A moving tribute to past Pool glory

The Blackpool FC Tram on the Promenade

The Blackpool FC Tram on the Promenade

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All aboard for a ride through Blackpool’s rich footballing history.

That’s the invitation after a tangerine tram was officially unveiled on South Promenade by former Seasiders stars Gary Taylor Fletcher and Stephen Crainey.

Former Blackpool players Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Stephen Crainey are setting up a football academy

Former Blackpool players Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Stephen Crainey are setting up a football academy

Transport enthusiasts have been working on the project to create the Blackpool FC celebration display tram for the past six months.

Members of the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust (FHLT) have repainted the vehicle, which was part of the town’s classic tram fleet, and covered it in images depicting past glories including the club’s famous 1953 FA Cup win and Ian Holloway’s Premier League Team.

The names of supporters who have donated to the project are also inscribed on the bodywork.

The Trust has worked alongside Blackpool Council’s Illuminations team and community groups and businesses on the project.

The unveiling was timed to coincide with the 2015 Illuminations but the tram will remain in place for the next year.

John Woodman, trustee of the FHLT, said: “Blackpool FC has such an enduring connection with the town through all that has been achieved over the years that we thought one of the special trams in our collection would make an eye-catching addition to the Illuminations.

“Of course this is a difficult time for the club but this is about celebrating everything Blackpool FC has achieved and we are thrilled with the support we’ve received from the wider community.”

Christine Seddon, spokeswoman for the Blackpool Supporters Trust (BST), said they were happy to support the project.

She said: “For all its problems at the moment, Blackpool FC has a fantastic history and the tram is brilliant.

“I would recommend people to have a look as it really does show the legends of the past.

“We were very pleased that Gary Taylor Fletcher and Stephen Crainey were there to officially unveil it.”

Mr Woodman added: “The football tram display was conceived for the benefit of football supporters and aimed at showcasing some of the great moments, and teams, in the club’s extensive history which is almost as long as that of Blackpool’s trams.

“We are particularly grateful to many organisations and business sponsors - who allowed this display to become a reality.”

The FHLT has 11 Blackpool trams in total - all sponsored through local businesses on the Fylde coast.

Several are stored in Fleetwood through a courtesy agreement with Associated British Ports, and two are stored at the BTS tram depot at Rigby Road.

The Trust is considering two new creative display projects in 2016/17.