Artist behind Blackpool FC's programme covers to showcase anti-Oyston drawings at exhibition

Blackpool fan Rob Purdon pictured with some of his recent designs
Blackpool fan Rob Purdon pictured with some of his recent designs

The artist behind Blackpool FC’s recent matchday programme covers is to showcase his collection of drawings produced during the Not A Penny More campaign at an exhibition.

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Rob Purdon has become something of an online sensation with his Blackpool-related artwork on social media during the fight to oust Owen Oyston from the club.

The Pool fan, more commonly known as Purdonkey, created a number of humorous pieces to provide some solace during the four-year boycott from Bloomfield Road.

Following the appointment of a receiver which saw Oyston removed from the board, sparking the return of thousands of fans, Rob was subsequently asked to design the covers for the club’s programmes.

Rob is now hosting an exhibition where he will showcase 53 of his prints - to tie in with the year Blackpool won the FA Cup final - with the help of the Muckers Supporters’ Group.

“It’s just a case of boxing off that Not A Penny More era and all of that artwork I did during that campaign,” Rob told The Gazette.

“It’s about finalising and forgetting about it because we’re moving forward now and we’re not thinking about them anymore.

“It’s about getting rid of that and letting everyone see the work I’ve done, because I hope I created quite a few laughs over the time - if you can laugh over the period we’ve had.

“There’s a few that have been seen before, there’s a few that have been re-worked that people liked and a few others that people might not have seen before.”

Rob was drawing long before he decided to showcase them on his Twitter page, where he often takes requests, but it’s only in recent years that he decided to get them out to the masses.

He added: “I worked at the club in the lottery department and I was drawing them then, although I had to get them scrunched up and throw them away pretty quickly!

“But I’ve been drawing and laughing at them myself for a good few years before I actually started showing anyone else.

“My kids showed me Twitter and that’s when I started sharing them. The Tangerine Knights asked if I could do something and since then fans have been asking for requests and I started sharing anything I found funny.”

Rob has depicted Jay Spearing, Terry McPhillips and Curtis Tilt for the three programme covers so far.

Legendary former manager Billy Ayre is the next one in the works for Pool’s home game against Peterborough United on Saturday.

“It was a huge honour to be asked to do the programme covers, it certainly wasn’t something I was expecting,” Rob said.

“I thought I had burned a lot of bridges to be honest with you with what I had put out there but then all of the changes came.

“Just to get the email off the club to produce a programme cover was amazing and obviously I jumped at the opportunity.

“It’s a dream. I always wanted to do something at the club once they were gone but to get the honour of doing the covers is brilliant.

“I’ve been waiting and waiting to do something with Billy on because he’s an absolute legend of the club. It’s the favourite one I’ve done so far.

“You can’t ignore the fantastic job the players have done while we’ve been away, they’ve done tremendous with no crowds, so they deserved the front covers before that. But now it’s all about the club legends.”

You can get your hands on Rob’s drawings for a minimal fee of just £5, with the artist keen to keep his work affordable.

“I charge for time more than anything,” he said.

“It’s about sharing the message and the joke with people, I’ve never charged an astronomical amount and I never will do.

“The prints themselves are just £5 and I drop them off for free around the Blackpool area - there’s no massive charge for them.”

The exhibition will take place between 11am and 2pm at The Excelsior on Lytham Road, prior to Blackpool’s Easter Monday game against Fleetwood Town.