Oh blimey, Blackpool FC only went and did it, didn’t they? Winning promotion to the Premiership when all the pundits were saying it would be an unfortunate outcome for the Premiership (or an embarrassment if you listened to Talksport’s intellectual giants). Well up yours Mike Parry because the Seasiders will be rubbing shoulders with all of England’s footballing top dogs next year so get used to it.
Saturday at Wembley was incredible. I was there with my great nephew R and was hoping to catch up with my sister and brother too (but sadly failed). Leading up to the day it seemed that all the positive media focus was on Blackpool despite, or maybe because of all of the club’s shortcomings – small crowds, unfinished stadium, no ‘stars’, quirky manager etc. And on the day itself the whole of the TfL system seemed to be full of Blackpool fans in an array of outrageously wacky outfits, all seemingly mellow but absolutely full of fun. And that atmosphere persisted all afternoon. Win or lose the BFC fans were determined to have their unlikely day in the sun.
At Wembley that was literally what happened; the BFC half of the stadium was bathed in brilliant sunshine (pitch side temperatures actually touched 106 degrees!) and that rare tangerine colouring seemed vibrant. The Cardiff fans were shaded in their deep blue colours which seemed to match their mood. It was a tale of two colours.
The match itself was brilliantly thrilling and maybe the better team didn’t win but certainly the winning team were the most deserving. I missed the 3rd goal queuing up for beers and the final scenes because I had to get back for my lovely daughter S’s great birthday party at Beach Blanket Babylon (which was re-christened a very much more appropriate BB Blackpool for the night).
However nothing could take away from the joy of the result. It’s an outstanding, brilliant and incredible result for the club and who cares what happens next year. They’ll lose every match 3-7 but will become every fan’s second favourite team I’m sure. And hopefully those many £millions will be used to complete the ground and training centre rather than wasted on bloody agents’ fees and dopey footballer millionaire salaries. But the Chairman should go out and buy madcap manager Ian Holloway an Aston Martin today as a bloody great bonus for what he’s achieved. Oh and a great big fat contract for Charlie Adam – what a player for a Rangers reject. Give him a Bentley Mr Oyston.
If you can tell me a better play-off final than that, I’d be glad to hear it (and will disagree rapidly).
You lovely Seasiders.