We hear a lot these days of fixture congestion and players can't play twice in a few days etc. Well in February 1968 the Mighty Liverpool and the Super Saddlers played twice within three days! The original FA Cup 4th round fixture at Fellows Park ended in a 0-0 stalemate with Trevor Meath and Tommy Watson having our best chances. There was, as you'd expect, quite a clamour for tickets and Walsall FC advertised that for the reserve match leading up to the Liverpool game that priority vouchers would be given out to anyone attending the reserve game against Arsenal. An amazing 8,504 turned up on a bitterly cold evening to claim theirs surely a record attendance for any home Saddlers fixture? yet come the day of the Liverpool game it became something of a mystery that 21,066 attended yet 22,000 tickets had been sold.
A section of the wall at the Hillary Street End collapsed which delayed the kick off with £1,000 worth of damage caused. The match receipts recorded were £5,000. Unlike today, replays could be arranged within days and this was at Anfield on the Monday. There's was no time for them to issue a matchday programme so a team sheet was produced. Despite Walsall playing so well at Fellows Park a couple of days previously, Liverpool showed no mercy as the rattled in five goals with Tony Hatley claiming four of them to add to a Geoff Strong strike. Our two goals were bagged by winger Tommy Watson. A particular memory of this game is that it was played in a thick fog with visibility barely reaching the half way line. The crowd at each end chanting " Who scored the goal" to each other. An attendance of 39,113 saw at least half a game on Merseyside.
The section of the wall that collapsed at the Street End at that game at Fellows Park.
Its worth noting that Liverpool put out their strongest team, as was the norm for any top team in a cup game in those days which was packed with international players as their line up suggested....
Lawrence, Lawler, Hughes, Smith, Yeats, Strong, Callaghan, Hunt, Hateley, St John, Thompson
The Walsall line up was...
Wesson, Gregg, G.Harris, Simpson, Bennett, Atthey, Watson, Baker, Murray, Jackson, Taylor. With Meath coming on for Baker in each game. The referee for both games was Maurice Fussey.