Saturday 10th January 1959 – Barrow V Wolves, FA Cup 3rd Round 1958/1959
Today its back to the late 1950s and an FA Cup 3rd Round tie in Cumbria. Wolves travelled to Barrow-in-Furness in January 1959.
Wolves had played at Holker Street before. This was in our Third Division North title winning campaign of 1923/1924. Wolves that day drew 2.2. This trip however was our second and final trip to date. Barrow still play at Holker Street and this again is a Football League ground after Barrows promotion into the football league last season. This season is there first back in the football league since they lost their league status at the end of the 1971/1972 campaign. They were not re-elected to the football league at the end of that season. Barrow were replaced by Hereford United who of course had not long before created their own piece of FA Cup history when they beat Newcastle United in February 1972 with of course that Ronnie Radford moment.
Wolves this season were on their way to their second Division 1 title in a row. They had by this point won the Division 1 title in 1953/1954 and in 1957/1958. We had also of course been declared “Champions of The World” when we had beaten Honved in 1954. Wolves were of course the plum draw for Barrow. It was however a massive banana skin for us. Wolves had got to the 6th round the season before in 1957/1958. In 1956/1957 however Wolves were a victim of an FA Cup shock when on 26th January 1957 they were dumped out of the Cup by Bournemouth and Boscombe. They then operated in the Third Division South. Some may remember or have heard about how the goals collapsed that day at the South Bank End of the ground and Wolves lost 1.0 at Molineux from a goal from Rowley Regis born Reg Cutler. Cutler was also a former West Bromwich Albion player too. Another link to Wolves and Cutler comes from his son Gary Cutler. Gary Cutler signed professional forms at Wolves in the Summer of 1980. Cutler never made the first team however.
Wolves played at Holker Street on 10th January 1959. It wasn’t an easy passage however Wolves won 4.2 with goals from Colin Booth, Mickey Lill and two from Norman Deeley. Wolves then departed the FA Cup in the next round with a 2.1 loss at home to Bolton with the Wolves goal being an own goal. Wolves then beat Blackburn at Molineux 5.0 in the league with Micky Lill, Jimmy Murray, Norman Deeley and a brace from Bobby Mason to get back to winning ways. Of course our next FA Cup campaign would take us all the way to trophy in 1960.
This period in question was the best period of Mickey Lills Wolves career. He had his best run in the second half of this season. From the turn of the year, he scored 13 goals and played his part in the Championship win.
The programme is actually very good in as far as it really does pay homage to Wolves the reigning champions. There are previews on many of the Wolves players. There isn’t one on Mickey Lill however. This is highly likely due to the fact that he had hardly played for Wolves at this point. Lill played 34 and scored 16 goals. The majority of appearances and goals came in this spell in the side from January 1959 to the end of the season. Lill joined Wolves from West Ham United in 1954 as an apprentice. He made his first team debut in December 1957. Lill left Wolves in 1960 when he moved to Everton.
So what happened to Barrow this season. Well, they were in Division 4 and they finished 23 out of 24. The only team worse were Southport. The bottom 4 of Oldham Athletic, Aldershot, Barrow and Southport were all re-elected.
The Wolves team that played that day were Malcolm Finlayson, Eddie Stuart, Gerry Harris, Billy Slater, Billy Wright, Ron Flowers, Mickey Lill, Bobby Mason, Peter Broadbent, Colin Booth, Norman Deeley. The gate was 18900.