For once I’m going to give Blackpool FC some credit. For as long as I can remember Pool’s players have visited Brian House children’s hospice and Blackpool Victoria Hospital ahead of Christmas to hand out presents.
And I’m delighted to see this tradition was carried on this year as normal.
Having spoken to staff at both places, I’m told the players were a credit to the club, spent time with the kids and took a real interest when shown around the facilities.
It’s a theme about this group of players – they appear to be a thoroughly decent bunch, which sadly hasn’t always been the case at Bloomfield Road in recent years.
The only negative is that no-one appears to have noticed.
In the past these visits have been attended by the media, all reporting on the great work by the club. This year there was none.
You may think an absence of media in Brian House would be a good thing, but for an organisation reliant on fundraising and donations, the publicity is vital.
The players visiting is as much a boost for the facilities’ profile as it is for the kids who are using them.
Whether it was an oversight or a conscious decision, the fact is that as I write this column just 306 people have watched the ‘exclusive’ video about the visit on the club’s official website.
Despite not being told of either event by the club, The Gazette ran pictures from both visits on the back of yesterday’s edition. We felt it was important.
Sadly, the club didn’t let the media know.
As Neil McDonald talks about changing the perception of the club, it’s a visit which should have been shouted from the rooftops.
Despite that, well done to the players. It would appear you did the club proud.
- On the pitch, it’s good to see that Blackpool have stopped the rot – a phrase Neil McDonald used on quite a few occasions.
In both the Fleetwood and Wigan games, the Seasiders have shown outstanding commitment and determination, and have been rewarded with six excellent points.
While the Wigan game was much better, the statistics still indicate a ‘smash and grab’ sort of result.
We’ll all take them now, but what the Seasiders need to do next is churn out a well deserved and convincing victory.
Peterborough will offer a very tough test tomorrow at Bloomfield Road.
They are a totally different team since the arrival of Graham Westley as manager.
But if anything, they’ve shown just what a bit of momentum can do in this division. Posh were around the relegation zone a couple of months ago.
So Pool need to take inspiration from them and string some results together.
There really is no reason why they can’t.
- With next Friday being Christmas Day, this is the last Football Friday supplement of a pretty crazy 2015.
In future history books about Blackpool Football Club, the past 12 months will probably always always be written about and for all the wrong reasons.
As The Gazette’s man covering the club, it’s fair to say it hasn’t been easy at all – but it’s still been a pleasure.
We’ve had major problems with BFC, as you’ll be well aware, but the support of our readers has made it clear our stance has been correct.
In 2016 we’ll continue to report all the news surrounding the club as fairly and even-handedly as possible – no matter who it upsets.
From time-to-time we’ll annoy Pool’s manager, fans, staff and chairman ... it’s part of the job.
What I hope for most is that 2016 is the year the recovery begins – and I don’t really care what form that takes.
We had the best trip we’ve ever been on, no doubt followed by the worst.
Who knows what’s next? But you can rest assured The Gazette will be there every step of the way to guide you through it.
Have a great Christmas.