Blackpool man in USA bids to reform nineteenth century South Shore club which played part in early history of Seasiders

A Blackpool man based in the USA has launched an ambitious plan to revive a nineteenth century football club which played a part in the early history of Blackpool FC.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 1:14 pm
Updated Monday, 10th May 2021, 1:16 pm

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Jason Allen is in the process of reforming South Shore FC and hopes his club can enter the West Lancashire League next year.

Formed in 1879, the South Shore club existed for 20 years until it was merged into Blackpool FC.

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Jason Allen is reforming South Shore FC after 122 years

Most famous for an FA Cup giantkilling against Notts County, South Shore vied with Blackpool for predominance in the town until the latter’s acceptance into the Football League in 1896.

Hoping to base his club at the planned Sports Village at the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, IT developer Jason outlined his vision from his home in Illinois.

The 51-year-old told The Gazette: “I’ve always wanted to run a football club, so I researched defunct clubs and South Shore immediately caught my eye.

“Their ground at Cow Gap Lane (now Waterloo Road) was close to where I was born at Glenroyd Maternity Hospital.

The planned South Shore FC home strip

“My dad was in the army, based at Weeton. We later moved to the Midlands and I have lived in the US since marrying an American, but I still think of Blackpool as home.”

There is nothing half-hearted about Jason’s plan. He has already formed a new company, applied for grant aid, sounded out the local authority and league, and designed a kit and crest for the club.

He continued: “I have formed a public limited company but it’s very much about the community and grassroots. The idea is to be an amateur club at first but if this could grow into a semi-professional club that would be great.

“The grant would help to recruit coaches, a marketing team and other staff.

“I have spoken to the West Lancashire League about operating a team from 2022/23. They have their criteria and you have to tick all the boxes.

“It all hinges on having a ground to play on and Blackpool Council has been very supportive. I am hoping the club can get a spot at the proposed 3G pitch within the Sports Village.”

The club’s red and white hooped kit would take its colours from the South Pier of Victorian times, while the crest would feature a carousel horse recalling the South Shore fairground attraction of that era.

All the hard work is just beginning but Jason is determined to fulfil his dream: “It’s early days but I am putting feelers out,” he said.

“There’s a lot to do and it’s a one-man band at the moment but I am totally committed to doing this.”

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