Date: 9th March 2009 at 6:29pm
Written by:

The ninth of March 1946 is the darkest day in the history of Bolton Wanderers and one of the most tragic in football – not that you`ll see much mention of it outside the town. For it was then, that 33 people died as they attended an FA cup tie between Bolton and Stoke City.

Shortly before kick off, under the weight of a much larger than expected crowd, two crush barriers collapsed in a part of the ground known as the railway embankment and some of those stood behind them fell forward onto the spectators in front.

There were many contributing factors that led to the tragedy. The Burnden stand was not available to fans, as it was still in use by the Ministry of Defence. The turnstiles on that side of the embankment were closed so all 27,000 fans had to be admitted to the area behind the goal through the entrances on Manchester Road. The 9,000 fans who had tickets for the Burnden paddock had to be admitted through entrances to the Manchester Road paddock and then escorted around the pitch. Many more spectators turned up than anticipated. The official attendance was given as 50,735 but it has been estimated that as many as 85,000 turned up to watch the game. Some of them gained admittance to the ground illegally, either by jumping over turnstiles, through gaps that had been created in the railway sleepers at the back of the embankment, or through an exit gate that had been opened by a fan attempting to leave.

Some of those who perished had returned from fighting in the Second World War. The names of those who died are listed below.

Wilfred Addison 68 Stockton Street, Moss Side, Manchester.
Wilfred Allison (19) 11 Selborne Street, Leigh.
Fred Battersby (31) 16 Argyle Street, Atherton.
James Battersby (33) 23 Worthing Grove, Atherton.
Robert Bentham (33) 96 Bolton Old Road, Atherton
Henry Bimson (59) 86 Leigh Road, Leigh.
Henry Ratcliffe Birtwistle (14) 10 June Street, Blackburn.
John T Blackshaw 11 Norman Street, Rochdale.
W Braidwood (40) 96 Green Lane, Hindley.
Fred Campbell (33) 49 Garstang Avenue, Bolton.
Fred Price Dearden (67) 61 Florence Avenue, Bolton.
William Evans (33) 90 Glebe Street, Leigh.
Winston Finch 50 Deneside Avenue, Hazel Grove, Stockport.
John Flinders (32) 2 Clough Terrace, Littleborough.
Albert Edward Hanrahan 21 Cambria Crescent, Winton, Eccles.
Emily Hoskinson (40) 49 Garstang Avenue, Bolton.
William Hughes (56) 28 Byrom Street, Poolstock, Wigan.
Frank Jubb 103 Greenbank Road, Rochdale.
John Livesey (37) Collins Road, Bamber Bridge, Preston.
John Thomas Lucas (35) 13 Arthur Street, Leigh.
Harold Mcandrew 13 Sharp Street, Wigan.
William Mckenzie 2 St Paul`s Villas, Bury.
Morgan Mooney (32) 167 Escrick Street, Bolton.
Harry Needham (30) 41 Bella Street, Bolton.
David Pearson 66 Brimrod Lane, Rochdale.
Joseph Platt (43) 34 Thwaites Street, Bolton.
Sidney Potter (36) 10 Charles Street, Tyldesley.
Grenville Roberts 5 Foy Street, Ashton-In-Makerfield.
Richard Robey (35) 24 Lower West Avenue, Barnoldswick.
Thomas Robey (65) 118 Upholland Street, Billinge, Wigan.
T Smith (65) 2 King Street South, Rochdale.
Walter Wilmot (31) 175 Crescent Road, Bolton.
James Wilson 1210, Ashton Old Road, Higher Openshaw, Manchester.

Remember them.

 

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