Blackpool has a ball with footy game launch

Tom Preston (16) of Blackpool at the Regent where he won the Fifa 2017 tournament on the cinema's big screen

Tom Preston (16) of Blackpool at the Regent where he won the Fifa 2017 tournament on the cinema's big screen

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Blackpool footballers were all fingers and thumbs as the town helped kick off the latest soccer video game.

The Regent Cinema staged a preview tournament with gamers playing the new FIFA 2017 on the big screen and at the Game shop in Corporation Street, BFC players challenged members of the public to the console game.

Blackpool FC players at GAME playing FIFA 2017.  Kyle Vassell is sent off.

Blackpool FC players at GAME playing FIFA 2017. Kyle Vassell is sent off.

At the Regent in Church Street, 32 football game fans took part in a knock-out tournament playing FiFA 2017 exlusively before its official launch.

It was won by 16-year-old Tom Preston of Blackpool who took home a copy of the game as the prize.

He said: “Playing on the cinema screen really brought the game to life, and the surround sound gave a real stadium effect. I will be definitely be back”.

Richard Taylor, owner of the Regent said: “It was a sell-out. The night was really well received by the players and we will definitely be doing this again.

Becky Simmons with Luke Higham and Kyle Vassell.

Becky Simmons with Luke Higham and Kyle Vassell.

“Where else can people get this type of experience in the Northwest?

“We are looking to run this every month with next month’s game looking like being WWE wrestling on the PS4.”

Meanwhile at Game, Blackpool FC players Kyle Vassell, Luke Higham, and Clark Robertson dropped in to get their copy of the game and to take on members of the public on the in-store consoles.

It was part of a Blackpool FC Community Trust event to meet fans and engage with the people of the town.

Manvir Rai, communications officer for the trust, said: “We have a mission to encourage healthy lifestyles and fitness in the community and this was a chance to get some exposure for the 60 different projects we run.

“The players had a great time. I spoke to Clark afterwards and he said he enjoyed meeting the people there, signing autographs and taking photos and they all enjoyed playing the game.”

FIFA 2017 is the latest version on the game which started at the end of 1993 and has become one of the big two soccer video games along with PES.

The game had been widely marketed ahead of its release with some of the world’s biggest footballing names promoting it on social media, posing with copies for the Xbox One and Playstation 4 and speaking of their apparent excitement to play it.