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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Revisited: Bolton Wanderers (Burnden Park)

Saturday, April 21, 1979
Bolton Wanderers 2 Ipswich Town 3
Football League Division One
Burnden Park, Bolton

Going to the Match by LS Lowry

A short walk from Old Trafford are the Salford Quays - formerly the Salford Docks that served the Manchester Shipping Canal from 1894 to 1982 - an area that over the past decade has been transformed into a shiny new development of shops, offices and trendy apartments. Part of this development is the funky looking Lowry Arts Complex which houses the Lowry Gallery, an excellent collection of the works of the late LS Lowry, the artist famed for his matchstick characters set against urban and industrial backdrops in the north-west.

One of his more famous works is entitled “Going to the Match” (pictured above) which is the very first piece you see as you enter the exhibit (well worth a visit if you are in the area). The painting is owned by the Professional Footballers Association, and was obtained at auction in 1999 at the behest of their Chief Executive Gordon Taylor to “keep the picture in football”. For a cool £1.9Million. The work shows supporters on their way to Bolton Wanderers Burnden Park circa 1953 and in the words of Taylor “represents the heart and soul of the game - the anticipation of the crowds going to the match”. Spot On – It’s a great piece.

My one and only visit to Burnden Park was in 1979 for the Division One game between Wanderers and Ipswich, which the visitors won 3-2. I don’t recall that much about the day apart from the decrepit state of the ground and a quite stunning goal from the top flights leading goal scorer at the time Bolton’s Frank Worthington that you can watch below. Twice!

posted by chevblue at 6:37 pm






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