Morecambe's winning goodbye to the Lancashire Combination

Morecambe enjoyed a successful 1967/68 seasonMorecambe enjoyed a successful 1967/68 season
Morecambe enjoyed a successful 1967/68 season
With Morecambe having celebrated their centenary this year, we have told the story of the club’s origins, the move to Christie Park, as well as league and cup wins in the 1920s, 1940s and early 1960s.

This week, club historian LAWRENCE BLAND focuses on the 1967/68 season when they said goodbye to the Lancashire Combination in style...

Morecambe’s last season in the Lancashire Combination was highly successful.

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The side, strengthened by the signings of Bob Baldwin (Fleetwood), Dennis Compton (Altrincham) and David Halstead (Blackburn Rovers), was again Combination champions.

Although Chorley had been beaten 7-1 the previous season, Ken Waterhouse’s sides were not famous for scoring goals, so it came as a surprise when the club posted their record win, 14-0 at home to Rossendale United on September 2.

Arnold Timmins’ eight goals equalled the individual scoring record in a match, while the half-time score of 9-0 in Morecambe’s favour must have been a record.

The teams for that match were as follows:

Morecambe: Millard, Varcoe (1), Baldwin, Cubbage, Irving, Martin (2), Waterhouse, Holding (2), Borrowdale, Timmins (8), Lea (1).

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Rossendale United: Vipham, Kay, Shuttleworth (Stones), Ormerod, Barrett, Ireson, Chesworth, Hobson, Blease, Plant, Greenwood.

The season was one of success nearly all the way for Morecambe, who also won the Lancashire Senior Cup in classic style.

A 2-1 first-round victory against Blackburn Rovers with 10 first-teamers, was followed by a 1-0 win at Netherfield, victory by the same score over Third Division Bury and a semi-final win at another Third Division side, this time a full-strength Oldham Athletic team.

It set up a place in the final, which saw Morecambe win 2-1 against a very strong Burnley reserves side in front of a crowd of 4,230 at Christie Park on May 13, 1968.

The teams who contested that final were as follows:

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Morecambe: Millard, Varcoe, Halstead, Irving, Baldwin, Porter, Martin (Holding), Crompton, Borrowdale, Timmins (2), Lea.

Burnley: Jones, Smith, Buxton, Bellamy (sub Ternent), Merrington, Kinsella, Coates, Casper, Dobson (1), Thomas, Kindon.

Two days later, Morecambe won the Combination Cup 2-1 at Horwich RMI, with only one change as Holding replaced Martin with Timmins and Charlie Lea scoring Morecambe’s goals.

The season brought another development as, on October 17, 1967, club president Robert Raby opened the new £8,000 Christie Avenue Stand – renamed the Umbro Stand –which replaced the old ‘Scratchin Shed’.

The club finished their time in the Lancashire Combination on May 17, 1968, with a 1-1 draw at Rossendale United.