Blackpool Supporters' Liaison Officer's column by Steve Rowland: A night to thank club that helped us through dark days
I’ve been saying for weeks now, as each game has come along, that it’s the biggest one of Blackpool’s league campaign – each win more important than the last, each performance more impressive.
Here we are, in extra time at the end of the strangest season any of us can remember, on the threshold of another dream coming true if the team holds its collective nerve and the gods smile down on the gold coast.
In the darkest times of pandemic lockdown, and in the most trying of circumstances for professional sport, Blackpool FC has focused on doing everything right from top to bottom.
It has given us positives to hold on to and all of us – the town, the supporters, those at the club itself – can feel rightly proud of what has been achieved to date.
Tonight, 4,000 of us will be fortunate enough to be back inside the stadium to watch the Mighty in action, to cheer our side on, to say a collective thank you to this remarkable squad of players, the whole management team and the owner.
Bloomfield Road is looking in great shape for the big return.
With the stadium being empty for so long, the pigeons had done their worst – an issue that the club needs to resolve – but thank you to the fans who signed up to the BFC Volunteers group and who have been giving up their time in the last few weeks to make sure we all have clear walkways and clean seats to sit on tonight. Your efforts are much appreciated.
For all those lucky enough to be going to the game tonight, please arrive in plenty of time in order to avoid large queues building up at the turnstiles.
Make sure you bring your ticket and maybe some other form of ID – for example, your plastic season ticket that has your client reference number on it – just in case there are technical issues with the barcode readers.
No pyrotechnics of any description are allowed in the ground – no fireworks, flares, smoke bombs.
They’re not lawful and they’re not safe, as recent sad events have proved.
Maybe the sort of fans who’d try and take them in are not the sort of fans who read a column in the Gazette, so it’s up to older and wiser heads to put them right, please.
With Covid-19 protocols still being in place, make sure you bring your mask as well, for you will be required to wear it.
Also please follow the one-way systems in place inside the stadium and maintain sensible social distancing.
The concessions will not be open but bottled water will be provided.
If possible, please avoid all wanting to go to the toilets at the same time.
At the end of the game, it is important that no one goes onto the pitch, as much for the safety of the players as anything.
We don’t want any of the squad testing positive with a potential Wembley final on the cards.
After the match, fans will be asked to file out of their blocks a row at a time – schoolroom fashion – as directed by the stewards.
Please leave the stadium in an orderly manner. This is, after all, in the interests of everyone’s safety.
Whether you’re inside Bloomfield Road or following the game in a club, pub or your own front room, enjoy the occasion and make a lot of noise.
Who would have thought, at the back end of October, that the Seasiders would be in this great position?
As I said earlier, it has been a fantastic achievement by the squad and it’s not over yet! I like the old advertising tagline that states “You can’t beat Blackpool at this time of year!”
This feels like another homecoming event. Let’s make it one to remember for all the right reasons – I got a feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night. UTMP!
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