The year 1947 saw Burnley, a team brimming with potential, passion, and pride, embark on an unforgettable journey to the FA Cup Final. Against all odds, this young team, built on the foundations of pre-war remnants, showcased resilience, skill, and the spirit of football at its finest.
Their journey to Wembley was nothing short of cinematic. Beginning their FA Cup campaign with a thumping 5-1 victory over top-tier side Aston Villa, the Clarets set the tone for what would be an epic adventure. Names like Harry Potts, George Bray, Billy Morris, and the maestro Peter Kippax became synonymous with Burnley's battle to the Final.
As the Clarets danced past the likes of Coventry City, Luton Town, and Middlesbrough, their journey was not without drama. Facing an arduous winter that saw fixtures being postponed, and games that went into extra time, Burnley's determination shone through. Their semi-final victory against future league champions Liverpool was an emblem of their never-say-die attitude, particularly given the fierce backdrop of Blackburn Rovers' Ewood Park and then Manchester City's Maine Road.
But the road to the Final was not without its hiccups. The mad rush for tickets saw some supporters cleverly using old stubs from the 1939/40 season to secure their place at Wembley. Many fans, unable to find accommodation, resorted to sleeping in the city's tube stations, exemplifying the unparalleled passion of Burnley supporters.
The Final, a nail-biting showdown against Charlton, unfortunately, didn't end in Burnley's favor. The Clarets played with heart and purpose, but Charlton's Chris Duffy shattered dreams with a stunning volley in extra time. The revelation that Peter Kippax, one of Burnley's key players, had been battling a fever during the match added a tinge of "what might have been" to the post-match reflections.
Yet, in the aftermath of the heartbreak, Burnley's spirit remained undefeated. Their return home was nothing short of a hero's welcome, with throngs of supporters turning out in massive numbers, cheering the team as they paraded through the town.
Club captain Alan Brown's words to the crowd, resonated with pride and optimism. Indeed, the promise of a brighter future was fulfilled with Burnley winning promotion that year.
The 1947 FA Cup Final remains a testament to Burnley's tenacity, resilience, and the unwavering support of its fans. It's a tale of passion, heartbreak, and hope, cementing the 1946/47 Clarets in the annals of football history.