ONE of the proudest moments in Blackpool’s footballing history is to be immortalised with the town’s newest neighbourhood set to be named after the 1953 FA Cup winning heroes.
Developer Hollinwood Homes is proposing to honour all 11 members of the Pool team, along with manager Joe Smith, by naming the streets in the £50m Rigby Road development after them.
Another club legend, Jimmy Armfield, will also have a street named after him.
The massive scheme, designed to transform a run down part of the resort, will see 400 homes built on land adjacent to Blackpool FC’s Bloomfield Road stadium, bounded by Central Drive, Tyldesley Road and Princess Street.
Mark Chadwick, residential development director for Hollinwood Homes, said: “We want to create a legacy for Blackpool, somewhere where people are proud to live.
“And because of the proximity of the football club, we thought it would be fantastic to honour the 1953 FA Cup winning team and remember them.
“We also feel it will give residents a sense of ownership and help them buy into living in this new community.”
Work began this week to start clearing the site.
The 10-year project will see building work starting at the beginning of 2014 and the first homes ready by the end of 2014.
Coun Gillian Campbell, cabinet member for housing on Blackpool Council, said: “This is a fantastic idea. We’re more than happy to be working with Hollinwood Homes on this.
“We want the new housing development to have a real community feel, and to have the streets collectively named after some true Blackpool legends will really help to create a neighbourhood everybody can be proud of.
“I really think there will be a lot of people who want to live on Sir Stanley Matthews Way or Bill Perry Place.
“This town has a real sense of pride and history and I’m proud we will be honouring our sporting heroes in such a fitting and permanent way.
“The football club is very closely linked with such a huge number of the town’s residents who I am sure will be happy to see this announcement.”
THE SEASIDERS STREETS
• George Farm Mews – George Farm
• Stan Mortensen Avenue – Stan Mortensen
• Perry Place – Bill Perry
• Sir Stanley Matthews Way – Sir Stanley Matthews
• Robinson Road – Cyril Robinson
• Mudie Place – Jackie Mudie
• Johnston Street – Harry Johnston
• Joe Smith Avenue – Joe Smith (manager)
• Armfield Street – Jimmy Armfield
• Fenton Mews – Ewan Fenton
• Garrett Gardens – Tommy Garrett
• Taylor Terrace – Ernie Taylor
• Shimwell Terrace – Eddie Shimwell
The 1953 final has gone down in history as one of the most exciting ever after Blackpool came from behind to beat Bolton 4-3, with Stan Mortensen’s hat-trick still the only one to be scored in a Wembley Cup Final.
Hollinwood’s proposal also includes three parks named park 35, park 68, and park 89 – the timing of Mortensen’s strikes.
Sir Stanley Matthews inspired the team’s comeback after the Seasiders went 3-1 down to clinch his only winner’s medal.
Cyril Robinson, 84, who is the only surviving member of the side, said: “It is still a well known final and I think it is a very good idea to honour everyone.
“It will keep the memory of all those players alive, and I have never heard of a full team being honoured in this way before.
“I remember we were paid £15 a week in those days, and got a £20 bonus for winning the cup!”
Relatives of other members of the team also welcomed the move.
Tony Mudie, son of Jackie Mudie, who played as a forward, said: “I would feel very honoured if this was actually done, because although we all have the memories of it centred around the club, there is not much else happening in town to do with the cup final win.
“It would be nice to have them recognised in some way.”
David Johnston, 69, son of skipper Harry Johnston, said: “It’s nice this has been recommended.
“This is really good; it makes me proud. I’d definitely go and visit it when it’s been built.
“I was about 11 or 12 when I went to the cup final, and I held the cup that night.”
Jimmy Armfield also welcomed the proposal.
He said: “The 1953 final was one of the biggest moments in Blackpool football and it is one of the great moments in sport. It is hard to describe to people what it was like when they won the cup.
“Of course it would be an honour for me to be considered to be included in the street naming as well, but there have been some really great players for Blackpool in my lifetime and before me, such as Jimmy Hampson who played for England.”
Club announcer Tony Parr said: “This is fantastic.
“It’s long overdue in recognising the 1953 Brigade, but it’s absolutely fantastic.
“I do certainly think it should be all or nothing, it would be unfair to name a few of the players and not include others. It’s hard to pick out anyone who doesn’t deserve it.”