Blackpool F.C.

Blackpool F.C.

Football club infobox
clubname = Blackpool F.C.

fullname = Blackpool Football Club
nickname = "'Pool",
"The Seasiders",
"The Tangerines"
founded = 26 July 1887 Calley, Roy (1992). "Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887–1992"]
ground = Bloomfield Road
Blackpool, England
capacity = 9,788
chairman = flagicon|England Karl Oyston
manager = flagicon|England Simon Grayson
league = The Championship
season = 2007-08
position = The Championship, 19th

Blackpool Football Club are an English football club founded in 1887 and located in the Lancashire seaside town of Blackpool. The club have been a member of the Football League since 1896, excepting one season spent in non-League football.

The club currently play in The Championship, the second tier of professional football in England, after winning the 2006–07 League One Play-Off Final.

The club's home ground has been Bloomfield Road since 1899, and their nicknames include "The 'Pool", "The Seasiders" and "The Tangerines", the latter in reference to their home colour. They have a fierce rivalry with local arch-enemy Preston North End, and any League meeting between the two clubs is known as the West Lancashire derby (or, alternatively, the M55 derby).

Blackpool's most notable achievement is winning the 1953 FA Cup Final, the so-called "Matthews Final", in which they beat Bolton Wanderers 4–3, overturning a 1–3 deficit in the closing stages of the game.

During that post-war period, Blackpool made three Wembley appearances in six years and came close to winning the League Championship on several occasions. They also supplied the national teams with many players, notably for England in 1953 when four Blackpool men lined up at Wembley, causing the "Daily Mirror" to declare that "Blackpool F.C. are playing Hungary today", Calley, Roy (1992). "Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887–1992"] though it became a day that English football fans would want to forget.

In 1982–83, Blackpool finished four places from the bottom of the entire Football League, their lowest-ever ranking in the competition, and were only saved from relegation to the Alliance Premier League (now the Conference) because the re-election system voted in their favour. Twelve years earlier, the club was playing in English football's top flight.


Formation and early years

Blackpool Football Club was formed on 26 July 1887, after a merger with a breakaway group from the local St. John's Football Club. The club managed to win two pieces of silverware in its first season in existence, 1887–88: the Fylde Cup and the Lancashire Junior Cup.

At the conclusion of the following 1888–89 season, Blackpool became founder members of the Lancashire League. In their first season in the competition, the club finished fifth out of the thirteen member clubs. They finished as runners-up over the following three seasons (to Bury twice and Liverpool once), before winning the championship themselves on their fourth attempt.

Blackpool's home at that point in time was Raikes Hall Gardens (also known as the Royal Palace Gardens), which was part of a large entertainment complex that included a theatre and a boating lake, amongst other attractions. This meant that the club's average attendances were around the two-thousand mark, making the club's formative years a financial success. Calley, Roy (1992). "Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887–1992"]

After struggling to repeat the success of the 1893–94 season, the Blackpool board decided it was time to leave local football behind, so on 13 May 1896, the club became a limited company and applied for entry to the Football League.

Their application was successful, and for the club's debut season they joined the sixteen-team Second Division. Blackpool's first-ever Football League game took place on 5 September 1896, at Lincoln City, which they lost 3–1 in front of around 1,500 spectators. Calley, Roy (1992). "Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887–1992"] [ Early days in the Football League] – "Blackpool Gazette"]

After three seasons in the League, Blackpool were not re-elected at the conclusion of the 1898–99 season, after finishing third-bottom. They had moved to a new ground, at Stanley Park's Athletic Grounds, the same season.

On 12 December 1899, Blackpool amalgamated with local rivals South Shore. Shortly afterwards, the club, after a brief return to Raikes Hall, moved to a new ground at Gamble's Field, on Bloomfield Road at the southern end of the town. The name of the ground was subsequently renamed for the road on which it stood.

Early 20th century

Blackpool's season out of the Football League was a success: they finished third upon their return to the Lancashire League, and after the Football League's annual meeting on 25 May 1900, were permitted back into Division Two.

During the ten seasons that followed, Blackpool could finish no higher than twelfth place. The club's top goalscorers in the league included Bob Birkett (ten goals in 1900–01), Geordie Anderson (twelve goals in 1901–02) and Bob Whittingham (thirteen in 1908–09).

At the end of 1910–11, the club found themselves in seventh place, thanks largely to Joe Clennell's haul of eighteen goals.

It was a case of as-you-were, however, for the four seasons leading up to World War I, with finishing positions of fourteenth, twentieth, sixteenth and tenth. For the latter of those seasons, Joe Lane netted 28 goals.

The outbreak of war forced the cancellation of League football for four years, during which time regional competitions were introduced. When normalcy resumed, in 1919–20, Blackpool had appointed their first full-time manager in the form of Bill Norman. Norman guided the club to fourth-placed finishes in his first two League seasons in charge (he was installed as manager during the final inter-war season), with Lane again netting close to thirty goals in the former.

The club's form nosedived in the 1921–22 season, with a finishing position of nineteenth, before bouncing back to a fifth-placed finish in the following campaign. Harry Bedford, who had joined the club from Nottingham Forest, was the country's top league scorer, with 32 goals to his name.

Bedford repeated the feat the following season, this time under the watchful eye of new manager Frank Buckley, who replaced Bill Norman after his four years of service. Blackpool finished fourth in Buckley's first season in charge.

The 1924–25 season was not as successful; a seventeenth-placed finish tempered only slightly by the club's reaching the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time. A single-goal defeat at fellow Lancastrians Blackburn Rovers ended "the Seasiders"' run.

Buckley guided Blackpool to top-ten finishes in his final two seasons as manager — with Billy Tremelling's thirty goals in the latter helping considerably — before he left to take the helm at Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Buckley's replacement was Sydney Beaumont, who took charge for the 1927–28 season, but he lasted only until the spring after the club finished in nineteenth position.

Harry Evans was installed as the new Blackpool manager, in an honorary capacity, for the 1928–29 campaign. Due in no small part to Jimmy Hampson's 40 goals, the club finished eighth. In his second season, Evans guided Blackpool to the Division Two championship (their only championship to date), finishing three points ahead of Chelsea. Hampson had bagged 45 of the club's 98 league goals.

Blackpool lasted only three seasons in the First Division. Two third-bottom finishes were followed by a last-placed finish, and the club returned to the Second Division.

The club's relegation prompted the Blackpool board to install a recognised manager, and they opted for Sandy MacFarlane. MacFarlane occupied the Bloomfield Road hot seat for just two seasons, in which the club finished eleventh and fourth, respectively. MacFarlane's final 1934–35 season marked Jimmy Hampson's eighth successive (and final) season as Blackpool's top league goalscorer.

Joe Smith was appointed Blackpool's sixth manager in August 1935, a role in which he remained for the next 23 years.

The club finished tenth in Smith's first season, with Bobby Finan taking over from Hampson as top scorer, with 34 goals. It was Smith's second season in charge, however, that marked the starting point of the success to come. Blackpool finished the 1936–37 season as runners-up in the Second Division to Leicester City and were promoted back to the First Division.

Two seasons of Division One football were played before a second World War intervened. Blackpool sat atop the table at the time the abandonment occurred. [ [ Football Statistics Archive ] ] Regional competitions were implemented again between 1939 and 1945. For the 1945–46 season, after the war's conclusion, Blackpool spent one season in the Football League North.

Post-Second World War

Scottish defender Hugh Kelly had arrived at Blackpool in 1943, as had fellow defender Tommy Garrett in 1942. Forward Stan Mortensen joined the club after the war in 1946. Mortensen went on to become Blackpool's top league goalscorer for the next nine seasons, sharing the honour with Allan Brown in 1952–53. Stanley Matthews, who became a regular source of goals for Mortensen, joined Blackpool in 1947 as did centre-forward Jackie Mudie. Goalkeeper George Farm signed in 1948 as did outside-left Bill Perry in 1949. Kelly, Garrett, Matthews, Mudie, Farm and Perry would play with the club throughout the 1950s, the most successful decade in the club's history.

Post-war Blackpool reached the FA Cup Final on three occasions, losing to Manchester United in 1948 and Newcastle United three years later, and winning it in 1953 captained by Harry Johnston.

In 1955–56, and now captained by Kelly, Blackpool attained their highest-ever league finish: runners-up to Manchester United. It was a feat that could not be matched or bettered over the following two seasons, with fourth and seventh-placed finishes, and Smith left Blackpool as the club's most successful and longest-serving manager.

Smith was succeeded, in May 1958, by Ron Suart, the first former "Seasiders" player to return to the club as manager. In his first season, he led the club to eighth in the First Division and the sixth round of the FA Cup. A 23-year-old Ray Charnley topped the club's goalscoring chart with twenty, in his first season as a professional, and went on to repeat the feat for seven of the eight seasons that followed.

The League Cup came into existence in 1960–61. Blackpool were knocked out in the second round, the round in which they entered. The club's First Division status came under threat, but they managed to avoid relegation by one point, at the expense of Newcastle United. Local arch-rivals Preston North End were the other club to make the drop.

Mid-table finishes in 1961–62 and 1962–63 (and an appearance in the League Cup semi-finals during the former) were offset by another lowly finish of eighteenth in 1963–64, with Alan Ball top-scoring with thirteen goals. Much of the same ensued over the following two seasons, before relegation finally occurred in 1966–67. Blackpool finished bottom of the table, eight points adrift of fellow demotion victims Aston Villa. Suart had resigned four months before the end of the season. His replacement was another former Blackpool player, Stan Mortensen.

Late 20th century

Mortensen picked up the pieces for the club's first season back in the Second Division in thirty years, guiding them to a third-placed finish. They had gone into the final game of the season at Huddersfield Town knowing that a win would likely secure a return to the First Division. They won 3–1, but once the premature celebrations had ended, they discovered that their nearest rivals, Queens Park Rangers, had scored a last-minute winner at Aston Villa. Q.P.R. were promoted by virtue of a better goal-average: 1.86, to Blackpool's 1.65.

At the end of the following 1968–69 campaign, the Blackpool board made the decision to sack Mortensen after just over two years in the job. Their decision was met by fans with a mixture of shock and anger, as Mortensen was as popular a manager as he was a player.Calley, Roy (1992). "Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887–1992"]

Les Shannon, who spent the majority of his playing career with Blackpool's Lancashire rivals Burnley, was installed as manager for the 1969–70 season. In his first season he succeeded where Mortensen had failed, by guiding the club back to the top flight as runners-up behind Huddersfield Town. Their promotion had been sealed after the penultimate game of the season, a 3–0 victory at rivals Preston North End, courtesy of a Fred Pickering hat-trick. The result effectively relegated the hosts to the Third Division.

As quickly as Shannon had taken Blackpool up, he saw them return whence they came. The club finished at the foot of the table and were relegated back to Division Two, along with Burnley. Before the season's conclusion, Shannon was briefly replaced in a caretaker-manager capacity by Jimmy Meadows, who in turn was permanently replaced by Bob Stokoe. On 12 June 1971, well over a month after the conclusion of the league season, Blackpool won the Anglo-Italian Cup with a 2–1 victory over Bologna in the final. This was achieved without the services of Jimmy Armfield, who retired in May after seventeen years and 627 appearances for the club.

Blackpool finished amongst the top ten teams in the Second Division] for six consecutive seasons, under three different managers: Stokoe, Harry Potts and Allan Brown.

Brown's second season at the helm, 1977–78, ended with the club's relegation to the Division Three for the first time in their history.

Stokoe returned for a second stint as manager for the 1978–79 campaign, at the end of which Blackpool finished mid-table. Stokoe resigned during the summer.

Stan Ternent became Blackpool's seventh manager in nine years, only to replaced in February 1980 by Alan Ball, the popular former Blackpool midfielder who left the club for Everton fourteen years earlier. Ball himself only lasted a year in the job, and departed when the club were relegated to the league's basement division.

Allan Brown had taken over from Ball in February 1981, and he remained in charge for the following 1981–82 term. Blackpool finished twelfth in their first season in Division Four; however, unable to handle the pressure of the job,Calley, Roy (1992). "Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887–1992"] Brown resigned during the close season.

Sam Ellis took over from Brown in June 1982, three years after he finished his playing career with Watford. His first season saw Blackpool finish 21st, with Dave Bamber topping the club's goalscoring chart for the second consecutive season with ten strikes.

It was Ellis's third season, however, that brought the success the club had been looking for. Blackpool finished second behind Chesterfield and were back in Division Three.

The club managed to finish in the top half of the table for their first three seasons in the Third Division, but slipped to nineteenth in Ellis's seventh and final season in charge.

For the 1989–90 season, Blackpool appointed Jimmy Mullen as manager. Mullen's reign last only eleven months, however, and he left the club after their relegation back to Division Four.

Graham Carr replaced Mullen, but his spell in the manager's seat was even shorter — just four months. He was sacked in November 1990 with Blackpool lying in eighteenth place.

Carr's replacement was his assistant, Billy Ayre. Ayre guided the team to a fifth-placed finish and qualification for the play-offs. They lost only five of their thirty league games that remained at the time of Ayre's appointment. The run included thirteen consecutive home wins in an eventual 24–game unbeaten run at Bloomfield Road.Calley, Roy (1992). "Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887–1992"]

After beating Scunthorpe United in the two-legged semi-finals of the play-offs, Blackpool lost to Torquay United in the Wembley final, on penalties after the score was tied 2–2 after regular and extra time (see Blackpool F.C. season 1990-91#Final).

The following 1991–92 season finished with Blackpool in fourth place, missing out on automatic promotion by one point, which meant another play-offs experience. This time they met Barnet in the semi-finals and won 2–1 on aggregate. They returned to Wembley, where they faced Scunthorpe United in the final, the team they knocked out of the play-offs twelve months earlier. Again the score was tied at the end of regular and extra time, but Blackpool were victorious in the penalty shootout and booked their place in the new Division Two.

Blackpool struggled in their first two terms back in the third tier of English football, demonstrated by eighteenth- and twentieth-placed finishes, avoiding relegation in the latter season by virtue of a 4–1 victory over Leyton Orient on the final day of the season, [ [ Blackpool 4–1 Leyton Orient] – Soccerbase] which resulted in a pitch invasion by the Blackpool supporters. Ayre was sacked in the summer of 1994 and was replaced by Sam Allardyce.

Allardyce led Blackpool to a mid-table finish in his first season and saw the club knocked out of both cup competitions at the first hurdle. Tony Ellis was the club's top scorer with seventeen league goals.

The 1995–96 season saw Blackpool finish third and claim a place in the play-offs for the third time in six seasons. In the semi-finals, Blackpool travelled to Bradford City and won 2–0. Three days later, they hosted the Yorkshiremen at Bloomfield Road and lost 3–0. Blackpool remained in Division Two, and Allardyce was sacked not long afterwards.

Former Norwich City manager Gary Megson replaced Allardyce, and attained a seventh-placed finish in his only season in charge. Nigel Worthington succeeded Megson in the summer of 1997, and in the Irishman's two full campaigns in the hot seat, Blackpool finished twelfth and fourteenth. Worthington resigned towards the end of the 1999–2000 season, and his seat was filled by the former Liverpool and England midfielder Steve McMahon.

21st century

McMahon arrived too late to save the club from relegation to the Third Division after a 22nd-placed finish in the league.

McMahon gained promotion via the play-offs in his first full season. Success eluded him, however, for his three remaining seasons in charge, and he resigned in the summer of 2004.

Blackpool chose another high-profile individual as McMahon's successor: ex-Blackburn Rovers and Scotland captain Colin Hendry, who finished his playing career with the club. Hendry's reign lasted seventeen months, though the club remained in the new League One.

Hendry was replaced by Simon Grayson, who also ended his playing career at Bloomfield Road, in November of the 2005–06 season.

On 6 January 2007, Blackpool reached the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time in seventeen years, after beating Aldershot Town 4–2 at Bloomfield Road. They were knocked out in the fourth round by Norwich City, 3–2 after a replay at Carrow Road on 13 February, narrowly missing out on a trip to London to face Chelsea in the last sixteen. [ [ Norwich 3–2 Blackpool, FA Cup 4R] – BBC Sport]

On 21 April 2007, Blackpool guaranteed themselves at least a place in the play-offs after a 2–1 win at Cheltenham Town. [ [ Cheltenham Town 1–2 Blackpool] – BBC Sport] Seven days later, they beat Scunthorpe United 3–1 at Bloomfield Road in the penultimate game of the regular season. [ [ Blackpool 3–1 Scunthorpe] – BBC Sport] The visitors were crowned champions of League One despite their defeat, while Blackpool moved two points behind the second automatic-promotion place after Bristol City lost by a single goal at Millwall. [ [ Millwall 1–0 Bristol City] – BBC Sport]

On the final day of the regular season, Blackpool won 6–3 at Swansea City, [ [ Swansea 3–6 Blackpool] ] a result which ensured that the Tangerines finished in third place, ended Swansea's play-off hopes, resulted in Oldham Athletic's finishing the season in sixth position, and meant Blackpool finished the season as top scorers in League One with 76 goals. [ [ Soccerbase] ] Blackpool and Oldham met in the two-legged semi-finals of the play-offs. Blackpool won both legs — 2–1 at Boundary Park on 13 May [ [ Oldham Athletic 1–2 Blackpool] – BBC Sport] and 3–1 at Bloomfield Road six days later. [ [ Blackpool 3–1 Oldham Athletic] – BBC Sport] On 27 May they met Yeovil Town in the final at the new Wembley Stadium, their first appearance at England's national stadium in fifteen years. Blackpool won 2–0, a club-record tenth consecutive victory, and were promoted to The Championship in their 100th overall season in the Football League. [ [ Yeovil 0–2 Blackpool] – BBC Sport]

Recent events

On 11 August 2007, Blackpool beat Leicester City by a single goal at the Walkers Stadium in their first game in The Championship, and their first game in the second tier of English football for 29 years. [ [ Leicester 0–1 Blackpool] – BBC Sport] It was also the first time the club had won their opening league game since the 2000–01 season. [ [ Soccerbase] ]

Seven days later, the club's run of twelve consecutive wins ended after they drew with Bristol City at Bloomfield Road. [ [,,11065_2846820,00.html Blackpool 1–1 Bristol City] – Sky Sports] Their thirteen-game unbeaten run was ended the following game, with defeat at Wolves on 25 August. [ [ Wolves 2–1 Blackpool] – BBC Sport]

Blackpool knocked Premier League side Derby County out of the League Cup at the second-round stage on 28 August 2007. The match ended 1–1 after ninety minutes and 2–2 after extra time. "The Seasiders" won the resulting penalty shootout 7–6. [ [ Derby 2–2 Blackpool] – BBC Sport] On 25 September, Blackpool beat Southend United 2–1 after extra time [ [ Blackpool 2–1 Southend (aet)] – BBC Sport] to reach the fourth round for the first time in 35 years. They were drawn away to Premiership side Tottenham Hotspur in the last sixteen, a match they lost 2–0. [ [ Tottenham 2–0 Blackpool] – BBC Sport] Tottenham went on to win the competition.

On 8 December 2007, Blackpool beat Preston North End at Deepdale by a single goal in the first West Lancashire derby since 1 April 2000. [ [ Preston 0–1 Blackpool] – BBC Sport]

Blackpool finished the 2007–08 season in 19th place, escaping relegation by two points and ensuring their safety in a 1–1 draw with Watford on the final day of the Championship season. [ [ The Championship's final table for the 2007-08 season] - Soccerbase]


Current squad

:"As of 4 September 2008." cite news
title = Seasiders Announce Squad Numbers
url =,,10432~1355114,00.html
publisher = Blackpool FC
date = 2008-07-31
accessdate = 2008-07-31

Out on loan

See also:
*List of Blackpool F.C. players
*List of notable Blackpool F.C. players

One-club men

Eight players spent their entire professional playing career with Blackpool:

flagicon|Wales Wales

flagicon|Latvia Latvia

fnb|1 – Also played for Blackpool
fnb|2 – Norman was the club's first full-time manager



*Championships (1):
**Division Two (1929–30)

*Automatic promotions (3):
**1936–37 (Division Two to Division One)
**1969–70 (Division Two to Division One)
**1984–85 (Division Four to Division Three)

*Promotions via play-offs (3):
**1991–92 (Division Four)
**2000–01 (Division Three)
**2006–07 (League One)


*FA Cup (1):
*Anglo-Italian Cup (1):
*Football League Trophy (2):
**2002, 2004
*League War Cup (1):
*Lancashire Senior Cup (6):
**1936, 1937, 1954, 1994, 1995, 1996
*Lancashire Junior Cup (2):
**1888, 1891

hirts and sponsors

Blackpool first began wearing tangerine for the 1923–24 season, after a recommendation from referee Albert Hargreaves, who officiated a HollandBelgium international match and was impressed by the Dutchmen's colours.Calley, Roy (1992). "Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887–1992", p. 18]

Before changing to tangerine permanently, the team tried several different colours: blue-and-white striped shirts in the 1890s; a mixture of red or white shirts at the turn of the twentieth century; and even red, yellow and black during World War I. After the war, they wore all-white. The board introduced another change in 1934 when the team appeared in alternating dark- and light-blue stripes (which have been reintroduced as the club's away shirt several times since the mid-1990s), but they bowed to public pressure in 1939 and settled on tangerine.Calley, Roy (1992). "Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887–1992", p. 18]

Below is a list of Blackpool's shirt sponsors:

[ Source]

Matchday programmes

Blackpool's home-game matchday programmes have been given several titles over the years. Below is a list of their titles, if any, and their prices.

ee also

*West Lancashire derby



*cite book | first=Roy | last=Calley| coauthors= | title= | publisher=Breedon Books Sport | location= | year=1992 | editor= | id=ISBN 1-873626-07-X

External links

* [ Official site]
* BBC Sport:: [ Fixtures] : [ Results] : [ Table] : [ Statistics]
* [ Blackpool Rivals]
* [ Blackpool.VitalFootball]
* [ View from the Tower] succession box
before=Port Vale
title=Football League Trophy Winners
after=Bristol City
succession box
before=Bristol City
title=Football League Trophy Winners

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