OTD: 30,000 watch the Town at Kenilworth Road
The Hatters have already broken one club record this season (it’s one that is still going) and the Town may well go onto break a few more if their form is anything to go by.
However, one such club record will not be broken this season – the highest ever attendance at Kenilworth Road.
On this day in 1959 that record was set. Hard to believe, maybe, but 30,069 supporters squeezed themselves into every nook and cranny Kenilworth Road had to offer on this day 55 years ago.
What’s even more remarkable is that the game – the small matter of an FA Cup quarter-final replay – against a Blackpool side with Stanley Matthews in his pomp, took place on a Wednesday afternoon.
“I just thought I’d be able to walk up,” reminisces John Buttle, the Town’s Hononary Life Vice-President. “I’d never seen anything like it, there were so many people. I got stuck at the bottom of Hazelbury Crescent and didn’t get into the ground until 15 minutes before half-time.”
John, like many others, had been able to take time off work in the town to witness the replay against the Tangerines, just four days after the 1-1 draw at Bloomfield Road.
The majority of the bumper crowd went home – or back to work rather – happy; shaking their rattles, kissing their rosettes, tossing up their boaters. The Hatters won 1-0 – thanks to a second half strike from Allan Brown. The victory took the Town to the semi-finals where Norwich were overcome – also via a replay – to ensure the Hatters were in the FA Cup final.
Click here for some action from the victory, via British Pathe.