It’s a rivalry that spans the history of the Football League, but two fans of opposing teams have pledged to wear each other’s football shirts.
The Gazette’s Fleetwood Town reporter, Rob Stocks, is a proud supporter of Burnley Football Club (with a soft spot for Fleetwood, of course), while Lytham St Annes Express writer Tony Durkin has been a fan of Blackburn Rovers for the last 40 years.
They have pledged to swap shirts for one day only for The Gazette’s Grin and Wear It day, on February 14.
Rob, 34, said: “It is going to pain me greatly that I will be wearing the blue and white colours of them down the road, but it’s all for a great cause and it’s great to be able to promote The Gazette’s Hospice Heroes appeal in this way.
“I hope lots of other people will be inspired to Grin and Wear It.”
Burnley last beat Blackburn in 1979, meaning they have never won against their rivals in Rob’s lifetime – a fact Tony likes to remind him on a regular basis in The Gazette office.
Tony, 55, said: “These teams are arch rivals, and I suppose it’s a match every Rovers fan looks forward to.
“It’ll be a strange feeling coming in to work wearing the Burnley shirt, but it’s all for a great cause.
“I just hope the people of the Fylde coast can recognise the supreme sacrifice we are making and support us by donating to Hospice Heroes.”
We are aiming to make Grin and Wear It the Fylde Coast’s biggest ever dress down to raise money for Hospice Heroes, supporting Trinity Hospice and Brian House children’s hospice.
We need every school, business and workplace to sign up, with staff and pupils spending the day in fancy dress or just in casual clothes.
All the money raised will go towards our £200,000 appeal, funding a massive refurbishment at the hospice on Low Moor Road, Bispham.
Our money will help pay for new single rooms in the adult in-patient unit and the creation of quiet spaces for privacy and dignity.
At Brian House the bedrooms will be made brighter, the living area extended and the kitchen made more accessible to older children who want to cook.
• Support Rob and Tony at www.justgiving.com/GazetteHospiceHeroes