Blackpool in the Premier League 10 years on: Victory at Newcastle overshadowed by sadness

It’s 10 years since Blackpool graced the top-flight and we’re retelling the story week-by-week of that sensational season in the big time.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 3:06 pm
Updated Friday, 11th September 2020, 3:10 pm
DJ Campbell seals Blackpool's win at Newcastle a decade ago, though Joey Barton was not impressed

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That unforgettable first Premier League game at Bloomfield Road

With four points from their first three games, Blackpool headed to St James’ Park on this date in 2010. Here’s how STEVE CANAVAN reported on a match overshadowed....

After such a wonderful victory and a top-notchperformance, it should be easy to pen a glowing report. But it’s not.

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In fact, it feels wrong to be even remotely concerned about 22 blokes chasing a ball around in the light of what has happened at Blackpool FC in the past week.

Gary Parkinson, who continues to be treated in hospital after suffering a stroke, was a major part of the club.

The family-like set-up is the reason the players, when told on Friday that one of their own was fighting for his life, were reduced to tears.

Well-known throughout Lancashire one of a handful of footballers who has played for Pool, Preston andBurnley, Parkinson (pictured in 2010) has worked as a coach at Bloomfield Road for the last four years.

It was no doubt a source of great personal frustration when he wasn’t kept on first-team duties following Ian Holloway’s appointment. However, Parkinson didn’t sulk. He went back to his youth duties and uncomplainingly got on with the job at hand. It’s why he is so popular and so well respected, and why the deeply-felt concern of everyone connected with the club is so genuine and heartfelt.

On the field there is no doubt that the players did him proud, penning their own tribute in the form of a 2-0 victory that few gave them chance of pulling off. Certainly not the bookies, who had Pool at 7-1 for a victory.

Pool are like a goldfish swimming in a pool of Great Whites. By rights, the other Premier League clubs should be able to gobble them up and spit them back into the Championship.

The bottom line is that the club has some very good players and when, as on Saturday, they all play well they will shock plenty of teams bigger than Newcastle.

Everyone in Tangerine played well in this game. It’s harsh to single any individuals out but special mention to Ian Evatt and Dekel Keinan ( faultless in defence), Neal Eardley ( a revelation on his return to the right-back berth), David Vaughan and Charlie Adam ( bossed the midfield), and DJ Campbell (the saviour returns and what a finish for his goal).

Adam scored from the penalty spot a minute before the break, after Magpies skipper Alan Smith rashly dived in and floored Luke Varney.

It’s good for Adam to get off the mark. He’ll now be in the mood to follow it with many more.

Campbell made certain of the points in the final seconds with a wonderful curling left-footed finish from the edge of the area after Adam’s lung-bursting surge upfield.

In between, Matt Gilks made stunning saves from Joey Barton and Andy Carroll.

Mike Williamson hit the post with a first-half header and Keinan cleared Wayne Routledge’s volley off the line.

At the other end, Campbell was sent clear by – guess who? – Adam but couldn’t beat Harper, and then had a goal disallowed for offside.

Blackpool: Gilks, Eardley, Evatt, Keinan, Crainey, Vaughan, Adam, Grandin (Carney), Campbell, Ormerod (Harewood), Varney (Southern)

Newcastle: Harper, Perch, Coloccini, Williamson, Jose Enrique, Routledge (Ameobi), Smith (Lovenkrands), Barton, Gutierrez (Ben Arfa), Nolan, Carroll