Football fans remember Burnden Park disaster

The Bolton News: Burnden disaster Burnden disaster

FOOTBALL fans are today remembering the 68th anniversary of one of the sport's biggest tragedies.

On March 9, 1946, 33 people were crushed to death in the crowd at a Bolton Wanderers home match at the club’s former Burnden Park stadium.

The site of the ground is now an Asda supermarket, but then 85,000 people had crammed into the terraces to watch the FA Cup tie against Stoke.

Many had wanted to see Stoke star Stanley Matthews and had even climbed over walls to get into the ground when the turnstiles were shut.

The overcrowding at the Embankment end forced the barriers to collapse and bodies fell on top of each other and on to the pitch, suffocating many fans.

The dead and injured were laid out on the pitch as players were ushered back to their dressing room, but the scale of the disaster was not realised at the time and officials, fearing trouble if the game was abandoned, resumed the match.

It ended 0-0.

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