As we approach a weekend of reflection and remembrance, the 11-strong team of BST officers, in temporary exile from the club they love, look back on games that helped define their lasting affection for Blackpool…
April 13 1970: A legendary night for Pool fans. My memory was of total domination on and off the pitch by the tangerine army. It rained, we were soaked but that was no concern after seeing a Blackpool side easily beat Preston courtesy of a Pickering hat trick to send our humiliated rivals down while we were going back to division one – a fantastic outcome.
At the end, jubilant Pool fans danced on the Deepdale pitch which ended up looking like a farmer’s field. (Tony Wilkinson)
September 20 1975: Southampton sat top of the league, favourites for promotion having just been relegated from division one. Blackpool’s first half performance was exhilarating, capped off by a great goal by Kevin Moore. Mickey Walsh scored a hat-trick in the 4-1 win. Blackpool finished seventh and Southampton 13th. (Andy Higgins)
April 9 1985: A thrilling 6-1 home win against promotion rivals Crewe. Blackpool were in mean and hungry mood, with John Deary and Dave Windridge scoring two goals each, Steve Hetzke and Wayne Cagielski bagging the other two. Blackpool had injury problems but were helped by Crewe’s keeper going off hurt in the first half, not to mention the brilliant goalkeeping of Billy O’Rourke, who made a magnificent penalty save right on half time. It was a fantastic game. (Pauline O’Rourke)
May 1 1985: This win at Darlington epitomises what supporting the Seasiders was all about. Over 3,000 travelled to the north-east to witness the mercurial Eamonn O’Keefe inspire a 4-0 crushing of promotion rivals that all but secured a first promotion since 1970.
As a teenager I was captivated not just by the performance but also by the passion of the support that refused to leave the ground until Sam Ellis brought the players back on the pitch to take our salute. A magical night. (Tim Fielding)
April 17 1999: I have so many incredible memories but this game at Preston away was special. We had a squad held together with sticky-back plastic and string while Preston were flying high, yet the Blackpool faithful were in full voice.
Our chants and clapping never stopped for over 25 minutes as the game was poised at 1-1. In the dying seconds, super Bretty Ormerod popped up to score the winner, sending Blackpool fans wild. He later said that it was the noise from the Pool fans that kept him going, long after his legs had given up! (Christine Seddon)
October 21 2006: A young Pool fan in the 1980s could only really aspire to seeing the team somehow make it to the Championship.
That’s why this game at Crewe was so special. Andy Morrell had put us ahead and then inevitably Crewe equalised before Pool had Simon Gillett sent off for a second bookable offence. Hold on for a draw, I thought, but right at the death we got a free-kick near the corner and Shaun Barker rose highest to power a 90th-minute header into the Crewe net. Queue unbelievable scenes of celebrations. (Gareth White)
December 8 2009: There was a good following at Middlesbrough, a tremendous atmosphere and the lads didn’t let us down with two first half Gary Taylor-Fletcher goals.
The highlight was how he turned Sean St Ledger inside out, putting him on his backside for the second. A stunner from Charlie Adam late on rounded off a 3-0 win. From this point came the push for he Holy Grail. (Mike Nash)
May 12 2010: A goal advantage was all we had to take to Forest. The play-off semi second leg was going to be the toughest challenge in a cauldron of noise, 2,500 Pool fans outnumbered 10 to one.
At 1-0 down I feared the worst until some magical football sent Pool to Wembley and the fans ecstatic. Respect to the Forest fans for applauding the Blackpool supporters and players at the end. We had all just seen a match in a lifetime. (Francis Charlesworth)
October 3 2010: Prior to this game at Anfield I wasn’t worried about the result. If we’d got beaten I wouldn’t have cared. Here we were playing an iconic team from my youth as equals. I had looked forward to this fixture above all others but I had to get tickets for a home stand. When the first one went in, I sat on my hands. I do think it bad manners to celebrate in the wrong end. When we scored the second, I couldn’t control myself. It was the same for pockets of Seasiders all around me. We didn’t just win that day we did it with style. (Tony Hodgson)
January 12 2011: When we played Liverpool at home I had just returned from serving my country in Afghanistan, having missed half the season.
It was a surreal experience, a lump in my throat, tear in my eye, grateful for a return to the thing I need in my life almost as much as my wife, daughters and son. I soaked up that atmosphere and thought, ‘These people don’t really understand what they have’ - meaning we can’t truly appreciate the experience and sacrifice of those who have served our country but we owe them gratitude and respect for giving us our freedom. (Ray Gregson)
August 28 2016: As a Blackpool fan since the age of two, a most poignant game for me was the testimonial for Brett Ormerod – not in Blackpool but at AFC Fylde on account of the ethical boycott.
The occasion was everything, the result irrelevant on a day when Blackpool heroes turned out in tangerine and the Mill Farm stands were filled with the kind of passionate support and camaraderie long missing from Bloomfield Road. That was the spirit we hope to see rekindled again once the current owners have gone. (Steve Rowland)