Stoke City 9 Ipswich Town 1 – Grand National hits crowd but slippy defenders can’t handle master Potter



A cup of tea for a master Potter, Dennis Viollet.

It was on this day in 1964 that the maestro forward, then aged 30, hit a hat-trick to help Stoke City destroy Ipswich Town 9-1 at the Victoria Ground.

It meant soon-to-be-relegated Ipswich – whose defenders had a habit of falling over on a muddy pitch – conceded their 100th goal of the season in only their 34th match.

They just could not handle the pace and thrust of wingers Peter Dobing and Keith Bebbington, who each scored one, while John Ritchie bagged two after going 11 blank games. Jimmy McIlroy chipped in with two more, including a brilliant header, and it might have been 10 but Dobing had another ruled out for offside.

Yet the attendance was only 16,124, down nearly 50 per cent on the average as supporters were too distracted the Grand National, which was won by Team Spirit.

But it capped a memorable week for a couple of players. George Kinnell had got married in Aberdeen – and was also in the process of buying a bungalow in Trentham – while Calvin Palmer’s wife gave birth to their third daughter.

Gerry Bridgwood also made the papers because “he, too, is to buy his own house”.

“It used to be the policy of Stoke to buy houses for players. Now the club are encouraging players to acquire their own homes,” reported the Sentinel.

Tony Waddington explained: “It is an economic proposition for them and it encourages thrift.”

If that was not enough for everyone to keep their feet on the ground following the club’s top flight record margin of win they went and lost their next game 4-1 at West Ham.

Ipswich had won the Uhren Cup in pre-season in Switzerland the previous summer. Stoke would repeat the trick 54 years later… but also, unfortunately, the immediate relegation too.





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