Some 70 Facts about BLACKPOOL FC
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Blackpool still hold the record for the largest number of spectators ever to watch a football match involving the Team at away grounds in a single season in 1956 a figure reputed to be over a million.
Blackpool were the first and are the only club in the Football League who's first strip colour is predominantly Tangerine.
Blackpool hold the record for the longest unbroken run at the top of the (Old) First Division from 3 September 1939 until the start of the 1945-6 season.
Blackpool won promotion to Division One with no manager. In 1929/30, the Seasiders won the Second Division title even though the team had not had a manager since May 1928. The Seasiders didn't appoint a new gaffer until 1933.
On the day that Blackpool FC clinched the Second Division Championship in April 1930 and won promotion to Division 1 for the first time after winning 2-1 at Oldham Athletic, legend Jimmy Hampson, who scored one of the goals that day and netted a total of 45 goals in the season, modestly sneaked off the train home at Kirkham to avoid the fuss, attention and adulation of a large crowd of Pool fans who had assembled to welcome their heroes at North Station.
William Norman was Blackpool's first full-time manager. Called the Sergeant Major' because of his well-waxed moustache, his teams were known for being very fit and tactically very stupid. But he gave the job everything. Once. when his players didn't want to strip for training because it was too cold, he showed them there was nothing to worry about by stripping completely and rolling naked in the snow.
Some of Blackpool's best days were in World War Two. when they called on guest players, including Stanley Matthews, from local RAF bases. They won the northern League three times and the Northern Cup.
In 1956 Matthews was the first European Player of the Year. He was also the first player to be knighted.
Blackpool won the FA Cup In 1953 after going two goals down. Only Everton (against Sheffield Wednesday in 1966) have done the same.
Eamon Collins, aged 14 years and 323 days, remains the youngest player to appear in a
competitive match for an English club. He played for Blackpool against Kilmarnock in the Anglo-Scottish Cup in September 1980.
In 1930/31 Blackpool conceded 125 goals. Defeats included 1-7 (twice), 1-10 and 3-7 (at home), but they still avoided relegation. They had 32 points, while Leeds had 31 and Manchester United 22.
Sid Beaumont is Blackpool's unluckiest manager. He took over in 1927 but attendances were hit by a strike in local mines and high unemployment. When the club's wooden grandstand burnt down, the directors fired Beaumont, not because he was a bad manager but because they couldn't afford to pay him.
Blackpool let fans In free for a match against Swansea in January 1994. The offer was the board's bid to stop a slump in attendance after seven successive defeats. They drew 1-1, watched by 7080, (not the highest crowd that season).
5 Chelsea players collapsed from hypothermia and exposure during their trip to the seaside to play Blackpool In 1931. It was bitterly cold, with driving rain. By half-time Blackpool were 3-0 up. In the dressing room Chelsea's Peter O'Dowd suddenly slumped unconscious with a dangerously low body temperature and Chelsea started the second half with eight men. Pool scored again in the 75th minute and two more Chelsea players limped off.
In the 1966/67 season Blackpool won only one home game, but did so in sonic style, beating Newcastle 6-0.
In 1948 Stan Electric Heels' Mortensen. scored in every round of the FA Cup. He was always modest though: 'I got the ball in the middle of the field and a voice in the centre stand shouted out "Give it to Taylor". So I gave it to Taylor. Five minutes later, I got the ball again and the same voice shouted, "Give it to Matthews". So I gave it to Matthews. A few minutes later, I got the ball again. This time there were three Arsenal players around me so I looked up at the stand and the voice said, "Use your own discretion".
Stan Mortensen never really got the credit for his hat-trick which won Blackpool the 1953 FA Cup final. Lawrie McMenemy said: 'The last player to score a hat-trick in a cup final was Stan Mortensen. He even had a final named after him - the Matthews final.'
Blackpool dropped Into the Third Division for the first time In 1978, although they were in seventh place as late as 11 March. They drew five and lost six of their last 11 matches.
Blackpool stalwart Brian Wilson married one of the Nolan sisters.
Jimmy Armfield won 43 England caps during a one-club career at Bloomfield Road and was voted the 'best right back in the world' by the Chilean press after the 1962 World Cup. Lucky Jim.
In 1982 John Butler played just eight games for Pool, but cost them two points. He played before his registration forms arrived. They had been delayed in the post between Blackpool and nearby Lytham.
Emie Taylor Is the only man to play In Wembley FA Cup Finals (or three clubs. He appeared for Newcastle against Blackpool in 1951, Blackpool against Bolton 1953, and Manchester United against Bolton 1958,winning two and losing the third.
In 1902 Blackpool's regular goalie missed the team's train en route for a Second Division game at Leicester. Club secretary Tom Barcroft went in goal. Blackpool were only beaten 1-0.
Stan Mortensen made his international debut for Wales, against England. He was asked to play at the last minute, after the Welsh left-half was injured. He went on to score 23 goals in 25 games for England, four of them on his debut against Portugal.
The Boardroom at Blackpool FC contains timber salvaged from Lord Nelson's flagship "The Foudroyant" which was wrecked close to North Pier in 1876. Since then, there have been many occurences of sudden changes in temperature and unexplained sounds reported from the Boardroom.
Blackpool's longest serving Manager Joe Smith (1935-58) who led the Seasiders to Cup victory in 1953 against Bolton was also the Bolton captain in 1923 in the famous "White horse Final" and again in 1926.
The 1953 "Coronation" final was the first ever to be televised.
Stan Mortensen in 1953 became the first player to score a hat-trick in a Wembley FA Cup final he was made Freeman of Blackpool in 1951
1953 FA Charity Shield - Arsenal v Blackpool - Blackpool made their one & only appearance in the charity shield with the first ever floodlit Charity shield match.
A hat trick achieved by any Pool player this season would be great but in September 1950 G. McKnight Blackpool's reserve half back scored a hat trick v Fulham in his first league match of the season - IN THREE AND THREE QUARTER MINUTES. After the Fulham match he never scored another goal for Blackpool's first team!
Emlyn Hughes football league debut was for Blackpool in the last game of the 1965/66 season against Blackburn Rovers. He was only 19 & had played only 27 games when Bill Shankly paid £65,000 for the talented youngster who went on to play 657 games for LiverpooI.
In the days before subs were allowed, during the 55/56 season in a game against Preston, George Farm, considered by many to be Pools finest keeper, injured his shoulder & spent most of the game at centre-forward, even scoring a goal.
Blackpool's first ground was at the Royal Palace Gardens, also known as Raikes Hall. Blackpool won their first game there 4-1 against Leek Town. The entrance fee was 3s 6d (17.5p). In August 1897 pool moved from the gardens to the Athletic Ground in Stanley Park.
Following the Munich Air disaster in 1958 Blackpool where the first club to contact Manchester United to offer players to the club and Ernie Taylor was allowed to leave and join the Reds
Jimmy Armfield OBE made his Pool debut on 27th December at the age of 19. He became club captain & went on to make a record 569 league appearances for Blackpool in 17 years. He also won 43 caps for England 15 of them as captain which is still a record number of caps won by a Pool player.
In April 1970 Pool visited arch rivals Preston for a match that had a vital outcome for both sides. Victory for pool would see them promoted to the first division whilst defeat for Preston would see them relegated. A capacity crowd of 34,000 including 20,000 Pool fans making it seem like a home game for Blackpool. A hat trick for Fred Pickering saw mass celebration amongst the Pool fans as Blackpool won 3-0.
1955/56 Blackpool played Man city in the in the 3rd round of the FA cup. The game saw Blackpool score their quickest ever goal when Ernie Taylor netted after just 13 seconds. The match was then abandoned due to fog.
Who says woman's football is a new phenomena, in 1920 Bloomfield road hosted England v Ireland in a womans international.
Only one full International match has ever been played at Bloomfield Road. It happened on 17 Oct 1932 when England played hosts to Ireland. The match programme is now worth in excess of £350!
Alan Ball joined pool as a youngster. After 126 league & cup games Alan was transferred to Everton in 1966 for a British record fee of £112,000 along with jimmy Armfield he was the only Blackpool team member in the final 1966 team which won the World Cup for England.
Blackpool won only one home game in the 1966-67 season. They beat Newcastle United 6-0! Alan Suddick played that day for Newcastle and then became Blackpool's most expensive ever signing shortly afterwards!!
Blackpool defender Roy Gratrix, who played for Blackpool between 1953 and 1965 and who was widely thought of as the finest centre half never to be capped by England, totted up exactly 400 league appearances in his Pool career but never managed to score a single goal.
In 1956 game Arsenals Dennis Evans made a gaff whilst playing pool by scoring an own goal thinking the ref had blown for full-time.
Britains first ever televised game was at Bloomfield Rd in 1960 when Blackpool played Bolton on September 10th. ITV billed the programme as "The Big Game". Cinema-managers and owners of public houses, in many parts of the country, complained about a slump in business for that evening. The "gate" according to viewer audit figures, was the biggest in League history: 2,350,000. It was by all reports a dour game and the idea was never repeated.
Blackpool's biggest home football league victory was against Sunderland on 5th Oct 1957 when they won 7-0
Blackpools biggest ever away win was at Deepdale in 1948 when they beat Preston 7-0 and neither Matthews or Mortensen played that day
In 1971/72 on June 10th in the English section ot the Anglo-Italian Cup Blackpool defeated Lanerossi Vicenza 10-0
Cheung Chi Doy was the first Chinese to play in the English league. It was 1963 when Cheung, a lively, direct winger, made his one and only home appearance for Blackpool. He was a peripheral figure in every respect, as a dense pall of smoke descended over the West Stand from the neighbouring railway line.
Stanley Matthews was awarded a CBE in 1957 and was knighted in 1965.
Stanley Matthews became the first recipient of the Footballer of the year award in 1948 which he went onto win again in 1963.
In Jimmy Greaves debut for Spurs against Blackpool; he netted a hat-trick.
Joe Mercer's career ended in April 1954 when he broke his leg at Highbury in a game against Blackpool. It was said that the noise of the broken bone was heard all round the ground.
Frank Victor Swift the legendary Manchester City goalkeeper was born in Blackpool on 26 December 1913 Swift was captain of the England side twice, the first goalkeeper to receive this honour. He died in the Munich air crash after travelling to Belgrade with the Manchester United team as a journalist for the News of the World.
Adam Wolanin a Forward born in Lwow, Poland, November 13, 1919 played for the Blackpool second team, But after emigrating to the United States in 1947 he represented the United States when they defeated England in that never to be forgotten game at the Estadio Independencia in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 1950.
Harry Johnston was named Footballer of the Year in 1951.
Stanley Matthews, Bill Perry, Cyril Robinson and have all been awarded the AXA-sponsored FA Cup legends Award - Matthews was the first ever person to receive one. Jimmy Armfield has since been added to the list.
Jimmy Armfield was awarded an OBE for services to football in June 2000.
In 1930-31 Blackpool conceded 125 goals in the First Division (old) but they avoided relegation.
Stan Mortensen scored 25 goals in 16 F.A. Cup rounds out of 17 (1946-51).
Alan Fettis, N Ireland goalkeeper, scored twice for Hull in Div 2 in 1994-5 the second was whilst picked as an outfield player and scored with a last minute winner (2-1) against the Seasiders on May 6.
Hartlepool united went 11 games without scoring 1992-3 (Div 2) the sequence ended after 1,227 blank minutes with a 1-1 draw at Blackpool on March 6.
In the famous 6-3 defeat of England by Hungary in 1953, there were four Blackpool players capped - Harry Johnston, Ernie Taylor, Stan Matthews and Stan Mortensen. This was the first time that England had been beaten on English soil by a foreign team and the one and only time that Blackpool had four players in the team.
On the19th April 1957 Blackpool were the first club to fly to a
Football league match to London in fact, the ground was Highbury for the
Good Friday fixture against Arsenal the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Not only does that feat stand out but we were also the first ever club to
fly to a Football League fixture on the actual day of the match this time to
Wales for a visit to Ninian Park on the 9th March 1961 for the game against
Cardiff City the Seasiders emerging winners from a thrilling 4-3 scoreline.
For years the name of the club was not to be seen on the Stand that faces the road that the club names its ground "Bloomfield road" strangers to Blackpool strolling along Bloomfield road used to ask "Is this the rugby-league clubs ground?"
In one year shortly after the war the club regularly fielded nine internationals.
Blackpool were founder members of the Lancashire League only once finishing below 5th place. The club were runners-up in four of the eight seasons, and won the championship in 1893-94.
Blackpool's first ever League match, a Division two game at Lincoln ended in a 3-1 defeat on September 5th 1896.
Blackpool made footballing and television history when Stanley Matthews signed for Stoke during BBC's Sportsview programme. this was the first televising of a footballers transfer.
Blackpool were the first club in 1961 to be complimented by the Football Association for not having a caution administered to any of its players during the season.Not even the threat of relegation and Blackpool came perilously close in season 1960-61 - tempted players to try rough or unfair tactics.
In 2008 Jimmy Armfield was awarded both the PFA Merit award and a Lifetime award from the Football League.
Blackpool went on an impressive run of seven succesive wins at the end of the 2006-7 campaign which wasn't quite enough for automatic promotion, as the Seasiders fell two points short of Bristol City. But a stylish sequence of 10 straight wins, that broke a 70 year-old club record culminated against Yeovil at Wembley and saw them into the Championship.