Brian Jeeves and David Selby take a look back at an unusual friendly fixture between the Clarets and one-time Scottish giants, Third Lanark AC.


Speaking after the match, Thirds boss, Young, exclaimed that Chelmsford has ‘A useful side’ while local journalist Howard Southall’s headline wrote ‘A great night at the Stadium

CHELMSFORD City welcomed high-flying Glasgow club, Third Lanark, on Monday, April 17 – 1961, for a friendly fixture that certainly captured the imagination of the football loving locals, with a record crowd for that time of 9,564 turning out at New Writtle Street.

The huge attendance figure was particularly notable as Essex rivals and Football League club, Southend United, could only muster a gate on 4,384 for a similar practice match against Dundee at Roots Hall. Many local football enthusiasts suggested that no further proof was required to support City’s bid for Football League status. Indeed, the Clarets were once again riding high in the Southern League, seeking election along with the likes of Oxford United, Bedford Town, Hereford United and Cambridge City.

Thirds, under the management of legendary former Rangers and Scotland centre-half, George Young, were amongst the challengers for the Scottish First Division title.

For the record, the Clarets swept aside their guests by three goals to nil, Leslie Brown, Tony Butcher and Denis Hatsell on target in front of the packed audience. City goalkeeper, Dave Evans, even saved a spot-kick from Goodfellow as the visitor’s misery was compounded further.

Speaking after the match, Thirds boss, Young, exclaimed that Chelmsford has ‘A useful side’ while local journalist Howard Southall’s headline wrote ‘A great night at the Stadium’.

Third Lanark would go on to finish third in Scottish League Division One, behind champions Rangers and runners-up Kilmarnock. Meanwhile, City ended up second in the Southern League, seven points behind title winners, Oxford United.

Chelmsford City: Evans, Hayward, Gillott, Phillips, Tiffin, Barnard, Brown, Hatsell, Taylor, Butcher, Walker

Third Lanark AC: Ramage, McCallum, McGillivary, Reilly, McCormick, Cunningham, Goodfellow, Hilley, Harley, Gray, McInnes

Referee: Mr P. Partridge (Bradwell)

Featured is the Chelmsford City v Third Lanark AC official programme

You can discover more about the history of Chelmsford City Football Club in the excellent magazine ‘The Chelmsford City Historian’ by David Selby (£2:50) Follow David on Twitter: @SelbyDavid
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