Remember the incredible Boxing Day Games of 1963


Christmas would not be Christmas without presents, biscuits and turkey with all the accessories.

However, it is not the only thing that makes up Christmas. No no. Christmas has not really come until every football account on Twitter has published a picture of the results from 1963 on Christmas Day.

You know the one we’re talking about.

That perennial graphic “Boxing Day results 1963” will simply not have the same effect this year

– Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 4, 2020

During an absolutely incredible football afternoon, 66 goals were scored in just ten matches, where the fans were treated to results such as 10-1, 4-4 and 8-2.

It’s a good headline but as always the devil is in the detail. Here’s exactly how one of the most dramatic afternoons in English football history unfolded.

Barry Bridges scored a hat trick for Chelsea / Robert Stiggins / Getty Images

Blackpool went into this match a place above the relegation places – and when the final whistle blew it was easy to understand why.

The Tangerines were set for the sword by Chelsea with striker Barry Bridges scoring a hat-trick, while Peter Houseman and future England boss Terry Venables also played.

Without a doubt, the victorious Blues went straight to the pier to celebrate after the match.

Denis Law was absent for the Red Devils / Evening Standard / Getty Images

It’s been pretty bad for Manchester United lately, but they’ve never been that bad.

Before kick-off, the two teams were separated by two points, but the gap on the field was much larger. Burnley’s Andy Lochhead got the party started within seven minutes before United equalized after half an hour.

The hosts then took control, made five unanswered and sentenced United to a terrible defeat. Both 17-year-old George Best and Denis Law – who went on to score 30 goals during the season – were absent on the second day and were clearly big misses.

Bobby Robson was at Craven Cottage / Les Lee / Getty Images

Ipswich Town traveled to Craven Cottage, firmly rooted to the bottom of the table, but Fulham were not in the mood to offer them any festive charity.

Maurice Cook opened the scoring for the Cottagers early, before Graham Leggat added three more in as many minutes. It remained the fastest hat-trick in the history of the English football league until 2015, when Sadio Mane broke his record when he played for Southampton.

Six more home goals – including one from Sir Bobby Robson – would come before the afternoon was out. It was the most painful moment of a season that would unsurprisingly make Ipswich end at the bottom of the pile.

Leicester secured a festive three-pointer on Filbert Street / Express / Getty Images

Two goals? What a shame.

Leicester’s goal was scored by Ken Keyworth, while legendary Gordon Banks kept a clean sheet in the Foxes goal.

We will not waste any more words on such a snooze party.

Roger Hunt scored four goals on the second day of 1963 / Ian McLennan / Getty Images

Third-placed Liverpool were heavy favorites who went into the meeting with struggling Stoke City and the crowd at Anfield did not leave disappointed.

Roger Hunt – who went on to record 33 goals at the end of the season – scored four, while the brilliantly named Alf Arrowsmith and Ian St John also scored.

The Reds used the result as a springboard and won the first division title by finishing four points ahead of Manchester United.

Forest could only pull against Blades / Express / Getty Images

Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United were separated by just four points at the start of the game, so it was a bit surprising that the fans were invited to such a tight meeting.

In the end, the two sides shared six goals evenly with Blades Mick Jones who took a stand. The guests’ second goal scorer was Len Allchurch, who converted a penalty, while Ian Storey-Moore, Geoff Vowden and Frank Wignall took care of Forest.

The captivating competition was a rare and exciting moment during a boring season. The two sides finished in 12th and 13th place respectively, separated by only two points.

Wednesday goalkeeper Ron Springett could have gotten away with a few more fried potatoes / Robert Stiggins / Getty Images

Bolton spent Christmas in the relegation zone, six points behind safety, but Sheffield Wednesday were not in the mood to give them sympathy on the second day of Christmas.

Colin Dobson took a stand in front of the 30,000 fans packed inside Hillsborough, where Mark Pearson also scored to overcome the misery on Bill Ridding’s side.

Bolton would improve in the second half of the season but it would turn out to be too little, too late. Trotters were eventually relegated and finished one point behind Birmingham City in 20th place.

Jimmy Greaves enjoyed a great Christmas and netted twice / Robert Stiggins / Getty Images

Fans of the Hawthorns were treated to a thriller with eight goals where West Brom in the middle of the table kept high-flying Tottenham to a draw 4-4.

Unsurprisingly, Spurs’ leading scorer of all time Jimmy Greaves was among the goals and took a grip. His first came within three minutes and this lightning-fast start set the tone for the afternoon.

Bobby Smith and Cliff Jones scored the other Spurs goals, while John Kaye, Clive Clark, Don Howe and Micky Fudge – whose case was the cutest of all – scored for the Baggies.

Fred Pickering took a hat trick against the unfortunate Hammers / Getty Images / Getty Images

Despite West Ham boasting one of the best midfielders of all time, Bobby Moore, in their defense, West Ham still managed to score eight goals when Blackburn Rovers went down to Upton Park.

Both Andy McEvoy and Fred Pickering scored hat-tricks for top-seeded Rovers with Barry Douglas and Mike Ferguson also scoring. For the presenters, a brace from Johnny Byrne did little to save their Christmas blush.

Although Blackburn entered the top charts of the season, Blackburn’s form would decline poorly in the second half of the season, and Rovers eventually finished a distant seventh.

Wolves’ 1963/1964 season was a largely underrated deal – until Boxing Day / R. Viner / Getty Images

The only thing better than a Boxing Day derby is a Boxing Day derby which is also a six goal thriller.

Wolves Ray Crawford was the star of the show and scored two points, while Terry Wharton also netted for the hosts. Aston Villa boasted in the meantime with three different goal scorers: David Pountney, Vic Crowe and Tony Hateley.

In the end, both sides would end up safely in the middle of the table, separated by just four points.

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