|Written by Warren|
|Wednesday, 27 August 2008|
Name: Adam Blacklaw
D.O.B: 2 September 1937, Aberdeen
Clubs, Burnley, Blackburn, Blackpool, Great Harwood Town.
Fee: Ground staff (Apprentice)
Signed by Alan Brown
Burnley Debut: 22nd December 1956 Cardiff City(h)
Last game for Burnley: 27th December 1967 Stoke City (a)
Burnley Honours: 1st Division Champions 59/60, 1st Division Runner-up 61/62, FA Cup finalist 1962.
International Honours: 3 full Scotland caps, 2 U23 caps. Schoolboy International.
Claret Stats: 383 Claret appearances.
Blacklaw joined the Burnley ground staff straight from Frederick Street School in Aberdeen way back in 1954 as a schoolboy apprentice. Burnley had to be quick to sign the Scottish stopper as Leicester City were said to be keen after watching Adam at an England Scotland schoolboy international at Leicester's Filbert street, Leicester who themselves have a history of fantastic goalkeepers in Gordon Banks and Peter Shilton, oh it could have all been so different.
By the end of 1954 Burnley had offered a contract to Blacklaw, but it would be 2 years before he would make his debut, the immaculate Colin McDonald and the aging Des Thompson were seen as Burnley's two goalkeepers.
But on the 22nd December 1956 an ankle injury to McDonald gave Blacklaw a chance, the 19 year old Scott took it with both gloves (so to speak), and with a 6-2 victory over Cardiff City it cant have been too bad. Blacklaw kept the green jersey for 8 League and 5 FA Cup games before Burnley's McDonald regained fitness and took back over.
17th March 1959 On a cold dismal night it Belfast while turning out for a Football League XI against an Irish League XI McDonald suffered a broken leg, an injury McDonald would never recover from to enable him to play a first team game for Burnley again, Unfortunately McDonald's career had ended at the tender age of 28, England's No1 and Burnleys No1 was forced to quit. if anything ever does come from adversary, Adam Blacklaw did, he became pivotal for the greatest times in Burnleys history. He made the No1 jersey his own and wore the Claret and Blue for eleven years.
Burnley's Greatest ever post-war team, the championship side of 59/60 had class right through but with all great sides it starts at the back, and at the back was Blacklaw who only missed one game a 1-1 draw away at Blackpool in the enire campain, Tony Waiters stepping into the fold for that one.
The following season saw Burnley and Blacklaw enter Europe's premier club competition, coming up against sides such as Hamburg and Reims in two legged affairs. Burnley were quick becoming a household name, Blacklaw who at only 24 years of age was starting to make the Scottish International selectors sit up and take notice, Blacklaw did win 2 caps for the Scotland U23 side in 1959/60.
Blacklaw conceded the second goal of the game against Aston Villa it came in the Semi-Final repalay at Old Trafford goal in the 87th minute put paid to Burnley playing in the inaugural League cup competition (although if away goals had been in place in the original two legged tie Burnleys 2-2 draw away at Villa would have seen them through).
One of the most shown pictures of the FA Cup final between Burnley and Spurs would be the penalty Blanchflower scored with Blacklaw on his toes but unable to keep the penalty out, Burnley and Blacklaw had to be content with a Runners up medal which would have been better to take had Burnley not had a disatours run in where only one victory in the last ten league games handed the 61/62 Championship over to Ipswich Town. Only Gordon Banks was on a par with Burnley's Scottish stopper, but still the Scottish selectors overlooked the Claret.
Blacklaw's only competitive international was in 1965 when he was cannon fodder in Italy, the Italians walked it 3-0 and with it Blacklaw's internationals career was at an end before it had really begun.
Blacklaw was always consistent and always managed to avoid injuries, some say he was the hardest Claret ever with stories of going out for a punch against Blackburn and hitting the player, never one to shirk a one on one, or back down. He did eventually lose his place in the Burnley goal but it would be loss of his form not injury that lost him the No1 shirt, a 1-5 defeat at Elland Road was enough for Potts to drop him and start Harry "god in a green jersey" Thomson.
But even when not in the goal Blacklaw would make it into the Claret archives when he had a gun pointed at him by an Italian Policeman during the now infamous Battle of Napoli.
After 11 years as a professional Burnley decided to cash in on the Scott selling him to Hated rivals Blackburn a place where Blacklaw would stay for just three season, before moving to Blackpool where he made just one appearance as deputy to the man who took his place in the Claret goal Harry Thomson.
After Blackpool, Adam turned out for Great Harwood Town, a place where old pros at the time went to continue doing what the loved to do, and that was to play football.
Adam Blacklaw arguably the hardest Claret since Tommy Boyle, the best goalkeeper since Colin McDonald, the base where Burnley's Great Championship side was formed, the key to Burnleys Greatest of times.
Adam Blacklaw Legend.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 February 2009 )|
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