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Burnden Park disaster: 75 years on

9 March 2021

Today, on the 75th anniversary of the Burnden Park disaster, the EFL remembers those who tragically lost their lives.

On 9 March 1946, 33 people died and around 400 were injured in a crush at an FA Cup tie between Bolton Wanderers and Stoke City, with estimates claiming up to 85,000 people were in attendance. 

Many had flocked to see Stoke's Sir Stanley Matthews - one of football's true greats - in action, with the Cup a popular attraction, particularly given the Football League had not yet resumed post-War.

Supporters from opposite ends had to use the same turnstiles because parts of the ground that had been requisitioned for wartime storage were not returned to full use and, although they were closed 20 minutes before kick-off, the situation worsened when a gate at the rear of the stand was opened.

Shortly after the game began, two barriers gave way at the Embankment End, with fans falling forward and crushing those in front. The ground became the scene of what was, at the time, the worst tragedy in British football history.

Today, we pause in remembrance of those who sadly lost their lives, and will never forget them.

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