Blackpool legend Ian Evatt delighted to call time on playing career with cameo against former club

Ian Evatt says his cameo in yesterday's friendly was the perfect way to sign off his playing career and turn his focus to management.

Saturday, 20th July 2019, 10:36 pm

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The Pool favourite and current Barrow boss announced his retirement after Saturday's fleeting appearance, where he came off the bench to play the final minutes.

The defender, who won two promotions during his spell at Bloomfield Road, was given a well-deserved ovation from all spectators in attendance.

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Wearing tangerine-coloured boots, Evatt opted to play himself in the unusual position of attack.

"I saw how quick Blackpool's number nine was so I didn't fancy going at the back," he joked.

"It was a bit of fun, my social media guy somehow got me to do it. But it was enjoyable.

"That's it now, I can concentrate on my management and my coaching and hopefully progress from there.

"Thank you to the Blackpool fans for travelling all this way, the regard I hold them in is the highest of high.

"We had a fantastic time as a club together and it will live long in the memories.

"I can't speak highly enough of the football club for what it did for me. Just feeling the buzz around the fans again, speaking to Simon Grayson, Phil Horner and John Murphy, there's a real buzz around Bloomfield Road again and hopefully the good times will return."

Grayson, who was responsible for bringing Evatt to Bloomfield Road in 2006, wished his former player all the best going forward with Barrow.

“He looks like he’s carrying a bit more weight than the last time I saw him, but he’s probably moving a bit quicker than he was when I signed him," he said.

“Evo was a fantastic servant for me and obviously went on to be a part of that group that went to the Premier League and had a fantastic career.

“Full credit to him for the career he’s had as a player but now what he’s doing as a manager.

“I had a conversation with him when I came up here to watch them play Blackburn to see my son play and he wants to ask questions and take things in.

“It seemed only five minutes ago I was in that position starting out on this long road. Give him 15 years he might have a barnet like me.

“But he’s a good lad and I wish him well for the season.”