“I’VE never had a worse moment in life, never mind football.”
Those were the words of former Blackpool boss Billy Ayre after Torquay beat his side in the 1991 play-off final at Wembley.
While managers are often guilty of knocking out cliches and what they think the fans want to hear, this wasn’t the case with Billy, he spoke from his heart.
Stood by the pitch that day at Wembley, he summed up what every Blackpool fan was thinking.
And it was that sheer passion for the club which makes his one of the most popular managers ever to sit in the Bloomfield Road dugout.
Ayre managed Pool during a particularly difficult time in the club’s history, when the club were languishing in the lower reaches of the Football League.
But he had the unique ability to make us think we could take on the world.
When he came out of the tunnel and waved his fists at each of the stands containing Pool fans, we were all ready for battle.
Ten years ago, he tragically lost his battle against cancer, but his memory lives on.
And this Friday there’s a special dinner being held at Bloomfield Road in his memory.
It will be a great night, featuring some very famous faces from that era.
Tickets are available from Blackpool’s ticket office, priced £15.