AFC Bournemouth feature: Bedford's heroics in epic 1956-57 cup run

Bournemouth Echo: FORMER CHERRIES STAR: Brian Bedford in the late 1950s FORMER CHERRIES STAR: Brian Bedford in the late 1950s

WHEN Brian Bedford headed Cherries into a 3-0 lead against Burton Albion, little did he know his exploits against the Birmingham League part-timers would go down in club history.

Ever present as Freddie Cox’s Pippins embarked on Cherries’ best run in the FA Cup in 1956-57, Bedford also scored to give Matt Busby’s Babes a fright in the sixth round.

He also played his part in famous victories over Wolverhampton Wanderers and Spurs, a rather fortunate win at Swindon and a narrow triumph against Accrington Stanley.

A crowd of 13,245 at Dean Court saw Cherries thump the Brewers 8-0 with Bedford, Ollie Norris (3), Stan Newsham (2), Mike Lyons and an own goal making up the tally.

“As the scoreline suggests, it was fairly comfortable and set us off on the run,” said Bedford, who plundered 38 goals in 83 appearances for Cherries before Alec Stock paid £750 to take him to QPR where he remains the club’s second highest goalscorer.

“We were delighted to get through the first round.”

Although his recollections of the 2-0 win against Accrington are vague, Bedford remembers one talking point from the 1-0 victory at Swindon in the second round where Reg Cutler’s goal saw them through with Bob Edwards missing a late penalty for the Robins.

“We had a player injured and there were no subs in those days,” said Bedford. “Freddie Cox stuck him on the left wing and pushed him as far upfield as he could. Every time we played ball to him, he was offside. It was a time-wasting tactic. Clever, but not very sporting.

“Everybody started to get excited after we had got through three rounds. It was just a question of who we got in the fourth and we pulled out Wolves. They had a multitude of internationals including Billy Wright and six or seven other England players.

“We were hopeful but not very confident. We were under siege for the whole game but managed to win 1-0. Reggie Cutler, who slid into the back of the net and broke the goal frame, scored a breakaway goal.

“It was an extraordinary incident. After we had scored, it was all hands to the pump. Somehow, and I don’t know how, we got through. They put us under enormous pressure for most of the game and it was a win built on defensive stubbornness. It was frightening but exhilarating at the same time.”

Heralded as one of the greatest upsets in FA Cup history, Cherries’ reward for victory over Wolves, then third in the top flight, was a home tie against Spurs, who were second.

Such was the demand for tickets that when they went on sale during a reserve game against Aldershot, a crowd of 19,531 turned up at Dean Court for a Football Combination fixture.

In front of 25,892, goals from Norris, Newsham and Nelson Stiffle’s 25-yarder earned Cherries a 3-1 win and booked them a place in the sixth round for the first time in their history.

“The whole town went mad after the Wolves win and expecta-tions were sky-high,” said Bedford, who turned 80 on Christmas Eve and now lives just outside Cardiff. “We all had to raise our game and the cup run gave us tremendous confidence and belief that we could play higher.

“We played Spurs off the park. At the end of the game, Danny Blanchflower came into our dressing room and wished us luck for the next round. It was a wonderful gesture and took dignity and courage.”

Having already hit the bar, Bedford opened the scoring against Manchester United, the champions and first division leaders claiming the ball had gone out of play before he headed home. There was also controversy over their two goals, both scored by Johnny Berry, the winner coming from the penalty spot.

Six of the United starting line-up would go on to lose their lives in the Munich air disaster just 11 months later, while Berry, who survived the crash, never played again due to his injuries.

“What annoyed me more than anything were the directors,” said Bedford. “Every time we won, they were in there congratulating and patting us on the back. Not one of them came in after the United game and I remember thinking to myself what a load of outhouses they were. It was a disappointing end to what had been a wonderful period.”

Comments (9)

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10:16am Fri 3 Jan 14

devon fan says...

I always remember the very large gentleman who kept goal for Burton Albion on that day he had very little chance of reaching any shot along the ground
I always remember the very large gentleman who kept goal for Burton Albion on that day he had very little chance of reaching any shot along the ground devon fan

11:51am Fri 3 Jan 14

elite50 says...

I saw all of those games, the big talking point was the performance of Ollie Norris a the Spurs game. He was called the "Leaping Dervish" because he kept jumping up in front of any Spurs player who took a throw in.
Reg. Cutler should have scored when he broke the goal post.
Norris got injured in the Man. U. game when their star Half back (I cant remember his name) had to leave the field in a tackle with him. The game got lopsided after that.
Berry was off-side for his first goal and the "penalty" was a refs "gimme". for a Div. 1 team.
The tears of nostalgia are dripping off he end of my nose!
I saw all of those games, the big talking point was the performance of Ollie Norris a the Spurs game. He was called the "Leaping Dervish" because he kept jumping up in front of any Spurs player who took a throw in. Reg. Cutler should have scored when he broke the goal post. Norris got injured in the Man. U. game when their star Half back (I cant remember his name) had to leave the field in a tackle with him. The game got lopsided after that. Berry was off-side for his first goal and the "penalty" was a refs "gimme". for a Div. 1 team. The tears of nostalgia are dripping off he end of my nose! elite50

1:11pm Fri 3 Jan 14

doccox says...

Yes i remember the 2nd united goal joe brown chested it down and the ref gave a penalty .You could see the muddy ball mark on joe's chest i had a perfect view stood on an "oil drum which my brother and his mates somehow got into brighton beach end and ha a perfect view of the whole game.
Yes i remember the 2nd united goal joe brown chested it down and the ref gave a penalty .You could see the muddy ball mark on joe's chest i had a perfect view stood on an "oil drum which my brother and his mates somehow got into brighton beach end and ha a perfect view of the whole game. doccox

3:11pm Fri 3 Jan 14

raybren says...

Danny Blanchflower was a gent , which is more than can be said for Billy Wright ! My dad was a friend of Brian Bedford both could handle themselves verbally , lovely quote from Brian about the directors " a load of outhouses ! " .
Danny Blanchflower was a gent , which is more than can be said for Billy Wright ! My dad was a friend of Brian Bedford both could handle themselves verbally , lovely quote from Brian about the directors " a load of outhouses ! " . raybren

7:48pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Deejaycee says...

elite50 wrote:
I saw all of those games, the big talking point was the performance of Ollie Norris a the Spurs game. He was called the "Leaping Dervish" because he kept jumping up in front of any Spurs player who took a throw in.
Reg. Cutler should have scored when he broke the goal post.
Norris got injured in the Man. U. game when their star Half back (I cant remember his name) had to leave the field in a tackle with him. The game got lopsided after that.
Berry was off-side for his first goal and the "penalty" was a refs "gimme". for a Div. 1 team.
The tears of nostalgia are dripping off he end of my nose!
The Man U. Player injured was Mark Jones who later died in the Munich Air Disaster.
[quote][p][bold]elite50[/bold] wrote: I saw all of those games, the big talking point was the performance of Ollie Norris a the Spurs game. He was called the "Leaping Dervish" because he kept jumping up in front of any Spurs player who took a throw in. Reg. Cutler should have scored when he broke the goal post. Norris got injured in the Man. U. game when their star Half back (I cant remember his name) had to leave the field in a tackle with him. The game got lopsided after that. Berry was off-side for his first goal and the "penalty" was a refs "gimme". for a Div. 1 team. The tears of nostalgia are dripping off he end of my nose![/p][/quote]The Man U. Player injured was Mark Jones who later died in the Munich Air Disaster. Deejaycee

11:18pm Fri 3 Jan 14

dekayedcherry says...

I was a lad of 9 excitingly watching the Spurs game in that huge crowd and saw "The Cherries" or Cox's "pippins" as the press dubbed them, put 3 goals past Ted Ditchburn (England Goalkeeper at the time) to win 3-1 and my dad got me a ticket for the Man. Utd and I watched us lose 2-1 in that record crowd of over 28,000 to the Great Busby Babes.However we gave them "a hellav of game" and were robbed by that dubious penalty against Joe Brown.
Brian Bedford was a very good number 9 in those days not unlke "Supa" giving centre halves a torrid time but was probably more prolific than Fletcher on a goals to games ratio. Watching " Boscombe" in those days was the start of my lifelong support (albeit sometimes from afar when I lived in London) of the Ch erries. This present side is possibly the best side ever but comparisons to different ages are always subjective,however the quality of the opposition inthis league and our efforts so far this season lead me to this conclusion.
PS I was at Aston Villa when Ted McDougall scored the best goal ever by a Cherries player (IMO) with his "flying header" with Jemaine Defoe's goal at Oxford a close second. As I say subjective !!!.UTC.
I was a lad of 9 excitingly watching the Spurs game in that huge crowd and saw "The Cherries" or Cox's "pippins" as the press dubbed them, put 3 goals past Ted Ditchburn (England Goalkeeper at the time) to win 3-1 and my dad got me a ticket for the Man. Utd and I watched us lose 2-1 in that record crowd of over 28,000 to the Great Busby Babes.However we gave them "a hellav of game" and were robbed by that dubious penalty against Joe Brown. Brian Bedford was a very good number 9 in those days not unlke "Supa" giving centre halves a torrid time but was probably more prolific than Fletcher on a goals to games ratio. Watching " Boscombe" in those days was the start of my lifelong support (albeit sometimes from afar when I lived in London) of the Ch erries. This present side is possibly the best side ever but comparisons to different ages are always subjective,however the quality of the opposition inthis league and our efforts so far this season lead me to this conclusion. PS I was at Aston Villa when Ted McDougall scored the best goal ever by a Cherries player (IMO) with his "flying header" with Jemaine Defoe's goal at Oxford a close second. As I say subjective !!!.UTC. dekayedcherry

12:48am Sat 4 Jan 14

jemsaldana says...

Brilliant to read comments by supporters that were actually there. Good on you gentlemen here's to another cup run.
Brilliant to read comments by supporters that were actually there. Good on you gentlemen here's to another cup run. jemsaldana

1:49am Sat 4 Jan 14

Redgolfer says...

I to was taken t watch Spurs and United in the Brighton Beach End and for the United game because I had my foot in plaster, I was lifted over the railings to sit on the St, John's Ambulance bench and the corner went out of play before it was headed into the net, only 10 at that time.
I to was taken t watch Spurs and United in the Brighton Beach End and for the United game because I had my foot in plaster, I was lifted over the railings to sit on the St, John's Ambulance bench and the corner went out of play before it was headed into the net, only 10 at that time. Redgolfer

1:57pm Sat 4 Jan 14

pete woodley says...

Redgolfer wrote:
I to was taken t watch Spurs and United in the Brighton Beach End and for the United game because I had my foot in plaster, I was lifted over the railings to sit on the St, John's Ambulance bench and the corner went out of play before it was headed into the net, only 10 at that time.
And i thought you were older.
[quote][p][bold]Redgolfer[/bold] wrote: I to was taken t watch Spurs and United in the Brighton Beach End and for the United game because I had my foot in plaster, I was lifted over the railings to sit on the St, John's Ambulance bench and the corner went out of play before it was headed into the net, only 10 at that time.[/p][/quote]And i thought you were older. pete woodley

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