I nearly hit the doctor trying to help pal Elliott.
WHEN his close pal Dave Elliott collapsed in a London street on the morning of a match Ollie Burton thought he had been hit by a member of the public.
So he angrily grabbed the man standing over his stricken mate.
"The only trouble was the guy was attempting to treat Dave not assaulting him," grimaced Ollie. "He was a doctor who was passing by!" That flashpoint in April of 1968 was to be sensationally repeated on a Glasgow street before United's European Fairs Cup semi-final a year later because, as it was to transpire, Elliott had suffered an epileptic fit.
Luckily "We were playing at West Ham," recalled Burton. "I was rooming with Dave and to fill in a bit of time on the Saturday morning we went for a walk with Jim Iley.
before could him blurted that a doctor Ollie "Jim and I were looking in a shop window and when we turned round there was Dave lying in the middle of the road with a fella bending over him. I saw red, charged across, and got hold of the bloke. Luckily before I could biff him one he blurted out that he was a doctor."
Elliott was rushed to Charing Cross Hospital, a hurried phone call was made to Joe Harvey at the Great Northern Hotel in King's Cross, and United's manager, along with director Fenton Braithwaite, shot off to visit their fallen star. That afternoon Newcastle got hammered.
Fast forward to the Fairs Cup semi away to Rangers and the exact same thing happened again. Elliott and Burton went for a walk and Dave took another epileptic fit in the street.
"This time I was a bit more ready and I took to my toes haring off back to our hotel for help," Ollie told me. "Our doc David Salkeld shot off to look after Dave who was put to bed in our room.
"At the team meeting which followed Joe announced that he wasn't going to play me because of the way I reacted at West Ham when I had a stinker. It was such a big match - the semi-final of a European competition - that I threw my chair across the room in frustration, but of course the gaffer was right. John IMcNamee went into my position and had a great match."
biff one he out he was BurtOn " United tried to sweep the Elliott affair from public gaze, shrugging off the drama as nothing more than Elliott fainting, but quietly and quickly they sold him off to Southend United. Several years later Dave admitted to me that he was still bitter at his treatment by Newcastle. Nothing like it had happened to him before but by taking a course of tablets, something he still does, his epilepsy was controlled and he continued with his playing career. Ironic that, having settled in south Wales, Elliott is now scouting for his old club through a friendship with Graham Carr
Luckily before I could biff him one he blurted out that he was a doctor Ollie Burton
Ollie Burton (right) with team-mate Dave Elliott