Blackpool FC chairman Karl Oyston has joined fans to condemn a flag tarnishing the memory of a football legend.
The offensive Union Flag – which included swastikas and swear words – referred to Preston North End’s Sir Tom Finney, who died on Friday night aged 91, and was placed next to his “Splash” statue outside Deepdale.
Fans took to Twitter to slam the “supporter” after a picture of the offending item surfaced on forums and the social networking site.
Blackpool fans were widely praised by Lilywhites supporters for their tributes to Sir Tom with many sending heartfelt messages of condolence to Preston North End, with some leaving tributes at the ground.
Karl Oyston, chairman of Blackpool FC, today said the culprit would be banned for life from Bloomfield Road if it could be proved he or she was a Blackpool fan.
He said: “It’s a vile and disgusting act and I do hope the authorities catch up with him and the world of football unites against him or her.
“I don’t think it’s a football fan that would have left something as vile as that.
“If it’s found out to be anyone who supports our football club, and I sincerely hope it isn’t, I will ban them for life.
“It’s just a shameful act against a man who deserves better and the football world should be celebrating his life and not descending into this behaviour.
“I would hope it’s not a Blackpool fan and I can assure everyone that if it is they won’t be watching our club again.”
Fiona Martin, vice chairman of Blackpool Supporters Association, added: “It’s disgusting to see it and there’s a lot of people condemning what he has done and I would go along with that.
“Whoever put this flag there has let down everyone else who has been very supportive of Sir Tom Finney.
“There’s been a lot of good things said about him and this one flag does not represent what Blackpool fans think about what Sir Tom Finney did at Preston.”
The 91-year-old played 76 times for England and spent his entire career at Preston North End, playing 473 times for the Deepdale Club.
A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said: “With the help of the club are investigating who is responsible for it.” A civic funeral has been planned to honour Sir TomFinney on Thursday February 27 at 1pm at Preston Minster.