Category Archives: Sport

Darlington FC 1 AFC Fylde 0: Coasters surrender top spot with defeat

Home | Lytham St Annes Express

The Coasters fell to defeat on the road as they were beaten at Blackwell Meadows in National League North.


Luke Charman’s strong strike into the top corner on the half-hour settled matters in the home side’s favour.

Fylde manager Jim Bentley had named the same side that beat Blyth Spartans 4-1, with David Perkins returning from injury and replacing Jack Byrne on the bench.

The Coasters made a bright start to proceedings, especially through winger Sam Osborne.

Jack Sampson was denied by a late save Picture: Steve McLellan

Jack Sampson was denied by a late save Picture: Steve McLellan

He made a few runs down the right flank, but it was the hosts who had the first real chance of the game.

Jarrett Rivers whipped a corner into the area and Charman, on the penalty spot, volleyed wide of goal.

He made no mistake, however, when he was found on the edge of the area before turning and firing into the top corner.

That separated the two teams at half-time, after which the Coasters came out looking for a way back into the game.

Ben Tollitt flicked a clever pass around Jake Cooper to set Nick Haughton free down the left.

He drilled an effort across the face of goal, where Jack Sampson couldn’t quite get a toe on the ball to turn it in.

The Coasters continued pushing forward, Kieran Lloyd crossing towards Sampson who was waiting at the back post.

His strike at goal fell to Tollitt inside the area, though he fired over from close range.

Haughton was next to have a go when he sent an effort towards the bottom corner, but Tommy Taylor got down well to save.

Sampson had a late chance when he was found at the back post by Luke Conlan.

He did everything right by hitting a left-footed strike towards the bottom corner, but Taylor made a great save.

Darlington FC: Taylor, Wheatley (Smith 77), Hedley, Hatfield, Charman, Rivers (Mondal 90), Ellis, Lambert (Dos Santos 90), Lawlor, Purver, Cooper. Subs not used: Storey, Nelson.

AFC Fylde: Jones, Lloyd, Obi, Stott, Conlan, Joyce, Nolan (Perkins 56), Osborne (Hulme 56), Haughton, Tollitt (Walker 78), Sampson. Subs not used: Neal, Robinson.



Blackpool AFC forced to cancel games after ground ‘completely smashed up’ in break-in

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The break in saw the changing rooms and vending machines “smashed up”


The amateur football club will see games cancelled after a break in last weekend
The amateur football club will see games cancelled after a break in last weekend (Image: A.F.C Blackpool)

A Blackpool football club has been forced to cancel games after its changing rooms were ‘completely smashed up’ in a break-in.

Blackpool Amateur Football Club is raising money to replace damaged doors after a break in on the early hours of Sunday morning (November 14).

The club has three teams, including both an Under 17’s and Under 18’s team.

Now, Blackpool AFC have been forced to cancel games after a break in last weekend that saw the changing rooms, referee changing room and vending machines “completely smashed up”.

The people that had broken in had “strangely” decided to smash up the vending machines and changing rooms, Kevin Quirke said, rather than opting for “anything else” like spirits.

Mr Quirke, whose family is involved in volunteering at the club, is now raising funds to help the team replace the damaged doors which he said was caused by “mindless vandalism”.

Mr Quirke told Lancs Live that the break in had a serious effect on the amateur games, with an upcoming Under-17s game already cancelled as they are unable to house a referee.

He explained that the “devastating” break in meant the club was “losing revenue” through both bar and ticket sales.

The club changing rooms were broken into on Sunday, November 14.
The club changing rooms were broken into on Sunday, November 14.

“It was all about bringing fans and money back in after the pandemic,” he said, “and now this has happened.”

The community club is ran by volunteers and Mr Quirke said they are unable to claim “on the insurance policy” due to how much it will raise the cost of their insurance.

He added: “The Club provides so much for the town with youth football, adult football and community events. Please give anything you can to help AFC recover from this awful, devastating incident.”

The fundraiser has received 76 donations so far, seeing the £500 goal quickly reached. At present, the club has received £907 in donations to remedy the break in.

The club was founded as Blackpool Metal Mechanics in 1947, before changing its name to Blackpool Mechanics.

They started out playing at Stanley Park Arena before moving to the present ground on Jepson Way in 1949.

You can donate to the fundraiser here.



Blackpool Council strikes deal over cricket club land

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool Council has agreed to pay compensation to South Shore Cricket and Squash Club after a deal was struck to relinquish land to the council in order to develop new sports facilities  at the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.


The club had a lease with the council until 2034 to occupy its site on Common Edge Road.

But it will receive a total of £53,500 in return for surrendering parts of the land to the council to build infrastructure for the enterprise zone.

The club will continue to operate fully on a smaller site.

South Shore Cricket and Squash Club

South Shore Cricket and Squash Club

A council report says: “Parts of the leasehold land on the southern, northern and western boundaries of the leasehold area are needed to enable the construction of new roads, services and facilities in connection with the development of Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.

“Terms have been negotiated for the surrender of the lease held by South Shore Cricket and Squash Club, and for the grant of a new 25 year lease on a reduced area of for the main pavilion and playing area – and for a separate 25 year lease in respect of a detached site for use as a training area.”

The relinquished land will be used for the construction of new sports facilities including changing rooms, a car park, a footpath and cycleway, with compensation coming from the £18m enterprise zone development fund which includes £7.5m from Blackpool’s Town Deal.

Work has already begun to build the sports village including a 3G sports pitch, a replacement grass rugby pitch and training area which is due to be ready by next summer.



Waterloo bowling championships on the move from Blackpool to Fleetwood

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool’s historic Waterloo bowling championships will live on … in Fleetwood.


All the tournaments traditionally held at crown green bowling’s most iconic venue, the Waterloo Hotel on South Shore, are to be staged at Fleetwood Bowling Club from next year, including the jewel in the crown that is the Autumn Handicap.

It follows a long but ultimately unsuccessful campaign to safeguard the future of the Waterloo arena itself, where massive investment was needed for redevelopment of the stadium.

The 2019 Waterloo championships were the last at a South Shore venue which has staged them for well over a century

The 2019 Waterloo championships were the last at a South Shore venue which has staged them for well over a century

The campaign group, spearheaded by five-time Waterloo champion Gary Ellis, succeeded in raising the £75,000 required through an online funding appeal, but they could not agree a new lease for the site to make the expenditure worthwhile.

Ellis and his colleagues felt the 10-year lease offered by the owners did not provide enough security to justify such an outlay for rebuilding.

But after 114 years of Waterloo bowls, a new bowling committee has been formed to maintain the traditions of the Waterloo at a new home a few miles up the coast.

It is spearheaded by Staffordshire-based Waterloo stalwart Jeff Brown, while the role of bowling manager has been assumed by Mark Mills, a dedicated Waterloo organiser of recent years.

The Fylde green bowling scene has enjoyed a successful revival after its greens stood empty through 2020, and one of this year’s most successful events was the Fleetwood Bowling Festival at Fleetwood BC on Upper Lune Street.

Mills takes up the story: “We saw what a good venue it was and it made sense to play the Waterloo competitions there.

“Even if the situation at the Waterloo suddenly changed, I don’t think we could get the green ready in time to hold events next year. It’s amazing how quickly nature takes over.

“We’ll still call it the Waterloo and play for the same trophies. Everything will be the same, it’s just the venue that has changed. I know that’s a big deal because so many people’s hearts were in the Waterloo, but we hope that in the next few years everyone will come to terms with these events having a new home and will enjoy them as they always have.

“Of course we’d love to carry on playing at the Waterloo and we will all miss it, but this is the right thing to do. It means the tournaments can continue and we don’t lose all that history.”

Mark hails from Stockport but is based in Staining for most of the year. His son Ben won the North Lancashire and Fylde Junior merit title.

Those who donated to the Waterloo appeal have the option of a refund or of seeing their money used to develop the Fleetwood site as a major tournament venue. And a GoFundMe page specifically for this purpose has been launched online:

Dates for the 2022 spring (April 13-May 2) and autumn (July 2-September 21) Waterloo championships have been confirmed, though entries are not yet being taken.

Sponsors for all next year’s Waterloo competitions are also being sought. Any interested parties are asked to contact Mark at



Sergio Martinez defeat a distant memory for Blackpool’s Brian Rose as European title fight is announced

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool’s Brian Rose will look to bounce back from his controversial defeat to former pound-for-pound great Sergio Martinez when he returns to the ring later this year.


The ‘Lion’ was beaten on the scorecards by Martinez in Spain last month, despite dominating the bout.

But rather than complain about the setback, Rose has decided to get back on the horse straight away and will now travel to Germany in December to challenge for a version of the European middleweight title.

The 36-year-old takes on the undefeated Denis Radovan in Ilsenburg on Friday, December 3.

“If I had been beaten badly in my last fight, I would have called it a day 100 per cent,” Rose told The Gazette.

“But I’ve got a chance to rectify that defeat and this fight is for an IBF title.

“I probably wouldn’t have got this opportunity had I not lost to Sergio Martinez, I would have moved onto bigger and better things. But this is still massive. I’m blessed in a way to have this opportunity.”

The Lions heads to Germany to fight for a version of the European title in December

The Lions heads to Germany to fight for a version of the European title in December

The middleweight added: “Everyone I spoke to (after the Martinez fight) said I rolled back the years and that I looked really good, especially during the first six to seven rounds. It was only late on that I tired a little bit.

“But if I’m honest, the food over there wasn’t great so when I weighed in, I couldn’t refuel as well as I’d have liked.

“But I’m not going to sit here and go on about that fight and make any excuses, because it is what it is and I don’t like to cry over spilt milk. I just brush myself down and go again.”

Radovan is highly-rated in Germany, having won 14 of his 15 fights, drawing the other.

His second-to-last victory came against Clitheroe-based Luke Blackledge in 2019, a fighter Rose knows well.

“Luke was coming to the end of his career when he fought him, but there’s no doubt he’s well thought of in Germany,” Rose added.

“That’s because of who he’s fought, he’s not fought the usual journeymen, they’ve put him in with kids who can have a fight.

“Him fighting me after 14 fights says it all, because he’s looking to step up and progress and not fight journeymen throughout his career.

“I know he was a really good amateur, but people don’t know that I was a good amateur as well. Because I’ve been pro for so many years, people just forget about that experience.

“I had 90 amateur fights and I only lost 13, I boxed for England all over the world and I was similar to what he was, but 20 years ago.

“There’s no doubt he’s a good fighter, but I don’t think he will be as good as Sergio Martinez and he’s nowhere near as experienced as me and on the night, I think that will prove crucial.

“I don’t take fights I know I can’t win and there are fights out there that I probably wouldn’t take because I’m at a different stage of my career, so I know my limits and I know what fights I’m capable of winning and what fights I’m not.

“This fight, I know I’m capable of winning.”



See how a tiny robot has got Blackpool’s newest football pitches ready for kick-off

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The new sports pitches at the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone are set to get used for the first time, thanks to work done by a little robot.


The pitches created off Common Edge Road have been now been marked out, not by a groundsman pushing a white line marking machine, but automatically, by a robot controlled using a tablet and GPS technology.

The sports facilities, which are part of a £5m investment to upgrade sports in Blackpool, will be used for the first time this Saturday by Spirit of Youth FC.

New changing rooms are set to follow, plus a 3G sports pitch, a rugby pitch and a rugby training area as well as 12 football pitches and a 194-space car park, all poart of teh over-arching redevelopment of the enterprise zone.

It's a corner! The robot used to mark out the pitches off Common Edge Road

It’s a corner! The robot used to mark out the pitches off Common Edge Road

The battery-powered robot can mark out two to three fields on one drum of paint and allows the owner to calculate exactly how much is needed, so there is no wastage.

The work has been carried out by Lancashire-based Richard Peel Groundcare with the robot supplied by Rigby Taylor.

Coun Kath Benson, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, Aspirations and Community Assets said, “We are delighted to see the brand new pitches at Common Edge Playing Fields being marked out ready for the first training sessions, and seeing first-hand how cutting edge technology is used to control a robot by GPS was fascinating.

“Everyone is excited to get down and try out the new pitches, which are looking top class and really inviting!

Spirit of Youth FC will be the first to officially use the new football field

Spirit of Youth FC will be the first to officially use the new football field

“The opening of the new sports pitches marks the start of a new generation of quality sports and leisure facilities for local, grass roots sporting clubs and the surrounding South Shore community.

“Having quality pitches at Common Edge will enable Blackpool to attract and host higher profile tournaments in the future, such as the Blackpool Cup which is planned for spring 2022.

“Creating new sports pitches also helps to unlock development land and commercial opportunities at Blackpool Enterprise Zone, which is needed to help growing local businesses, attract investment and create skilled, long term employment for the people of Blackpool.”

Next phase of £5m sports investment for Blackpool approved
The robot uses GPS satellite technology to draw out accurate pitches

The robot uses GPS satellite technology to draw out accurate pitches

It is controlled by an operator using a computer tablet

It is controlled by an operator using a computer tablet

Police visit AFC Fylde after academy players squirt public with water pistols

Home | Blackpool Gazette

AFC Fylde has apologised after a number of its academy players allegedly squirted water pistols at members of the public in Kirkham.


AFC Fylde has apologised after a number of its academy players allegedly squirted water pistols at members of the public in Kirkham

AFC Fylde has apologised after a number of its academy players allegedly squirted water pistols at members of the public in Kirkham

The teenage culprits were identified after the club launched an internal investigation into recent reports of anti-social behaviour involving some of its young footballers.

The club said it had received a number of complaints about their behaviour in public, including one incident where a family was soaked with water pistols by teenagers dressed in the club’s tracksuits.

Academy manager Chris Ganner said the incident has been treated with “the utmost seriousness” and added that a community police officer attended the academy to speak to the young lads about their behaviour.

Mr Ganner has apologised to the family and the community, saying the club “do not condone this type of behaviour”.

A club spokesman said: “The incident was brought to our attention on Tuesday morning (September 21), and we immediately launched an internal investigation to identify the students involved.

“After gaining a detailed understanding of what had happened, our Academy Manager Chris Ganner reached out to local police and numerous members of the public who have been affected by their actions.

“AFC Fylde Football Club do not condone this type of behaviour and have banned the students involved from this week’s games.

“The Club would like to reassure people that allegations such as this are treated with the utmost seriousness.

“Finally, we would like to extend our apologies to the family affected and will continue to educate our students on their behaviour and responsibilities in the community.”



AFC Fylde reposts job ad with warning for anyone looking for ‘flexitime’

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The job description comes as an amendment to the initial post as the club now add they don’t want any “off lurkers”, “delegates” or “flexitime”.


AFC Fylde's Mill Farm stadium
AFC Fylde’s Mill Farm stadium

Lancashire football club bosses have released a new job advertisement for a general manager after their first was condemned for telling people not to apply if they have to pick up their children from school.

Earlier this week, non-league club AFC Fylde advertised for a new general manager of the football club.

But a day after it was posted the ad was deleted due to the response from within and outside the football community.

The club, who play in the National League North at Mill Farm in Wesham, stated in their original job advisement: “We work hard at Fylde so again, don’t apply if you are looking for a work-life balance or have to pick up the kids from school twice a week at 3.30.”

Now, the club has release a second advertisement for the job role redacting the controversial phrases.

But their emphasis on not having a ‘flexible work life balance’ remains, telling those want such an arrangement to not apply.

In the new job ad, the club states: “This is a ‘hands on role’ and requires hands on leadership from the front so ‘delegators’ and ‘office dwellers’ please don’t apply.”

It follows on to say: “You will need to be proactive in your approach to everything.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we work hard at Fylde, so again don’t apply if you are looking for flexitime or similar work life balances.”

In attempts to clear up any misinterpretations, the job description comes with a glossary of terms explaining the clubs own meaning of phrases used in the post.

The club describes ‘office lurkers’ as ‘people who find every reason possible to stay in their office and NOT to get out and meet people face to face, be they customers, suppliers or our employees’.

On ‘delegators’, it says: “Those managers who ‘delegate’ any job that is boring, mundane, difficult, detailed or indeed they consider to be below their status to someone else down the food chain without FIRST understanding how to do the job themselves.

“This is particularly prevalent in football, where most people want to spend the day pontificating with whoever will listen about players, tactics and in fact anything but that for which they are responsible. We call them ‘football romantics’.”

Regarding a ‘work life balance’, the club says this is a ‘modern, commonly used term that can mean many different things to different people’.

It adds: “However, from our experience, in simple terms we have found this means the ability to work from home some days a week, start late some days or leave early.

“Our working hours throughout the whole of the group are 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday, with exception of Saturdays in football, where you take a day off during the week to compensate.”

LancsLive is yet to have a response from AFC Fylde in regards to the original advertisement.



Blackpool Cricket Club complete league and cup double

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool Cricket Club have done the league and cup double.


Monday’s three-wicket derby victory at St Annes sealed the Northern Premier League title with a game to spare following Blackpool’s triumph in the 40-over competition.

It’s a record-extending 18th NPCL title for Blackpool, who lost their opening game of the season but have not been beaten in the league since, despite playing most of their matches away from home due to ground improvement work at Stanley Park.

Matt Siddall bowled a season's best 6-26 for Blackpool in their title-clinching victory at St Annes

Matt Siddall bowled a season’s best 6-26 for Blackpool in their title-clinching victory at St Annes

It means St Annes go into their final game on Saturday at Leyland not yet safe from the drop, while Fleetwood will finish in the relegation places after a 69-run defeat at Fulwood and Broughton, the only team to have beaten Blackpool in division one in 2021.

St Annes chose to bat against Blackpool but struggled to build any momentum, number three Nathan Bolus their top scorer with 30 in a modest total of 116 from 44.4 overs.

Blackpool’s Cumbria spinner Matt Siddall took a season’s best 6-26 and did the damage in the crucial period which saw the hosts slump from 68-3 to 75-7.

But Blackpool found batting anything but simple either as none of their top five reached double figures and victory was looking doubtful at 22-4 and later 62-6.

Wicketkeeper Ben Howarth’s unbeaten 37, which included six fours, eased any nerves and propelled his side to victory at 117-7 in 45.5 overs, despite three wickets apiece for Harry Birkman and St Annes captain Tom Higson.

Fleetwood needed a victory at Fulwood and Broughton to take their battle at the bottom down to the final game against fellow relegation scrappers Chorley on Saturday.

Fulwood were put in to bat and set a target of 180-9 as professional Dyllan Matthews did his utmost to give Fleetwood a fighting chance of victory with a return of 6-56, the second time the South African has taken six wicket from the club. The home side’s Ben Rosbottom was run out one short of his half-century.

But the chase was never really on for Fleetwood, who struggled to 60-5 and lost Matthews without scoring.

Declan Clerkin fought back with a top score of 23 but Fleetwood were all out for 111 in 39.1 overs, Dominic Wilson taking four wickets from 3.1 overs as Fulwood ensured their survival.

Other results: Chorley 251-7 drew with Leyland 162-8, Garstang 129 beat Lancaster 112 by 17 runs, Longridge 235-6 beat Morecambe 165 by 70 runs, Netherfield 195-8 beat Kendal 131 by 64 runs.


Fylde coast cricket preview: Fleetwood CC hope to end a tough year on a high

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Fleetwood Cricket Club are determined to bounce back up to the Northern Premier League at the first attempt – but their immediate aim is to end their 69-year stay in the competition on a high.


Defeats in relegation battles with St Annes and Fulwood and Broughton over the holiday weekend sealed the fate of the NPCL founder members, who will contest the Palace Shield next season.

Chorley will go down too unless they win tomorrow’s final game at Broadwater but Fleetwood captain Adam Sharrocks is anxious not to let that happen.

He told The Gazette: “We’ve lost enough games this season and we want to finish with pride and win for the people who have supported us. We would do the league an injustice by not doing our best.

Fleetwood CC skipper Adam Sharrocks (batting)

Fleetwood CC skipper Adam Sharrocks (batting)

Blackpool Cricket Club can challenge for years says proud captain Paul Danson af…

“The game at St Annes was in our hands and that would have given us momentum to take into Monday but we threw opportunities away.

“I’m extremely disappointed for this great club but we have an opportunity to re-evaluate and move forward.

“I’ve had many good times here but we feel we’ve let the club down, though there is a real spirit of togetherness.

“The Palace Shield is a great competition with some very good teams, but our focus will be on getting back to where we think we should be.”

St Annes require six points at Leyland to guarantee their safety, with Morecambe the other club Chorley could potentially overtake.

There are no such worries for champions and cup winners Blackpool, who end their campaign at home to Netherfield.

Though the NPCL ends tomorrow, the Fylde coast cricket season does not. The Shield has two Saturdays to go and the Liverpool Competition three, though promotion-chasing Lytham play their final home game tomorrow against Ainsdale.

Fleetwood are set to join a Palace Shield premier division containing fewer Fylde coast clubs, with South Shore and Fylde CC relegated.

Kirkham and Wesham could yet climb into the NPCL, though victory at Penwortham tomorrow is probably a must if they are to challenge Vernon Carus for the second promotion spot behind Penrith.


Northern Premier League (12.30): Blackpool v Netherfield, Fleetwood v Chorley, Leyland v St Annes, Kendal v Longridge, Lancaster v Fulwood and Broughton, Morecambe v Garstang.

Liverpool Competition first division (12.0): Lytham v Ainsdale.

Moore and Smalley Palace Shield premier division (1.30): Fylde v Thornton Cleveleys, Great Eccleston v South Shore, Penwortham v Kirkham and Wesham, Barrow v Preston, Croston v Penrith, Eccleston v Vernon Carus.

Division 1B: St Annes 2 v Leyland 2, Chorley 2 v Fleetwood 2, Fulwood and Broughton 2 v Great Eccleston 2, Netherfield 2 v Blackpool 2.

Division 2: Thornton Cleveleys 2 v Longridge 3, Ingol v Norcross, Whittingham and Goosnargh v Wrea Green.


Blackpool-born Isaac Towers misses out on medal in Paralympics 800m final

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool-born wheelchair racer Isaac Towers missed out on a medal at the Paralympics in Tokyo, finishing seventh in the T34 800m final.


Disappointment for the Brits in the T34 800m wheelchair final in Tokyo, where Isaac Towers and Ben Rowlings (rear) finished seventh and eighth

Disappointment for the Brits in the T34 800m wheelchair final in Tokyo, where Isaac Towers and Ben Rowlings (rear) finished seventh and eighth

Despite recording the second-fastest time in Friday’s heats, the 22-year-old from Catterall could not match the pace of Tunisian Walid Ktila, who stormed to victory in a Paralympic record time of 1min, 45.50secs.

After a tight first lap on the wet Olympic Stadium track, in which the Finn Henry Manni led the way, world record holder Ktila and the defending champion Mohamed Alhammadi stormed clear on the back straight to turn this two-lap showpiece into a thrilling head-to-head.

Alhammadi, from the United Arab Emirates, had to settle for silver in 1.45.59, with Yang Wang taking bronze for China in 1.45.68.

It had been hoped the feats of Britain’s Hannah Cockroft, who had defied an injury in the warm-up to storm to victory in the equivalent women’s race moments earlier, would inspire the Brits in the men’s final but they finished in seventh and eight places.

Towers clocked 1:48.08, with GB teammate Ben Rowlings eighth in 1.48.63.

It was a disappointment for former AKS and Cardinal Newman College pupil Towers after his season’s best 1.46.58 in the heat, a time bettered only by Alhammadi.

It means Towers, who finished fifth in the final in Rio five years ago, must wait until Paris in 2024 for another chance to add a Paralympic medal to his Para World Championships bronze from 2017 and his five European Championship medals. These include 800m gold in Italy five years ago.

The 800m was Towers’ only event in Tokyo. He also competes in the 200m and 400m but those distances do not feature at the Paralympics in Isaac’s category.

The T34 category is for athletes with cerebral palsy.