Les’ Seasiders love affair

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MOST football fans think they’ve seen it all – but one Blackpool supporter really has.

Les Hitchin, from Highcross Road, Poulton, who celebrates his 90th birthday today, has hardly missed a game at Bloomfield Road for the last 65 years.

So when he says the current Blackpool side is one of the best ever, we should pay attention.

He added: “I first watched Blackpool in 1947.

“The 1953 FA Cup winning side was something special, but the current team are brilliant.

“Football is a totally different game to the one I first started watching.

“It’s so much more skilful, and the football we are currently playing is delightful.”

Mr Hitchin fell in love with the Seasiders straight after the war when he was posted to a site in Norcross in 1947.

And despite his age, the diehard season-ticket-holder doesn’t miss a home game at Bloomfield Road.

He said: “I’m really lucky. I have a friend who’s much younger than me on my street who picks me and takes me to games, he’s only 85.”

Only a few are lucky enough to have seen the likes of Stanley Matthews in the famous Pool side of the 50s.

But it was another of the players who Les thinks was the best.

He added: “Stan Mortensen was my hero. He once came to coach our team at Norcross, and he could head a football further than most people could kick it.

“I think the current lot are brilliant. I hope Ian Holloway is the manager for the rest of my life and I’d love to see them back in the Premier League.”

Blackpool manager Holloway today paid tribute to the long-serving fan.

He added: “It’s great to hear it’s Les’ 90th birthday. Everyone at the club wishes him a very happy birthday and hopefully we can make it a special year for him.”