 May]. In the away games we played much more sensibly, didn't concentrate on attack, succeeded in holding the balance in midfield - and playing very well indeed, we beat Verona 4-1. And despite the fact that Roma fielded a stronger side than they had at Blackpool, we beat them 2-1. Stoke City, too, had beaten Roma on the night we played Verona - hence we found ourselves opposed to Bologna in the Final. And what a game that was.

 

On our opponents' own ground on a hot summer afternoon, before a 50,000 [sic] crowd, we were over the moon to win 2-1 through goals by John Craven and Micky Burns to take the trophy." Asked how he expected the team to fare in the 1971/72 tournament he said "We are drawn against Sampdoria and Lanerossi Vicenza - two teams of which I know nothing except they both finished in the middle of the Italian League table. And I shall not have any chance to see them before the competition starts. As last year we shall play sensibly. Goals mean additional points, and most Italian sides are clever defensively, relying on skill and speed to produce goals from the break. Provided that we look after the midfield and don't surrender this territory in our search for foals, provided we remember that tackling from behind and harassing the goalkeeper are definitely taboo in Italy - we should be able to look after ourselves.

 

If we continue to play as we did in the latter half of the past season, there is no reason at all why we shouldn't do well." As all Seasiders fans know, Blackpool, with the great help of a 10-0 thrashing of Lanerossi Vicenza, won thorough to the Final again but suffered a 3-1 defeat by Roma.

 

But winners and runners-up in successive years was no mean feat

 

Peter Gillatt, Seasiders.Net Editor

 

 

 

 

MATCH PROGRAMM

 

The Anglo-Italian inter-League Clubs Competition 1971

 

Bologna – as they were featured in the official handbook.

 

Bologna F.C. is one of the Italian clubs most rich in tradition. Founded in 1909, it took its colours of red and blue from one of the founders, Arrigo Gradi, in honour of the Swiss college which he had attended. Until 1915, Bologna participated in the veneto-emiliano group of the Italian Championship, which was then divided into regional groups, with national finals.

 

 

It was after the First World War that Bologna became a top club. In 1920, the club brought to Italy a team manager from Austria (Hermann Fellsner, who is still living and is now in his eighties). Fellsner remained for ten years and was recalled on two later occasions to guide the team. After losing the final of the Italian Championship in 1921 against Vercelli, the top club at the time, Bologna arrived at its first national title in 1925, after five matches with Genoa to reach success. This episode (with the last of the five matches being played at dawn in great secret at Milan in order to avoid incidents which had taken place before) forms part of the history of Italian football.

 

 

Bologna won the Championship again in 1929. In the thirties when the Italian Championship was no longer regional but general, Bologna finally confirmed their strength and fame. They were always in top positions and won the Championship in seasons 1935/36, 1936/37, 1938/39 and 1940/41. Also during that period two other successes were achieved--they were the only Italian team to succeed in the Mitropa Cup, a European competition, which they won in 1932 and 1934. Finally, in 1937, they won the Paris Exposition Tournament eliminating the French team Sochaux, the Czech team Slavia, and the English team Chelsea by 4-1 in the final.

 

After the war, life became more difficult for Bologna but in 1960 they came to the fore again by winning, among other things, the Mitropa Cup for the third time in 1961. Their play became so refined that the phrase was coined: 'One plays like this only in paradise'. During this period Bologna won the difficult Italian Championship in 1963-64 after a duel with Inter-Milan which ended with the two teams being equal on points and goal average and made a deciding match necessary on a neutral ground, at Rome, which Bologna won 2-0.

 

 

Bologna are the holders of the League Cup Winners Cup between England and Italy, having won the Italian League Cup last year they played Manchester City, beating Manchester City 1-0 at home and drawing 2-2 at Maine Road.

 

Amos Adani (goalkeeper). This 25-year-old made his reputation with fine displays for Modena, a Second Division side. Signed for Bologna in 1969-70.

 

Tazio Roversi (defender). A local discovery. Strong in the tackle and good in the air. Has recently made great improvements. Five Under-23 caps. 24-years-old.

 

Franco Cresci (defender). Made his reputation in England when he captained the Italian Olympic team. Impressed his own F.A. sufficiently to receive Under-23 honours. Bologna signed him from Varese for a fee of £200,000.

 

Franco Janich (defender). Club Captain. Last season had to make way for younger men but when recalled showed his customary skill. Has been with the club for 1 2years. Holds six full international caps.

 

Franco Battisodo (defender). Was a member of the Italian Olympic side which toured England in 1967 and made his reputation as a sweeper. 22-years-old.

 

Ivan Gregori (defender). Signed from Lanerossi Vicenza last season for a fee of £200,000. A versatile player who has proved himself both in attack and de-fence. 24-years-old.

 

Adriano Fedele (defender). Born in Udine. Signed for Bologna for £75,000 this season. Very strong in the tackle, good in the air and an attacking full-back. Has had international experience being a regular in the Under-23 team.

 

Giacomo Bulgarelli (forward). One of the most colourful personalities in Italian football. A very skilful player who has made 269 appearances in the Italian First Division and has 29 full international caps. A member of the Italian World Championship team of 1966.

 

Giuseppe Savoldi (forward). Also made his reputation in England with fine displays for the Italian Olympic team in 1967. Signed from Atalanta in 1968 for a fee of £250,000.

 

Franco Rizzo (forward). Signed for a fee of £200,000 from Fiorentina with whom he won a League Championship medal last year. Was a member of the Italian World Championship side in 1966.

 

Giovanni Vastola (forward). Signed recently from Inter-Milano. A versatile for-ward who is equally at home in any of the attacking positions, although it was in the number 11 shirt that he made his reputation as a goalscorer. 33-years-old.

 

Marino Perani (forward). A very experienced player who has made 316 appearances in the Italian First Division. A member of the Italian World Championship team in England during 1966.

 

 

 

35th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF THE 1971 ANGLO-ITALIAN CUP FINAL

(FESTA PER IL 35° ANNIVERSARIO DELLA VITTORIA DEL BLACKPOOL)

 

 

The “Italian Job” Revisited…

 

On the evening of Friday 3rd November the unusual site of three Mini Coopers in red white and green were positioned side by side as a guard of honour greeting guests outside the main entrance at Bloomfield Road.

 

Whilst in the sponsors Lounge large Italian flags adorned the walls whilst a sea of tangerine napkins dressed the tables all of which proved to be a fitting welcome to over 300 fans as they arrived to pay a personal tribute to the Blackpool Anglo-Italian cup winning team of 1971.

 

This was to be the Blackpool version of the “Italian Job” an idea which sparked into life after the Mickey Walsh celebration evening a year earlier following a chance meting with Chris Treece a BBC producer who been filming on that night for Football Focus.

 

He had used some footage in the programme which included Alan Suddick in the Anglo-Italian Cup Final for the Cult Heroes segment and I asked if a new print could be obtained from the BBC. When he offered to look into the possibility of reproducing a new version I mentioned that this would be quite fitting as 2006 would also mark the 35th Anniversary of that Cup Final.

 

John Woodman who had successfully sponsored and organised the Mickey Walsh celebration incorporated the theme of the “Italian Job” into the Anglo-Italian evening and with the co-operation of the club and both John Cross and club historian Gerry Wolstenholme everyone set about the planning of this celebration evening.

 

One of the more interesting challenges was the search for the original Anglo-Italian Trophy. Not seen since Newcastle United last won this particular version of the trophy back in 1973. Sadly despite intensive efforts to locate it which involved contacting Newcastle, both the Football League and Italian Leagues including some Italian clubs the whereabouts are still a mystery to this day. However, a large amount of memorabilia was eventually collected which eventually went on display during the evening.

 

With less than four weeks before the evening was planned the BBC finally sent the new tapes of the Anglo-Italian film which was subsequently carefully edited with clips of the famous “Italian Job” film and mixed interviews with both Micky Burns and Dave Hatton who would be absent on the night.

 

Player and VIP invitations had been sent out by the club weeks before and in the final day’s copies of Gerry Wolstenholmes new book arrived back from the printers together with contributions by Rob Frowen whilst John Cross revealed the gleaming new replica copies of the Anglo-Italian medals specially struck for the occasion.

 

At 7.50pm the assembled former Blackpool FC players were finally led into the Sponsors Lounge preceded by two very special guests in the form of Bob Stokoe’s daughter Karen Craven and John Cravens sister Sylvia Butterworth.

 

When the applause finally died down the meal was served to the fans and also the guests which also included Des McBain the former Blackpool secretary, Jimmy Armfield, Graham Kelly, Micky Mellon and Sir Tom Finney,

 

The lights were lowered shortly after the meal and as the “Italian Job” theme rang out followed by the Marc Bolan’s hit “Get it On” we were instantly transported back to the summer of 1971 for the special tribute film.

 

Following the highlights of the game it was the turn of the remaining former players including Tommy Hutchinson, Tony Green, Dennis Wann, and Bill Bentley to be invited onto the stage to re-live that special day. This for many was the highpoint of the evening as the players stood up they were warmly greeted by renditions of old songs by the audience of their individual favourites before the players themselves left everyone in awe with some fabulous recollections and marvellous memories from the final which Phil Trow as host superbly managed to capture from the players.

 

We were all left in no doubt - not only of the courage of that young team that played in the searing heat in Bologna and recorded Blackpool’s first ever European Trophy but the team spirit and affectionate comrade amongst them which still exists today. Many fans then took their souvenirs and cameras for autographs and photos with their heroes.

 

Two final captions on the film perhaps underlined the magnificent achievements of not only that Cup winning team but of all the Blackpool sides which entered the competition over the three years.

 

They read “Between 1971 and 1973 Blackpool played in 14 Anglo-Italian Cup games” and was followed by “They Won 11 and appeared in two consecutive finals”

 

Just as Noel Coward took time in the original film to enjoy his standing ovation so did the players with their richly deserved applause – what an Italian job and against all the odds they had indeed - done it!  

 

Peter Gillatt

 

Over £4,000 was raised from the proceeds of the evening and will be handed over to the School of Excellence at half-time in today’s game by John Woodman and the team that organised the Anglo-Italian Celebration Evening.

 

 

THE IMAGES - LE IMMAGINI

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BOOK - IL LIBRO

 

 

 

LA MEDAGLIA COMMEMORATIVA

 

 

 

 

IL VOLANTINO DELLA FESTA

 

 

 

IL POSTER COMMEMORATIVO

 

 

IL DVD DELLA PARTITA

 

 

 

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