Talisman’s blast from the past could help Pool

Blackpools physio Phil Horner
Blackpools physio Phil Horner
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Should Blackpool be looking for a lucky omen ahead of Sunday’s date with destiny, they have one in the dressing room.

Club physio Phil Horner was on target last time the Seasiders needed a win on the final day to avoid relegation to the bottom tier.

Horner scored in the 4-1 home win over Leyton Orient which saw Pool beat the drop in 1994.

Mark Bonner, Dave Bamber and Andy Watson also scored for Billy Ayre’s side, prompting huge celebrations on the Bloomfield Road pitch.

That was the season in which then chairman Owen Oyston handed out 7,000 free tickets for a 1-1 draw with Swansea in a bid to bring back the crowds.

That season also saw future England star Trevor Sinclair sold to QPR in a £600,000 deal and ended with the unpopular decision to sack Ayre.

Only twice have Pool suffered relegation on the final day – the first time in 1978 when Jimmy Meadows’ side lost out by a single point in the old Second Division.

And Ian Holloway’s Premier League side suffered the same fate five years ago, beaten 4-2 by Manchester United at Old Trafford on the last day.

The last time Pool were demoted to the bottom division was in 2000, when Steve McMahon’s side finished 22nd before bouncing back the following year via the play-offs.

Since joining the Football League in 1896, Blackpool have been relegated 10 times and have spent just seven seasons in the bottom division, the first in 1982-83 after Allan Brown’s side finished second-bottom of the old Division Three.

Should Blackpool avoid the drop this weekend it will be neighbours Fleetwood who take their place, a new experience for the Highbury club.

Since Fleetwood’s rebirth as a non-league club in 1997 they have never been relegated. Their lowest finish in their first four seasons as a Football League club was 13th.