Blackpool Supporters' Trust column: Asking for your memories of the difficult days
This column is written in the aftermath of a hard-fought, but vital win at MK Dons.
Winning 1-0 on the back of 29 per cent possession is not really ‘the Blackpool way’ but the squad is showing real resilience at the moment.
They will need more of it as the season reaches a climax. A combination of bad weather and Covid-19 has left us behind everyone else in the league in terms of games played.
Squad rotation has been a feature this season and will probably be the default setting for the 16 games that remain.
This is always an exciting time of year for any club that is in contention at the right end of the league table.
It is especially so when you consider reaching the Championship was the first goal Simon Sadler and his team set themselves.
That step up to the second tier is financially significant and showcases the club and town in ways that are hugely positive.
We face stiff competition from other clubs but being a part of the conversation certainly puts a spring in our collective step.
Off the field, BST were very pleased to take part in the Structured Dialogue with the club last month, and this followed on from another very constructive meeting between our chairman and secretary and Blackpool’s Ben Mansford and Brett Gerrity.
It is a new experience for us to be able to have this kind of dialogue with the club, and it is refreshing to do so in an atmosphere whereby we feel that the support from all sections of the club’s support is valued. The fans of other clubs may take this for granted, we never will.
This week has seen the second anniversary of the truly memorable ‘homecoming’ match against Southend, probably the biggest, most joyous and sustained celebration that our supporters have had outside of Wembley in many years.
A great deal has happened in the two years since. A club in a state of disarray and neglect back then is finally showing some signs of the care lavished upon it since.
It looks better for a start and the club’s plans for further investment in a modern training ground – and to bring the youth team back to play in Blackpool – are evidence of the kind of legacy that our fans have yearned for from the heady days of 2010-11, but hadn’t seen any evidence of until now.
Talking of turning our collective legacy into a written legacy, do any of you have particularly vivid memories of the fans’ boycott, the NAPM campaign and our period in exile that you would like to be documented ?
Perhaps your recollections of memorable moments from any of the three Judgement Day marches or our long days in court ?
Alternatively a perspective on the tennis ball protest or maybe the pitch occupation when we played Huddersfield Town?
Maybe personal highs and lows as we fought our various battles with the previous owners and the football authorities themselves – or perhaps you just want to write down what you felt through those difficult times?
Many supporters will have deep personal recollections of how you and loved ones coped with the loss of such a central part of your lives, so maybe this is the time to express them?
Indeed, some of you will have lost close friends and family who never got the chance to return to their beloved Bloomfield Road.
Well, BST are starting to pull together an anthology of those dark days from your point of view.
You don’t have to be a published author, an accomplished scribe, or even a member of BST or one of the club’s many supporters groups to take part – just somebody willing and able to contribute a piece of writing.
We would especially welcome thoughts from people who don’t follow the club but who did follow our struggle.
That could include journalists, football bloggers and activists, community workers, fans of rival clubs, football widows (and widowers!), indeed anyone who was affected or moved by our plight.
If you think you would like to get involved and you want to help record your personal views, please do get in touch with us by emailing [email protected]
We will set things in motion for what will hopefully become a worthwhile project for Seasiders everywhere.
As a minimum, we intend to place as varied a collection of contributions as we can on the BST website, and if we get a sufficient volume and quality of response, we will look into the possibility of publishing the fruits of our labours as a book.
If we do so, as a democratically elected body, then it will be done with guidance from our membership with a view to raising money for worthy causes in the local community.
BST will continue to be a force for good for Blackpool FC, its supporters and our community. We would love to hear from you.
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