FAIRS CLUB OLLIE BURTON
By Jim Vaughn and Bill Gibbs
Monday 11 Jul 2011 12:27:00
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Borm Alwyn Derek Burton on 11th November 1941 in Chepstow, Wales, “Ollie” Burton was to start his career at Newport County in 1958 making 53 appearances and scoring 8 times. He then made the move to Norwich City in1960, playing 57 times and scoring 8 goals. Norwich won the Milk Cup that season at Wembley. His move to Newcastle United came in 1963 and he had a horrendous start being diagnosed with tonsillitis and then when he finally recovered he did the ligaments in his knee and an operation followed. To compound his terrible luck after he was fully fit, he was at Tynemouth beach training and during a leap frog session, he went to vault over Wyn Davies, who inexplicably stood up at the last minute and that caused Ollie to fall very awkwardly on the hard sands and gave him a bad back injury. He was literally never involved in the 1965 Second Division Championship win by Newcastle.

In 1966 he scored two penalties past Jimmy Montgomery in the derby game at Roker Park...this was the game which saw John McNamee score a late winner, culminating in his famous swing on the crossbar in front of the Fulwell End! The next week, Newcastle were knocked out of the FA Cup at St. James’ Park by Carlisle United and unbeknown to Ollie, the Carlisle goalkeeper, Alan Ross had watched Ollie’s two penalties the previous week on television, so when Newcastle were awarded a penalty and Ollie stepped up to take it, Ross guessed that Ollie would take a similar penalty to the two he had done the previous week against Sunderland. True to form Ollie did and Alan Ross saved it! Before the game in the press, Ollie had said he had a dream he would take a penalty and miss it against Carlisle, so imagine the headline the day after the Cup defeat....”BURTON’S NIGHTMARE!!”

 

Also Substitutes were used for the first time in the 1965/66 season and Newcastle’s Albert Bennett was the very first named Newcastle sub v Nottingham Forest in the first game of the season but he did not get on the field of play.

It was Ollie Burton who went down in Geordie history on 4th September, when he substituted for winger Trevor Hockey in the match against Northampton Town, who were promoted the previous season with Newcastle.

Ollie made further history in September 1967 when he became the first Newcastle substitute to score v Lincoln City in a league match.

 

As we all know Ollie was a member of the team who won the Fairs Cup in Europe, however he had a strange time during the first semi Final against Rangers at Ibrox. United player Dave Elliott was out walking with Ollie when he took a fit. Ollie sprinted back to the team hotel and the Club doctor saw to Dave, putting him to bed in the same room as Ollie. Unfortunately Manager Joe Harvey said that he was not playing him as Ollie would probably be very upset at what had gone on. John McNamee took Ollie’s place and actually did a brilliant job containing Rangers centre forward Colin Stein!

In the second leg, as the teams were taken off by Welsh referee John Gow, he turned to his fellow Welshman Ollie and said he was abandoning the match, to which Ollie told me he said “You are bloody not...we are going back on!!” Those words worked and the game restarted with Newcastle winning 2-0 thanks to two Scotsmen, Jim Scott and Jackie Sinclair. Ollie won 9 caps with Wales but told me other appearances as sub did not qualify you for  a cap! During the postponements of the infamous Herefod United FA Cup tie replay, Ollie who had played in the first game at St. James’ Park did his knee in a league game at Huddersfield and missed the tie, to his annoyance,  as his family all came to Hereford to watch him!

Contact was made with Ollie by me after I received Ollie’s details from another Newcastle Legend, Jim Scott.

Plans to visit Ollie, were put in place by The Fairs Club when one of the members, Jamie Fender made an early train booking for the members to travel to Peterborough, then to Thetford, which was on the main line to Norwich and only 20 miles from Ollie’s home in Diss. Unfortunately the early booking of travel meant The Fairs Club were unaware of a local train strike. So on arrival at Peterborough it meant a one hour forty minute bumpy bus ride through the country lanes of Norfolk!

On arrival at Thetford which is where the television classic comedy series Dads Army was filmed, a fleet of taxis took the lads to the Thetford Conservative Club. Ollie and a friend,  arrived and after a meal, the presentation took place. Ollie’s replica Fairs Cup Final shirt was presented by Jamie Fender and a modern shirt was presented by Vince Carrick, Dad of Manchester United player Michael Carrick. Ollie was totally overwhelmed and certainly enjoyed his day! The Fairs Club worked it out later that they  had been in Ollie’s company for four hours and travelled in total for 13 hours!

After football, Ollie had a sandwich business in Diss, but these days he is happily retired with his lovely wife Pauline, a former beauty queen.  On Saturday afternoons Ollie is regularly seen sitting beside Chairman and TV cook Delia Smith, in the Directors Box at Carrow Road watching Norwich City, where Ollie is in the Hall of Fame. He came to St. James’ Park for the Fairs Cup Reunion Dinner and still watches avidly for Newcastle United’s scores. He is due to come up to Tyneside in November, with his wife Pauline for a Legends Evening organised by The Fairs Club.



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