Former Blackpool winger Alan Skirton passes away, aged 80

Alan Skirton in action for the Seasiders
Alan Skirton in action for the Seasiders

Former Blackpool winger Alan Skirton has passed away at the age of 80.

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Skirton made 77 appearances for the Seasiders between 1966 and 1968, scoring 25 times, having signed from Arsenal for a fee of £65,000.

The winger scored on his debut for Blackpool five days after signing, ironically at Highbury in a 1-1 draw.

His home debut saw the Seasiders beat Newcastle United 6-0 at Bloomfield Road with Skirton scoring twice

Despite scoring eight goals during the 1966/67 campaign, Skirton couldn't save the Seasiders from relegation to Division Two.

The following season, Blackpool narrowly missed out on promotion back to the top flight, finishing third with Skirton scoring 17 times.

Following the emergence of Ronnie Brown on the right wing under the management of Stan Mortensen, Skirton joined Bristol City for £15,000 in 1968.

He went on to play for Torquay United and South African side Durban City before ending his career at Weymouth.

After his retirement he worked in commercial roles at Weymouth, Bath City and Yeovil Town.

Yeovil said in a statement: "We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former commercial manager and popular figure Alan Skirton at the age of 80.

"Joining the club in 1981 from Bath City to start a 21-year association with the Glovers, Alan went on to make his mark in both a professional capacity and as a much-loved member of the Yeovil family.

"Starting out his career in football as a player with Arsenal, the talented winger also enjoyed successful spells with Blackpool, Bristol City, Torquay United and Weymouth as well as a stint in South Africa with Durban City.

"After hanging up his boots and moving into the commercial world of football, Alan successfully undertook rolls at both Weymouth and Bath City prior to moving to South Somerset and the original Huish Park.

"On top of masterminding the commercial revolution at Yeovil which saw millions of pounds raised during his time in command, Alan became the voice of matchday for Town fans and an integral part of things at the club.

"In charge of the tannoy at the old Huish the much-loved staff member was part of the move to the new ground in his second decade at the club before retiring in 2002.

"Still working on a consultancy basis afterward, Alan was still a regular on matchdays and was in the stands as the green and whites ended a 108-year wait to enter the Football League in 2003.

"Staying in close contact with many figures at Huish Park, the thoughts of everyone at Yeovil Town Football Club are with Alan's wife Jane, his son Andrew and all of the Skirton family."