That sweet moment when your team wins.. football memories are made of this /Dave Thomas

Where were you when Burnley won at Chelsea 3-2? Or, where were you when Burnley won 2-0 away at Reading in the play-offs?

Monday, 13th September 2021, 12:30 pm
This week columnist Dave Thomas recalls where he was and who he was with during some of Burnley's most memorable games

They are the kind of questions that only a football supporter can ask. Memories brought back by football.

The 1966 World Cup Final and we were in France watching games on a crackly old TV in a tiny village called Flayosc in Provence.

Another one: where were you when Burnley won promotion at Scunthorpe with Stan Ternent? It’s one of the great things about the game; football games so often provide reference points in our lives. We were at a wedding celebration in Birmingham and kept nipping back up to our room to watch the results coming in on Ceefax.

If you were lucky, you were actually there.

The 3-2 win at Chelsea I shall forever equate with where I was and what I was doing; sailing down the Douro in Portugal on a scorching hot day and heading back down towards Lisbon. Memorable.

It was Saturday, August 12th, 2017. The sun was blistering as we lounged around on the top deck of the river cruise boat gliding by the terraced vineyards on the hillsides. Wi-fi was poor but Mrs T was on the case trying to get the Chelsea game commentary. Chelsea the champions, Burnley the little underdogs, what could go wrong?

In a word, nowt! Astonishingly, amazingly there was a win. Ten of us had done this trip together to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary and all of us on this day disbelieving that at half-time Burnley were winning 3-0, with Chelsea booed off by their own supporters.

The boat was filled with Americans, one of them in a Chelsea shirt, Chelsea down to 10 men, what could possibly spoil this dazzling afternoon beneath the sun and blue sky?

Hmmm this is Burnley and even down to 10 men, Chelsea pulled one back. Then Chelsea down to nine men but Burnley winning 3-1. Game over we decided and down went more wine. But no, Chelsea pulled another goal back and we, gliding down the Douro, were now on pins with nerves.

Surely, they cannot throw this game away to a nine-man team?

But huge relief, massive smiles, 3-2 the final score, first game of the season and already first win of the season.

Chelsea fans blaming the referee of course, the Champions how could they possibly have lost? Two goals from Sam Vokes and a rocket from Stephen Ward.

It was the final evening of the cruise, totally memorable, visits to quaint villages, wine tasting at the home of Mateus Rose, The Douro Valley the home of Port, stunning scenery, start and finish in Porto, Lisbon to the south, a most beautiful city. And those Portuguese custard tarts. Pastel de Nata, egg custard in pastry dusted with cinnamon.

The Mateus Rose brought back memories of the 70s and Berni Inns, a steak and a bottle of Mateus, luxury living back then, Jimmy Adamson and the team of the 70s, Fletcher, Dobbo, Waldron and Leighton James. Songs by the Carpenters were played over the tannoy. Wonderful football until owld Bob sold all the best players.

One game we were at was Chelsea when Owen Coyle’s team beat them at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup on penalties. 6,000 Burnley fans were there. What a night that was. On the way back finding a fish and chip shop still open at midnight as we drove out of London.

The best chips I ever tasted. Football memories of brilliant nights and marvellous occasions.

You can’t beat ‘em.