πŸ“ New Season, New Team: Blackpool

Ahead of the new League One season, which kicks off in August, we're taking a look at the seven new teams who feature in the third tier next season.

Next up is Blackpool, who were relegated from the Championship last season after two seasons in the second tier.Β 

A Short History

From www.blackpoolfc.co.uk/club/club-history/.

Blackpool were formed in 1877, and in the 1929–30 season - Blackpool FC's 29th season in the Football League - they finished first, winning the Division Two League. Jimmy Hampson was the club's top scorer with 46 goals in total (45 in the league and one in the FA Cup). He was also the top goal scorer in England. In 1936-37, they finished second in Division Two (the then second tier of English Football). They were promoted to Division One.

The 1948 FA Cup Final saw Blackpool FC face Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on 24 April 1948. United won 4–2, with two goals from Jack Rowley and one from Stan Pearson and one from John Anderson. Eddie Shimwell and Stan Mortensen scored Blackpool's goals. They were to win the competition in 1953 though, with Blackpool winning 4–3 against Bolton, equalling the record for the highest scoring FA Cup Final. The match became famous for the performance of Blackpool winger Stanley Matthews, after whom it was nicknamed. It was the third FA Cup Final (after those in 1890 and 1894) to feature a hat-trick, scored by Mortensen.

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The 1971 Anglo-Italian Cup was the second staging of the annual association football tournament. It featured twelve teams β€” six from England and six from Italy. The competition concluded with Blackpool beating Bologna 2–1 in the final. The 1984–85 season, their 77th season in the Football League, Blackpool finished second in Division Four achieving automatic promotion into Division Three. In 2000/01 they won the end-of-season play-offs at the Millennium Stadium against Leyton Orient 4-2. Five years later they were promoted to the Championship, again via the play-offs after beating Yeovil in Cardiff. More play-off success followed in 2009/10 when they reached the Premier League for the first time, beating Cardiff 3-2 at Wembley.Β 

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They lasted only a season in the top division, with relegation marking a downward turn in the club's fortunes. Financial issues under previous ownership plagued the club and they floated between the Championship, League One and League Two for several seasons. Play-off wins in 2017 and 2021 saw the side back in the Championship, before they most recent drop at the end of last season.Β 

The ManagerΒ 

Back for his second spell in charge at the Tangerines in Neil Critchley. The former Liverpool coach initially joined the side in 2020 and won promotion with the side in 2021, leading them to League One play-off final victory over Lincoln, but left in June 2022 to take up the assistant manager role at Aston Villa alongside Steven Gerrard.

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When Gerrard was sacked, Critchley followed and was appointed the manager of QPR a month later. his time in West London lasted only three months after a sole win, and he was reappointed by Blackpool on 23 May 2023.Β 

Head to Head

Exeter City: 5 wins

Draws: 5Β 

Blackpool: 9 wins

Last Meeting

City 2 Blackpool 3 | 10/11/18 | FA Cup First Round

Random Fact

Blackpool first adopted their famous tangerine strip after a recommendation from a referee called Albert Hargreaves. The official had taken charge of a game between Holland and Belgium and is said to have been greatly impressed by the Dutch's eye catching kit.

As a direct result of this, the Seasiders first adopted the colour in the 1923/24 season and have worn it ever since.