Blackpool F.C. history has a lot to say about the victories and the failures the club has experienced, and today, we are going to expand on that note.
Blackpool Football Club, located in the coastal town of Blackpool, Lancashire, England, participates in EFL League One.
This club was established in 1887 and initially played its matches at venues like Raikes Hall and the Athletic Grounds before settling at Bloomfield Road in 1901.
Blackpool has a rich history in football, becoming a part of the Lancashire League in 1889 and joining the Football League Second Division in 1896.
Regarding Blackpool F.C. trophies history, the team secured the Second Division championship in 1929–30 but faced relegation after a short three-year stint in the First Division.
The 1930s to the 1950s marked a golden era for Blackpool, especially under manager Joe Smith.
They clinched the FA Cup in 1953 in a memorable match now termed the “Matthews Final,” where they staged a comeback against Bolton Wanderers, one of Blackpool F.C. honors.
The 1950s were glorious years, even coming close to winning the First Division title, finishing second to Manchester United in 1955–56.
However, the club faced a series of relegations, descending to the fourth tier by 1981.
They managed a promotion in the mid-80s.
From 1987 to 2019, the Oyston family held ownership of the club.
The tenure saw Owen Oyston imprisoned for grave crimes, with the leadership shifting within the family.
By June 2019, Simon Sadler, a businessman native to Blackpool, acquired a major share, ending the Oyston family’s association with the club.
Blackpool F.C. History: A Detailed Description
- Full Name: Blackpool Football Club
- Nicknames: The Seasiders, The Tangerines
- Year of Formation: 1887
- Place of Origin: Blackpool, Lancashire, England
- Home Stadium: Bloomfield Road
- Owners: Simon Sadler
- Head Coach: Neil Critchley
- League: EFL League One
- Market Value: €15.90m
Representing The Town of Blackpool
By 1877, football was gaining popularity in Blackpool.
This led to the formation of Victoria F.C., a club affiliated with a church and having a home ground in Caunce Street.
However, after a brief existence, members from Victoria F.C. joined forces with former students of St John’s School, giving rise to Blackpool St John’s.
Despite these efforts, unity within the football community in Blackpool remained elusive.
As a result, a significant meeting was held on 26 July 1887 at the Stanley Arms pub, leading to the dissolution of St John’s and the birth of a club representing the entire town – Blackpool Football Club.
In its inaugural season, 1887–88, Blackpool F.C. showcased their prowess by clinching the Fylde Cup and the Lancashire Junior Cup.
By the end of the 1888–89 season, Blackpool had become one of the founding members of the Lancashire League, a fact in Blackpool F.C. history.
In this league, they showcased commendable performances, finishing fifth initially and then securing second place for three consecutive years before ultimately winning the title.
During these early years, Blackpool played their home matches at Raikes Hall, an entertainment hub that also boasted a theatre and boating lake.
This unique venue drew in crowds averaging 2,000 spectators, ensuring a steady financial start for the young club.
However, after a few years of local football dominance, the Blackpool board felt the urge to compete on a larger scale.
In 1896, Blackpool F.C. transitioned into a limited company and sought membership in the Football League.
Their application bore fruit, and the 1896–97 season saw Blackpool compete in the Second Division of the Football League.
Their league journey commenced on 5 September 1896 against Lincoln City, though it began with a 3–1 defeat.
Finding Their Place Before the War
For the subsequent season, Blackpool shifted their home games to the Athletic Grounds, situated near the modern-day Stanley Park.
However, this move was short-lived, as they returned to Raikes Hall during the latter part of the 1898–99 season.
Unfortunately, their performance wasn’t up to par, leading to their omission from the Football League at the end of that season.
They reverted to playing in the 1899–1900 season in the Lancashire League.
Their third-place finish therein was impressive enough to secure their re-entry into the Football League’s Second Division the following year.
During this transitional period outside of the Football League, Blackpool merged with the neighboring club South Shore.
Blackpool F.C. history tells us that this amalgamation was followed by a significant relocation, with Blackpool setting up their new home at the now-iconic Bloomfield Road.
In the decade following, Blackpool’s performance remained modest, with their best position being 12th.
Key players during this period included Bob Birket, who scored 10 goals in the 1900–01 season; Geordie Anderson, who scored 12 goals in 1901–02; and Bob Whittingham, who netted 13 times in 1908–09.
By the close of the 1910–11 season, a notable improvement was seen as Blackpool secured the seventh spot, a feat achieved in part due to Joe Clennell’s impressive 18 goals.
However, the seasons leading up to World War I witnessed stagnant results for the club, with finishes of 14th, 20th, 16th, and 10th.
In the last of these seasons, Joe Lane stood out with a remarkable tally of 28 goals.
The outbreak of the war halted national football leagues, paving the way for regional competitions.
Upon the war’s end in 1919, Blackpool ushered in a new era by appointing Bill Norman as their first professional manager.
Bill Norman, Their First Professional Manager
Under Norman’s leadership, Blackpool witnessed two consecutive fourth-place finishes in the league.
Notably, Joe Lane showcased his scoring prowess again, nearing the 30-goal mark in one of those seasons.
However, the 1921–22 season saw a downturn in the club’s fortunes, with a low 19th-place finish.
This slump was short-lived, as the following season in Blackpool F.C. history saw a revival, with the team finishing fifth, thanks to Harry Bedford’s striking capability.
Bedford, who transferred from Nottingham Forest, was the top scorer in the league with 32 goals.
Under the guidance of the newly-appointed manager, Frank Buckley, who took over from Norman, Bedford continued his goal-scoring spree in the subsequent season, helping Blackpool to another fourth-place finish.
The 1924–25 season was less remarkable, with the team ending in 17th place.
However, a highlight was Blackpool reaching the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time, only to be narrowly defeated by fellow Lancashire team Blackburn Rovers.
Under Buckley’s leadership, Blackpool secured top-10 finishes in his last two years, greatly aided by Billy Tremelling’s impressive 30 goals in the latter year.
Following this success, Buckley transitioned to manage Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Sydney Beaumont stepped in as Buckley’s successor for the 1927–28 season.
However, after a less-than-stellar performance, finishing 19th, Beaumont’s tenure was short-lived.
Blackpool F.C. managers history lets us know that Harry Evans then took up the managerial mantle for the 1928–29 season.
The club saw a significant improvement, finishing eighth, largely thanks to the prolific Jimmy Hampson, who netted 40 goals.
Evans then led the club to their only Division Two championship the following season, edging out teams like Chelsea and Oldham Athletic.
Hampson played a vital role again, contributing 45 out of the 98 league goals.
Joe Smith Stepping in
However, Blackpool’s time in the First Division was fleeting.
After three seasons, marked by subpar performances, they were relegated back to the Second Division.
The relegation spurred the club to seek a more experienced manager, leading to the appointment of Sandy MacFarlane.
During his two-year stint, the club saw finishes of 11th and fourth.
MacFarlane’s tenure was also significant for marking Hampson’s last season as the club’s top league scorer.
In August 1935, Joe Smith assumed managerial duties, beginning an impressive 23-year tenure.
Blackpool finished 10th in Smith’s inaugural season, with Bobby Finan succeeding Hampson as the leading scorer with 34 goals.
Smith’s next season, however, would set the stage for the club’s forthcoming successes.
By the end of the 1936–37 season, Blackpool had clinched a runner-up position in the Second Division behind Leicester City, earning a promotion to the First Division.
Though two seasons in the First Division were played under Smith, the onset of World War II disrupted regular football competitions.
Blackpool F.C. history says that at the time of this interruption, Blackpool was leading the table.
Regional leagues were reintroduced during the war years.
After the war’s end, the 1945–46 season saw Blackpool compete in the Football League North for one season.
Hugh Kelly, a Scottish defender, joined Blackpool in 1943, followed closely by Tommy Garrett in 1942.
After the war’s cessation in 1946, the club acquired forward Stan Mortensen, who consistently topped the club’s scoring charts for almost a decade, with an exception in 1952–53 when he shared the accolade with Allan Brown.
1947 saw the addition of the legendary Stanley Matthews, who frequently assisted Mortensen’s goals.
Jackie Mudie, a center-forward, also joined in the same year, followed by goalkeeper George Farm in 1948 and winger Bill Perry in 1949.
Their Best Years with Smith
This group of players, including Kelly, Garrett, Matthews, Mudie, Farm, and Perry, contributed significantly to Blackpool’s most prosperous period in the 1950s.
In the aftermath of the war, Blackpool made three FA Cup Final appearances.
They faced defeats against Manchester United in 1948 and Newcastle United in 1951 but secured a victory in 1953 under captain Harry Johnston.
A significant moment for the club came in 1953 when four of their players – Johnston, Matthews, Mortensen, and Ernie Taylor (making his debut) – were selected for the England squad.
They were part of the team that suffered a 6–3 loss against Hungary at Wembley.
Of this quartet, only Matthews would earn subsequent caps for England.
The 1955–56 season saw Blackpool achieve their highest Football League position, finishing second to Manchester United.
However, this momentum couldn’t be sustained in subsequent seasons.
The club’s most successful and long-standing manager, Joe Smith, eventually departed.
Ron Suart, an ex-Blackpool player, took over managerial duties in May 1958.
Under his leadership, the club had a commendable first season, finishing eighth in the First Division.
Ray Charnley emerged as the club’s leading scorer, a feat he would replicate in most of the following seasons.
The League Cup was introduced in the 1960–61 season, but Blackpool’s journey was short-lived.
Blackpool F.C. history shows that they narrowly escaped relegation that season, finishing just above Newcastle United and local rivals Preston North End.
In a surprising move in October 1961, the aging star Stanley Matthews was transferred back to Stoke City.
The club’s performances in the early ’60s were generally mid-table, with a notable 18th-place finish in the 1963–64 season.
Blackpool’s form declined further in the mid-’60s, culminating in their relegation in the 1966–67 season.
Stan Mortensen At the Helm, Shortly After Followed by Les Shannon
Ron Suart stepped down before the season’s conclusion, making way for former Blackpool star Stan Mortensen as his successor.
Mortensen steered the team to an impressive third-place finish in Blackpool’s first Second Division season in three decades.
The squad went into their last match against Huddersfield Town, aware that a victory could mean promotion.
They triumphed with a 3–1 score, but their elation was short-lived.
Their promotion rivals, Queens Park Rangers, clinched a last-minute win against Aston Villa, ensuring their promotion due to a superior goal average.
The conclusion of the 1968–69 season saw Mortensen’s surprising dismissal after only two years at the helm, a decision that left many fans outraged given Mortensen’s popularity.
Les Shannon, who had a notable playing stint with Burnley, became Blackpool’s manager for the 1969–70 season.
In a twist of fate in Blackpool F.C. history, he achieved what Mortensen could not by propelling Blackpool to the First Division, finishing just behind Huddersfield Town.
The defining moment of their promotion was a triumphant 3–0 win against local rivals Preston North End, with Fred Pickering scoring all three goals.
This victory not only promoted Blackpool but also relegated Preston to the Third Division.
However, Shannon’s success was short-lived.
Blackpool soon found themselves relegated to Division Two.
Shannon’s tenure was briefly taken over by caretaker manager Jimmy Meadows, who was eventually replaced by Bob Stokoe.
In a notable achievement, Blackpool clinched the Anglo-Italian Cup in June 1971, defeating Bologna 2–1 in the final, all achieved without club legend Jimmy Armfield, who had just retired.
The following years saw Blackpool consistently secure top 10 finishes in the Second Division under various managers, namely Stokoe, Harry Potts, and Allan Brown.
On two occasions, they narrowly missed ascending to Division One.
Relegated to the Third Tier For the First Time
However, the club’s fortunes took a turn during the 1977–78 season.
Even after an emphatic 5–2 victory over rivals Blackburn Rovers in February 1978, Chairman Billy Cartmell unexpectedly dismissed Brown for personal reasons.
This proved detrimental as Blackpool won only one more match that season and found themselves relegated to Division Three for the first time.
In a dramatic close to the season, Blackpool initially seemed safe from relegation.
Yet, despite their perceived safety, the dynamics of the league table and pending matches for other teams meant their Division Three fate was sealed.
Millwall’s survival, following their victory over the already-demoted Mansfield Town, brought into focus three vital matches that would decide Blackpool’s fate: Cardiff City vs. Notts County, Leyton Orient vs. Charlton Athletic, and Cardiff City vs. Leyton Orient.
A particular sequence of outcomes from these games was required to put Blackpool in danger.
As fate would have it, Cardiff City triumphed over Notts County, Leyton Orient and Charlton settled for a draw, and shockingly, Leyton Orient managed to beat a formidable Cardiff City side.
Consequently, Blackpool, with 37 points, was demoted and wouldn’t see the second tier for almost three decades.
Bob Stokoe took up the reins again for the 1978–79 season, but after a mid-table finish, resigned during the off-season.
Stan Ternent then briefly managed the club, succeeded by the club legend Alan Ball in 1980.
Ball’s tenure was short-lived, concluding with another unfortunate relegation in Blackpool F.C. history.
Allan Brown returned to manage the side in 1981 and led the team to a 12th-place finish in Division Four.
Facing personal pressures, Brown stepped down after that season.
Sam Ellis took the managerial mantle in 1982.
Owen Oyston Purchasing the Club
After a couple of seasons of middling results, the 1984-85 season saw Blackpool climb back to Division Three.
The club maintained respectable standings for a few years but eventually found themselves in a precarious 19th position during Ellis’s final season.
In a major move in 1986, the club’s board decided to sell, primarily because their plans to redevelop Bloomfield Road into a supermarket were thwarted.
Blackpool F.C. history states that Owen Oyston eventually bought the club for a symbolic £1.
For the 1989–90 season, Jimmy Mullen was appointed as manager.
However, Mullen’s tenure ended after less than a year, marked by Blackpool’s demotion to Division Four.
Graham Carr then took over but was dismissed within months.
His assistant, Billy Ayre, succeeded him, and under his guidance, Blackpool achieved a fifth-place finish and qualified for the play-offs.
The team experienced an impressive run, including a record 15 consecutive home victories, spanning the end of the 1990-91 season and the start of the 1991-92 season.
Following a victory against Scunthorpe United in the play-off semi-finals, Blackpool faced a defeat against Torquay United at the Wembley final.
The match concluded in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw in regular and extra time.
In the subsequent 1991-92 season, Blackpool secured fourth place, narrowly missing direct promotion.
This ushered in another play-off run where they defeated Barnet in the semi-finals.
At the Wembley final, they squared off against Scunthorpe United, the team they had bested in the previous year’s play-offs.
After a tied game in regular and extra time, Blackpool triumphed in the penalty shootout, earning a spot in the new Division Two.
The club faced challenges in their return to the third tier, finishing a precarious 18th in their first season.
The subsequent year saw an initial promising position deteriorate, with the team narrowly avoiding relegation.
They secured their position with a decisive 4-1 win over Leyton Orient on the season’s final day.
Ayre’s tenure ended in 1994, paving the way for Sam Allardyce.
Under Allardyce’s leadership, Blackpool experienced a mixed bag of results.
Their first season under him was uneventful, but the 1995–96 campaign saw them clinch third place and another shot at the playoffs.
However, a two-legged semi-final against Bradford City culminated in a loss for Blackpool.
Allardyce was let go soon after.
The club faced further controversy in 1996 when owner Owen Oyston was found guilty of raping a minor.
The managerial reins then shifted from Gary Megson to Nigel Worthington and eventually to Steve McMahon in 1999.
Blackpool F.C. history says that each of these managers provided varied results, with the team’s performance hovering around mid-table for several seasons.
McMahon couldn’t prevent Blackpool’s demotion to the Fourth Tier after the team ended up in the 22nd spot.
However, in his inaugural complete season, he successfully led the club back to Division Two via the play-offs.
The club then made a significant sale, transferring Brett Ormerod to Southampton for an unprecedented £1.75 million, a considerable leap from the previous record fee of £600,000 for Trevor Sinclair.
Blackpool tasted success in the Football League Trophy in 2002, defeating Cambridge United 4–1 at the Millennium Stadium, and again in 2004, this time besting Southend United 2–0 in Cardiff.
McMahon subsequently stepped down, citing budget constraints, and Colin Hendry took over.
Hendry’s tenure was short-lived, and he was replaced by Simon Grayson in 2005 due to unsatisfactory performances.
Trying to Remain in EFL Championship
During the 2006-07 FA Cup, Blackpool advanced to the fourth round but were eliminated by Norwich City.
They concluded the season in third place in League One, boasting the league’s highest goal tally.
They overcame Oldham Athletic in the play-off semi-finals and then defeated Yeovil Town 2-0 in the final at the newly inaugurated Wembley Stadium.
This triumph signaled Blackpool’s ascent to the Championship after nearly three decades in the lower tiers.
In the League Cup of 2007, Blackpool ousted Premier League’s Derby County in the second round, progressing after a nail-biting 7-6 penalty shootout.
Advancing to the fourth round, they faced Premier League heavyweights Tottenham Hotspur and were defeated 2-0.
Tottenham ultimately clinched the cup.
Blackpool’s 2007-08 Championship season was a close call, with the team narrowly escaping relegation by securing the 19th spot.
Looking at Blackpool F.C. history, we realize that their place in the Championship was solidified after a draw against Watford on the season’s concluding day.
On 23 December 2008, Simon Grayson parted ways with Blackpool to manage Leeds United after overseeing the team for just over three years.
With Tony Parkes as the interim manager, Blackpool ended the 2008–09 season in the 16th spot.
After discussing financial matters with chairman Karl Oyston, Parkes left on 18 May 2009.
Ian Holloway took the managerial reins on 21 May 2009, committing to a one-year deal with an option for an extension.
By the end of July, the club president, Valerijs Belokons, initiated a significant transfer fund for new players identified by Holloway.
A record-breaking transfer soon followed, with Charlie Adam coming onboard from Rangers for £500,000, surpassing the previous record of £275,000 for Chris Malkin in 1996.
Returning to Premier League After 39 Years
The 2009–10 season saw Blackpool finishing sixth in the Championship, their best since the 1970–71 season, earning them a play-off spot.
Their spot was sealed after a draw with Bristol City, and Swansea City also drew against Doncaster Rovers on 2 May 2010.
In the play-off semi-final, they defeated Nottingham Forest in both legs with an aggregate score of 6–4.
Blackpool clinched a Premier League spot by beating Cardiff City 3–2 in the Championship play-off final at Wembley on 22 May.
This marked Blackpool’s inaugural Premier League participation and their return to top-tier football after 39 years.
This also meant that Blackpool had achieved promotions from all three Football League divisions through the play-off system, maintaining a 100% record in their play-off matches between 2001 and 2010.
Blackpool F.C. history reveaks that the play-off final came with the label “the richest game in football” since the winning team was set to receive a £90 million reward, dwarfing even the £36 million prize for Champions League victors.
A celebratory parade took place on Blackpool’s promenade on 24 May, where the team and staff rode an open-top bus.
As they journeyed from Gynn Square to the Waterloo Headland, about 100,000 supporters cheered them on.
During a gathering at the Headland, Holloway addressed the massive turnout, exclaiming the journey with Blackpool was the highlight of his career.
On 14 August 2010, Blackpool marked their Premier League debut with an impressive 4–0 win against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.
This victory temporarily placed Blackpool at the summit of English football until Chelsea’s subsequent 6–0 win against West Bromwich Albion.
The initial plan was to host the game at Bloomfield Road, but the fixture’s location was swapped due to unfinished construction work on the East Stand.
Not Lasting Long in Top Tier
Later, on 27 January 2011, Blackpool faced a £25,000 fine from the Premier League.
The penalty was for fielding an ostensibly weakened team against Aston Villa on 10 November.
In response, Ian Holloway had initially threatened to resign if the club was penalized.
Karl Oyston stated that an appeal might result in a stiffer penalty, including a possible deduction of points.
Exactly a year after their ascent to the Premier League, on 22 May 2011, Blackpool were relegated to the Championship.
This came after a 4–2 defeat to Manchester United, the champions.
However, other results also played a role in their final standing.
While many had predicted that Blackpool would struggle significantly, they managed to secure 39 points from their 38 games.
This included victories over Liverpool both at home and away, as well as wins against Stoke City, Sunderland, and Tottenham Hotspur.
The bulk of their victories came before the new year, placing them in the eighth spot at the end of 2010.
A subsequent series of losses in 2011 saw them sliding down the table.
Blackpool F.C. history shows that more losses put them in the relegation zone for the first time.
They managed to get out of the bottom three momentarily, only to return after drawing with Tottenham.
The next game saw them victorious against Bolton Wanderers, but it didn’t alter their precarious position since Wolves won their game, too.
Their last game was against Manchester United, where, despite leading 2–1 at one point, they lost 4–2, confirming their relegation alongside Birmingham City and West Ham United.
In July 2011, Blackpool set a new transfer record when Liverpool acquired Charlie Adam for £7 million.
A portion of this money was reinvested to sign Barry Ferguson from Birmingham, who was given the captaincy at Blackpool.
In the 2011-2012 season, Blackpool made it to the Championship play-off final after a 3-2 aggregate win over Birmingham City in the semis.
However, they were defeated 2-1 by West Ham United in the final, with Ricardo Vaz Te scoring a decisive late goal for West Ham.
In November 2012, Ian Holloway left Blackpool to manage Crystal Palace.
His replacement, Michael Appleton, came from Portsmouth but departed after two months for Blackburn Rovers, making him Blackpool’s shortest-serving manager.
In February 2013, Paul Ince was named as the new manager.
Under his leadership, the club began the season impressively but faltered later, resulting in Ince’s sacking in January 2014.
Barry Ferguson took over as caretaker manager, but under his leadership, the team struggled and finished the season in 20th place.
In June 2014, we see in Blackpool F.C. history that Belgian Jose Riga became Blackpool’s first foreign manager.
Leading up to the 2014–15 season, the club faced a significant player shortage, and by the time the season started, they only had a handful of players available.
Riga’s tenure was short-lived, and Lee Clark replaced him in October 2014.
The season ended in disappointment as Blackpool faced relegation to League One in April 2015.
The final game of that season was notable for a pitch invasion by Blackpool fans protesting against the club’s owners, leading to the match’s abandonment.
Following the season’s conclusion, Lee Clark resigned, and Neil McDonald was appointed as the new manager in June.
The Oyston Family Selling the Club
However, in May 2016, Blackpool faced another demotion, dropping to the fourth tier of English football for the first time in 15 years.
McDonald was subsequently let go as manager.
Gary Bowyer was appointed as his successor, marking the club’s eighth managerial change in just over three years.
In the wake of the 2016 football sexual abuse scandal, ex-Blackpool player Paul Stewart claimed he had been victimized by Frank Roper, a coach linked to Blackpool in the 1980s.
In 2017, under Bowyer’s management, Blackpool earned a promotion back to League One by defeating Exeter City 2-1 in the play-off final.
This win positioned Blackpool as the most triumphant team in English play-off history with their fifth play-off final victory.
In November 2017, the Oyston family announced their decision to sell Blackpool, including the club and its stadium, Bloomfield Road.
Blackpool F.C. history informs us that in February 2018, Owen Oyston removed Karl Oyston as the club’s chairman and appointed his daughter, Natalie Christopher, aged 32, in the role just a fortnight after she joined the club’s board.
After leading the club for two years, Gary Bowyer stepped down as the manager in August 2018 following the season’s opening match for reasons that weren’t publicly disclosed.
His deputy, Terry McPhillips, filled the position temporarily and was later made the full-time manager.
In February 2019, the High Court put the club into receivership, mandating Owen Oyston to pay former director Valerijs Belokons a part of the £25m he was due.
The court’s decision led to the ousting of Oyston from the club’s board.
This could have led to a 12-point deduction for the club, but this was ultimately declined by the EFL in April 2019.
Simon Sadler, the New Owner
We read in Blackpool F.C. history that Simon Sadler became the club’s new owner in June 2019, securing a 96.2% stake and bringing an end to the Oyston family’s 32-year association with the club.
A Blackpool native, Sadler has been working in Hong Kong’s asset management sector since 2007 and is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of Segantii Capital Management.
Terry McPhillips stepped down as Blackpool’s manager in July 2019, revealing his lack of long-term managerial ambitions.
Simon Grayson returned for his second stint as the manager but was let go in February 2020 after a string of defeats.
Neil Critchley then took over the reins on 2 March 2020 as the head coach, a first for Blackpool.
Due to the UK’s COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019–20 season standings were revised based on points-per-game, with Blackpool finishing 13th.
At the conclusion of the next season, Blackpool celebrated their promotion back to English football’s second tier after winning the 2021 EFL League One play-off final.
In June 2022, Critchley left his position to join Aston Villa as their assistant head coach, expressing his excitement to collaborate once more with Steven Gerrard and to challenge himself against top global coaches.
Later in the month, Blackpool rehired former manager Michael Appleton, only to part ways with him in January 2023 after a series of disappointing results.
Mick McCarthy took charge temporarily, but his tenure was cut short after a loss to Cardiff City.
Interim manager Stephen Dobbie, an ex-Blackpool striker, couldn’t prevent the club’s relegation to League One following a defeat to Millwall in April 2023.
Regarding Blackpool F.C. Champions League history, they could never reach that level.
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Blackpool F.C. Kit History
Blackpool adopted their iconic tangerine color in the 1923–24 season following a suggestion from referee Albert Hargreaves.
He had officiated a match between the Netherlands and Belgium and was struck by the Dutch team’s colors.
Blackpool F.C. kit history depicts that before settling on tangerine, Blackpool experimented with various colors.
In the 1890s, they donned blue-and-white stripes, earning the nickname the Merry Stripes.
Around the onset of the 20th century, the team switched between red and white jerseys.
During World War I, they sported black, yellow, and red — the colors of the Belgian flag — in a gesture of solidarity with the many Belgian refugees in Blackpool.
Post-war, the team wore white shirts with navy blue shorts until 1934.
They introduced a kit with alternating dark and light blue stripes that year.
While this design made a few reappearances over the years, by 1939, the club permanently adopted the tangerine color due to public demand.
From 1938 to 1958, Blackpool’s uniform comprised tangerine shirts, white shorts, and navy blue socks.
In recent times, tangerine socks have become the standard, though navy was reintroduced as a secondary color in some kits during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
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Blackpool F.C. Badge History
The emblem of Blackpool F.C. has seen several transformations over the years, yet it consistently echoes the club’s history and essence.
The current crest, deeply symbolic of the club’s coastal roots, comprises several noteworthy features:
- Blackpool F.C. logo history tells us that the inclusion of waves and a soaring seagull symbolizes Blackpool’s status as a coastal town.
- Emblazoned with the word “Progress,” the club’s motto captures its forward-thinking spirit.
Since 1899, the town’s crest, in its current rendition, has been a staple in the football club’s heritage.
Nevertheless, there have been instances where the team’s jersey sported a different badge.
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Blackpool F.C. Stadiums
Since 1901, Bloomfield Road has been the home of Blackpool.
The current stadium has a seating capacity of 16,616.
Ahead of their premiere season in the Premier League in 2010, the stadium underwent several enhancements.
A temporary East Stand with a capacity of 5,120 was erected, while the floodlighting, dugouts, media, and medical facilities received upgrades.
The Stanley Matthews (West) Stand and the Mortensen Kop (North Stand) were freshly painted, and a video screen was set up.
The same year, a new South Stand, named after Jimmy Armfield, was inaugurated, offering an additional 3,600 seats.
Consequently, by the game against Fulham on 28 August 2010, Bloomfield Road’s capacity increased to 16,220, its maximum in three decades.
In the 2011–12 season, the gap between the Armfield Stand and the temporary East Stand was bridged with 500 additional seats.
This space also included the BFC Hotel, which started operations in June 2012 and was officially launched on 26 July 2012, coinciding with Blackpool’s 125th anniversary.
The hotel, boasting a four-star rating, also encompasses a conference center.
However, the hotel’s rating source is not mentioned on its website.
Blackpool F.C. history says that from the 2015–16 season up to the match against Southend United, the East Stand remained shut to spectators.
Towards the end of the 2018–19 EFL League One season, visiting supporters were relocated to the North-East Stand.
Starting from the 2019–20 season, the East Stand has hosted the away fans.
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Blackpool F.C. Rivalries History
Blackpool F.C. history tells us that Blackpool’s main adversary is Preston North End, whose stadiums are just seventeen miles apart.
Games between these teams are referred to as the West Lancashire derby.
A newer rivalry with Fleetwood Town has emerged since the 2012–13 season, referred to as the Fylde Coast derby.
The distance between Bloomfield Road and Fleetwood’s Highbury Stadium is only eight-and-a-half miles.
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Blackpool F.C. Mascot History
Bloomfield Bear serves as the official emblem for Blackpool F.C.
Some details about this bear include:
- Looks: Bloomfield Bear is characterized by its plush bear look.
A toy replica resembling Bloomfield Bear is available for purchase at Blackpool FC’s main store.
This miniature version of the mascot stands at around 12 inches tall.
- Role: Bloomfield Bear is a regular presence at games involving Blackpool F.C. and participates in various club events.
For instance, the bear was spotted motivating students during a fun run at Highfield School.
- Fan Engagement: Supporters frequently pose for photographs alongside Bloomfield Bear.
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Blackpool F.C. fans, collectively referred to as the Tangerine Army or Seaside Barmy Army, are renowned for their fervent and vocal support.
Even though the club’s home attendance was at the lower end of the Premier League teams, the sheer passion and energy of the fans ensured that Bloomfield Road was always filled with a thunderous atmosphere.
When Steve McMahon stepped down as the club’s manager in 2004, he lauded the supporters for their unwavering support and dedication.
He believed that their unyielding spirit would propel the team to great heights, and true to his words, Blackpool got promoted to the Championship three years later and further ascended to the Premier League in 2010.
In 2009, while covering a match against Peterborough United, Mike Whalley, a freelance journalist, noted how the home fans’ presence at Bloomfield Road added a distinct rhythmic beat to the game, particularly mentioning the drummer.
Following a triumphant game against Newcastle United in September 2009, Scott Wilson, a reporter from the Northern Echo, expressed admiration for the passionate atmosphere created by the fans, likening it to the classic football games from the past.
Sky Sports echoed similar sentiments by commending the “boisterous” nature of Blackpool supporters.
A Strong-spirited Town Cheering for The Seasiders
Looking at Blackpool F.C. history, we understand that when Blackpool played against Fulham in their first home Premier League match in August 2010, the stadium saw its largest crowd in over three decades.
Throughout the game, commentators from Sky Sports’ Football First program continuously highlighted the electrifying ambiance created by the fans.
Following the match, Fulham’s manager, Mark Hughes, also applauded the home fans and emphasized how such a vibrant atmosphere would aid Blackpool during their first season in the Premier League.
Interestingly, during the 2010-11 Premier League season, an experiment was conducted to measure the intensity of support across stadiums using decibel meters.
Despite their relatively smaller stadium size, the Blackpool fans emerged as the fifth loudest, with an impressive 85 decibels.
Recognizing the passion and commitment of the fans, various supporter groups have been formed over the years.
In 2013, a group named SISA (Seasiders Independent Supporters Association) was established, which later transitioned into the Blackpool Supporters Trust in 2014.
Subsequently, in 2015, another group called the Blackpool Fans’ Progress Group was founded, serving as a liaison between the club and its ardent supporters.