Ollie urges fans to back Southern’s farewell

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway
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IAN Holloway has urged Seasiders fans to pay tribute to one of the club’s best ever servants.

While Everton have sold their 2,100 allocation for Keith Southern’s testimonial, only 4,100 tickets have been bought by home fans.

Keith Southern

Keith Southern

Holloway believes that isn’t enough for a player who was virtually an ever-present during a 10-year stay at Bloomfield Road.

“I am proud to say I’ve managed Keith Southern because he is one of the best professionals I’ve ever worked with,” said the Pool boss.

“That midfield the year we went up – Keith, Charlie Adam, David Vaughan – picked itself. They played almost every game and they were fantastic. They played a massive part in us going to the Premier League.

“Everyone knows how good Charlie and David are, but don’t ever underestimate the role Keith played because he was a vital part of that midfield. He did a lot of hard work and that allowed the others to play.

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“He was a very good player in his own right too and the kind of player managers love because he would run through a brick wall for you and never complain.

“But on top of that, Keith is just a superb human being, as he showed last year with the way he dealt with things after being diagnosed with something horrible.

“I think the Blackpool fans respect and appreciate what he has done for us and I hope they turn up in big numbers on Sunday.”

The game itself will be a slightly odd occasion given that Southern completed a £300,000 move to Huddersfield last week.

He didn’t want to go but Holloway felt he had too many midfielders on his books and wanted Southern to have regular first team football next season, something he couldn’t guarantee him at Blackpool.

Southern will play the first and last 15 minutes of Sunday’s game – against his first club Everton – and will no doubt receive a rapturous reception from both the home and away fans.

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