Blackpool Programme and Memorabilia Club have today published the new book by Gerry Wolstenholme on 1 May 2008. It is entitled 'The Khaki Years - Blackpool Football Club The First World War Seasons 1915/16-1918/19'.

When The Football Association met on 31 August 1914 it decided that a total suspension of football due to the advent of World War I would be "mischievous".

The Football League advised clubs to fulfil all their engagements but it did at the same time advise clubs most wholeheartedly to allow every young man who could possibly do so to respond to his country's call.

The League also recommended that clubs should provide military training for all players and that miniature rifle ranges should be provided for them. Even though the football authorities made donations to the National Relief Fund and the Prince of Wales Fund, many felt that the continuation of football was not a good thing.

However, after one season of official football and then much deliberation, wartime competitions were introduced and Blackpool Football Club entered the Lancashire Section of the Northern Competition for the 1915/16 season.

The Khaki crowd - soldiers watching a game
The Khaki crowd - soldiers watching a game
The first season proved to be one when Blackpool were able to field a settled team but thereafter players came and went according to their postings in the arena of war and many made but a fleeting appearance on the first-class football field.

The Khaki Years is the story of Blackpool's four eventful years of wartime football, including the high of a 9-0 defeat of Oldham Athletic and a disastrous 11-1 defeat by Port Vale. It is a period of football history that is little documented so here is the full story complete with full results and team line-ups.


'The Khaki Years - Blackpool Football Club The First World War Seasons 1915/16-1918/19'.

As the title says, it covers the four wartime seasons when official League football was suspended. It is a little written about period of the club's (or football generally) history and many players from neighbouring Army camps were in the side due to the regular players being in the war arena. The book charts the club's performance over the four seasons and contains grids, with full team line-ups, for each season.

John Cross is taking orders now, for the book is being published in a limited edition of only 100 copies, probably A4 size so as to make the grids very readable. Price is 6.00 1 p&p. Contact John at 15 Bromsgrove Avenue, Bispham, by telephone on 01253 353237 or e-mail at johndcross@talktalk.net

This book is now available - Cheques should be made payable to John D Cross and sent to:-

15 Bromsgrove Avenue
Blackpool
FY2 9LX

If collectors want to order one and pick up at tomorrow's last game of the
season then they should e-mail their order to me by 12 noon tomorrow and
they can save on the postage costs.

John will be outside the club shop.

Gerry Wolstenholme has also branched out into a very different genre in that he has written a poetry book entitled 'The Lost-Love Poems of a Madman'. An interesting title anyway! That book, too, can be ordered from John Cross or from Red Rose Books, e-mail info@redrosebooks.co.uk, or from Deborah Hinde, e-mail slimnsugar@tiscali.co.uk Price is 5.00 including postage.