Tuesday, October 9, 2012

9 October 1961 - Planes, Trains, And Automobiles

On 9 October 1961, Gillingham made a tremendous effort to reach Barrow for a league match and, for their troubles, left with a 7-0 loss.

The day started badly enough for Gillingham when their train to Barrow missed its connection in London. In an attempt to make it to the match on time, they chartered a plane to Blackpool, then took a set of cabs to Barrow's ground. When they finally arrived, it was well past the scheduled starting time, but the match went ahead.

Due to the late start, and because Barrow did not have floodlights, darkness soon became an issue, forcing the referee to halt the match in the 76th minute. By that time, Gillingham were already down 7-0. Given the scoreline and the fact that the delay had been caused by Gillingham, the Football League allowed the result to stand. It was just one goal short of their record defeat, an 8-0 loss to Luton in 1929.

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