BLACKPOOL FC’s oldest living player has backed the Seasiders to stay up.
Jeffrey Child – who played for the club 76 years ago – has faith in Ian Holloway’s boys’ ability to hang on to their Premier League status.
Blackpool now need to get a result away at Manchester United to keep alive their top flight dreams.
Jeffrey, who celebrated his 96th birthday as his old team beat Bolton 4-3 at the weekend, said “I hope they stay up. If they play together they can do it.”
The former player, who lives in Poulton, was part of the Blackpool squad in the 1930s.
He explained: “I was offered a trial with Blackburn Rovers and when Blackpool heard of it they signed me up.”
He added “I played in the reserve team for two seasons before getting injured. After that I worked as a joiner.
“Now I’m the oldest living Blackpool player.”
Jeffrey, who played full back, club added “Football was played differently back then, it was played forward through the whole team. Nowadays you see goal keepers kicking the ball all the way to the half way line.”
He made his debut in a 0-0 tie against Morecambe reserves in August 1936.
The Gazette’s sports correspondent said “Child defended strongly for Blackpool and in the 2nd half, when Morecambe looked likely to score, he headed the ball away from the line.”
During Jeffrey’s career at the club, Blackpool FC were in the Second Division, with reserve teams in the Central League, Mid-week League and West Lancashire League.
After a successful 1936/1937 season the Seasiders were promoted to the First Division where they remained until a run of poor seasons in the 1960s culminating in relegation in 1966/1967.
Pool historian Gerry Wolstenholme said: “Jeff is most certainly the oldest living player to have worn a Blackpool FC shirt.
“When he was a young lad he played with Harry Johnston, who as captain later led Blackpool to their 1953 FA Cup Final victory.
“Jeff played for the A-team in 1936 and has some fantastic stories about being talked to by Joe Smith, the legendary manager who led the club from 1935-1958.”