Burnden Park football disaster remembered 65 years on

Scene of the disaster at Burnden Park
Image caption Play stopped but once the dead and injured had been removed, it continued

The 65th anniversary of the Burnden Park football disaster will be remembered by Bolton Wanderers Football Club on Wednesday.

Thirty-three fans were killed and another 400 injured during the second leg of an FA Cup quarter-final tie against Stoke City on 9 March 1946.

Some of the 33 dead were crushed against steel barriers which gave way. Others were trampled to death.

Play stopped but once the dead and injured had been removed, it continued.

'Such a crush'

Bill Cheeseman was at the game with his sister, who had wanted to see Stoke's Stanley Matthews.

"It was such a crush. It was getting dangerous. We were getting squeezed by the people in front and behind. Everyone was pushing," he said.

"All of a sudden those that were in front of us seemed to go - all falling down like a pack of cards.

"We managed to get out and I was glad about that."

They, like many fans, were not aware of the full extent of the disaster until they heard the news.

Memorial book

An inquiry led to recommendations that the numbers of spectators allowed into a ground should be limited.

The club moved to a new ground, the Reebok Stadium, in 1997. Burnden Park was redeveloped and is now a retail park.

A plaque to those who died was unveiled in the Asda store, at the exact site of the disaster, by the late Nat Lofthouse in 2000.

Bolton Wanderers' historian Simon Marland said: "We have a memorial book at the Reebok Stadium that will be open today, showing the names of all those people who lost their lives.

"We had a piece in the programme in last Saturday's game to keep people aware of the disaster. Obviously there are generations now that aren't aware of what actually happened."

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