Six goals and a 'Keystone Cops' style chase made this game at Turf Moor one to remember/ Dave Thomas column

This week more research for the two books I’m working on. And this one concerns a game at the back end of an Owen Coyle season.

By Dave Thomas
Monday, 11th April 2022, 3:47 pm

It was the final home game, usually a game where the players are ready for the beach and we snooze in the sunshine as they go through the motions of quietly getting through the nuisance of another 90 minutes work. But not this time.

For a start there were six goals to keep us awake but what happened towards the end had us on the edge of our seats, never mind awake. It all kicked off when Andy Cole, our star centre forward, got a kick on the leg from a crunching tackle that was more than just a tap, from Purse the bruiser of a Cardiff centre-half.

Andrew was not best pleased as they both lay on the turf in a crumpled heap, nay, he was incensed and showed his leg to the referee, the manager and anyone else who was interested.

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Author Dave Thomas at the launch of his latest book A Director's Tale with former Clarets Brian Flynn (left) and Derek Scott

Purse was then sent off and we thought no more of it, until, Andrew saw red of a different kind and suddenly took off and raced towards the tunnel to catch up with the bloke who had clogged him. By this time Purse was inside the tunnel but Andrew flew in there and we all knew that revenge was in the air.

At that moment, the Burnley bench must have realised too, because to a man they all jumped up and raced across the field towards the tunnel, presumably to prevent Coley doing anything murderous, or maybe even help him. Who knows?

The Cardiff bench must then have realised what was happening because they too jumped up en masse and raced across the field chasing the Burnley bench, who were chasing the fuming Cole, who was chasing the errant Purse. This was Keystone Cops at its finest. Please play some Benny Hill music

I said to Mrs T, at this point wide-eyed with laughter, as stewards and police then chased after the lot of them.

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By now the whole ground was awaiting the sound of biffs and bangs and wallops and splats from inside the tunnel. But no. Slowly, one by one they all came back out, except for the fuming Cole, and returned to their respective seats.

Andrew, after the game, said he was undecided about retiring or not at the end of the season, but added if he did carry on playing there were just two games that he was desperate to play in and both would be against Cardiff City.

At this point too, we were all undecided about Owen Coyle, especially after the next game when we lost 5-0 away at Crystal Palace. But then followed that marvellous promotion season with those fantastic cup games and many of us still think this was one of the best ever seasons at Turf Moor.

It was a season of such entertainment, but nothing has ever matched ‘The Great Chase.’