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Yesterdays NLP - The Highgate Cup Tie

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offline BOROMAN

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Did anyone read the article in the NLP re the old Amateur football maganzine from the 60's/70's?

It include references to a cup tie in 67 between Highgate United and Enfield when a number of players were struck by lightning including one unfortunate fatality.

For the record did any of your older followers attend this game and if so do you have any recollections?

offline Steph

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I attended.

The fans were very lucky. It was in February and there was an immense rain storm and a single clap of thunder. Enfield were on the attack so the Enfield defensive half was virtually empty except for Tony Allden. Alf D'arcy and other defenders in the Enfield team complained of double vision after but Tony was the only player to be struck. The ligtning strike seemed to hit the ground a few yards in front of him and then travelled towards him. It is stated that he was struck because he was wearing a medallion around his neck but I dont know the truth of that.

Why were the fans lucky?

The Highgate team had a small village ground with facilities for spectators to match. There was a temporary stand made of scaffold poles which was erected to house the crowds from Enfield. (We were very well supported in those days). It is my view that the reason the stand was not struck was because the clouds were very low - the storm was intense and the ground was on a hill. The charge would have taken the line of least resistance and therefore struck the nearest ground from the point of discharge to reach the scaffold poles would have meant a greater distance of travel through the air.

I still think of the event as the game was abandoned quickly after the match - it was my first experience of seeing a dead body though Tony was taken to hospital and pronounced dead the next day I recall that his body was steaming and it seemed very clear to me that it was unlikely he would survive. Most fan rushed off in their cars after the incident and it was announced in the sports programmes on BBC what had happened.

The programme was a single sheet affair printed, as I recall on creamy yellow paper. I used to have it somewhere but now it has gone.

The replay was at Aston Villa and Villa got their largest crowd of the season for the replay.

offline Man From Mars

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Steph you must have a photographic memory old mate ,Those were the days eh, Sadly cant see them happening again .

offline Mr Happy

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Originally Posted By: Man From Mars
Those were the days eh, Sadly cant see them happening again .

You what??!! Someone was struck and killed by lightning and you're sad that you cannot see it happening again!!! What is the matter with you??? Time for the men in white suits to come and get you you raving nutter!!!!! conf

offline Bad_Egg

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I was there and I'd rather not remember. Not surprisingly at the rearranged game at Villa Park there was something like 20000 people cheering on Highgate.

offline Jim Cunneen

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EFC were 1-0 up at the time through Ray Hill.

the scorers in the 6-0 win in the replay were John Payne, Lawrie Churchill, John Connell, Terry Howard and Ray Hill (2).....

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