Fan’s support for Riga

NEW YEAR FEATURE - Malcolm Brocklehurst in his Tango coffin .. on the pitch at Bloomfield  Road

NEW YEAR FEATURE - Malcolm Brocklehurst in his Tango coffin .. on the pitch at Bloomfield Road

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Never one to shy away from being a Blackpool FC superfan, this avid supporter went above and beyond to show his love for the football team - even risking a fine for it.

Malcolm Brocklehurst, who has famously had his coffin ready-made in homage to the Seasiders, was keen to show his support for team manager Jose Riga in the face of a string of losses since the start of the season.

Keen to show his support for struggling Blackpool Football Club manager Jose Riga, fan Malcolm Brocklehurst invited supporters to sign a card for the manager before Blackpool's game against Wolves

Keen to show his support for struggling Blackpool Football Club manager Jose Riga, fan Malcolm Brocklehurst invited supporters to sign a card for the manager before Blackpool's game against Wolves

So the 79-year-old decided to make a special card for Mr Riga, inviting hundreds of his fellow fans to sign it ahead of Blackpool’s meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Bloomfield Road on Saturday.

But in his haste to rally support Mr Brocklehurst, who was featured on the Football League Show on Saturday night, received a parking ticket for £25.

It was worth it for the hundreds of signatures the card received, though, he said, with Mr Riga later thanking the team’s fans and footballers for their support.

Mr Brocklehurst, who flies a Seasiders flag outside his Cleveleys home, said: “I thought us fans ought to show our support for Jose Riga, in my opinion he’s had a tough time with a lack of support from Karl Oyston.

“He must be feeling very low so I wanted to show some support. Unfortunately I got a parking ticket but I’m glad I did it.

“It was my fault I got the ticket but I don’t mind because of the support I rallied for Mr Riga.”

Now Mr Brocklehurst plans to write to club chairman Mr Oyston, suggesting a charitable donation of £25 to Trinity Hospice to match what he paid on the fine. He added: “I’ll write to Mr Oyston and suggest that because I got the £25 fine in support of his manager he should give £25 in support of Trinity Hospice. I’ll make sure everyone knows all about it if he does.”

Inside the ground, after fans had cheered the manager and his players on to the pitch and chanted their support, Mr Brocklehurst’s son Gary took the card to Mr Riga, by the dugout. He added: “Mr Riga said thank you very much, he 
appeared to be pleased the fans are supporting him.

“I left it blank, just with photos of supporters in heart shapes, then people signed it, saying ‘stick with it’, ‘don’t give up’, and ‘we want you to stay’.

“I think it will have been a boost for him and he did say on television he was grateful for all the support.

“I know we’ve not won games yet but that’s not his fault, we’ve got the makings of a good side and we’re showing promise.”