The season Morecambe tasted FA Trophy triumph
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 1960s.
This week, club historian LAWRENCE BLAND focuses on the 1973/74 season which was dominated by a trip down Wembley Way...
For the 1973-74 season, Dave Roberts added new signings John Bennett (Macclesfield Town), Barry Kershaw (Great Harwood) and Tony Webber (Skelmersdale United).
It meant the club had assembled a very useful side – not a league championship-winning team, but a great cup fighting side.
There was always that feeling that the club could win the FA Trophy that season.
They had the right sort of players, the whole team played brilliantly, there was lots of luck and some good draws which saw them avoid the stronger Northern Premier League sides.
The Trophy campaign began with an easy away win over Mexborough Town, running out 3-0 winners.
However, a floodlight ban because of the three-day week caused problems.
After two postponements, Morecambe played Bangor City at home and won a Sunday morning game, 2-1.
A home draw followed with Southern League champions Kettering Town – and player-manager Ron Atkinson – which saw Morecambe win the replay 2-1 at Kettering; one of their best games.
A cold, snowy day at Bedford saw Morecambe win their fourth-round tie 1-0 in a game featuring football’s first streaker.
That pitched them into a semi-final against a South Shields team who had beaten Morecambe 7-1 at home earlier that season.
Nevertheless, Morecambe returned to win the first leg 2-0, with Jimmy Sutton securing a 1-0 win in the second leg to book the club’s place at Wembley.
The club’s finest hour came on April 27, 1974, when a crowd of 19,000 saw goals from Malcolm Richmond and Sutton give Morecambe a 2-1 win over Southern League side Dartford.
Morecambe’s team that day was: Coates, Pearson, Bennett, Sutton, Street, Baldwin, Done, Webber, Roberts (Galley), Kershaw and Richmond.
The Trophy win, understandably, overshadowed the rest of the season which again saw Morecambe progress into the Lancashire Senior Cup final.
They saw off Third Division opposition in Southport after two draws, followed by a 3-1 replay victory against Everton’s reserves.
That set up a home semi-final against Manchester United’s reserves with a crowd of 3,014 seeing new signing Brian Gundy give Morecambe a 1-0 win.
The final took place three days later at Christie Park on May 11, when a gate of 3,221 saw Manchester City’s reserves win 3-0.
Morecambe’s team was: Coates, Pearson, Bennett, Sutton, Street, Baldwin, Done, Richmond, Galley (Kershaw), Roberts and Grundy.