“Back where we should be!” – Blackpool fans celebrate Wembley win over Lincoln City in League One play-off final

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The Blackpool fans celebrated their side sealing a historic sixth Wembley on Sunday, defeating Lincoln City 2-1.

Blackpool fans at Wembley.

Blackpool fans at Wembley.

Despite conceding inside a minute, the Seasiders fought back to earn their place in the Championship.

Ollie Turton steered the ball into his own net from Brennan Johnson’s low cross before some fans had settled in their seats.

Pool were stunned by the early concession but rallied and grew into the game, Kenny Dougall scoring on his left foot from outside the area to draw level just before the break.

Blackpool fans took to Twitter to show their delight on their side’s win, with @SalmonSport showing his appreciation for the goalscorer.

He tweeted: “Kenny Dougall you wonderful Australian man!”

And @sesider76 said: “We’ve only gone and done it!”

@MatthewCogan said: Play-offs? Completed them (yet again!)”

@hpseasider1989 said: “Bring on Preston!”

@HereLiesJeff tweeted: So happy right now! Blackpool are back! Championship football next season!”

As Blackpool will be back in the Championship next season, many fans were enjoying pointing it out and savouring their new status.

@cobyjwat06 said: “We’re back where we should be.”

@The RealAlderado said: “Championship here we come! What a season! We are going up!”

As Blackpool made it six wins at Wembley, there was an inevitable feel around the result, which @OllyGregg pointed out: “Death, taxes and Blackpool doing the business in the play-offs.”

Following Simon Sadler’s positive impact on the club, the owner also came in for some thanks from the Pool fans.

@kuztard1971 simply said: “Thank you, Simon Sadler.”

And Gone under the radar all season, Sky Sports never even clipped us in the play off promotion videos. Thank you Simon Sadler, Critch, the supporters who still believed at the start, the players and everyone involved at the club, going to be so good for this town!”

 

Wembley hero Kenny Dougall reflects on firing Blackpool to promotion with double in play-off final against Lincoln

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Blackpool’s play-off final hero Kenny Dougall has revealed his boss Neil Critchley told him not to shoot earlier this season.

 

The midfielder scored both of Blackpool’s goals as the Seasiders ran out deserved 2-1 winners to secure promotion to the Championship.

Critchley’s side had to recover from a goal down to claim the win, after Ollie Turton had scored a freak own goal after just 48 seconds.

But the day ended in celebrations as the Seasiders held on for a win that makes it six promotions via the play-offs in the nine campaigns the club has taken part in.

“It’s special, that’s all I can say,” Dougall told Sky Sports after the game.

“To play at Wembley and to score two goals is fantastic.

“I’m sure there were a few watching in Australia and obviously it’s great for my parents who have had to get up early every week all season.

Kenny Dougall was Blackpool's unlikely two-goal hero at WembleyKenny Dougall was Blackpool’s unlikely two-goal hero at Wembley

“Obviously it was the worst possible start but credit to all the lads for getting ourselves together.

“Earlier in the season the boss was telling me not to shoot but I’m just happy for the team to get the job done.

“You don’t want to come to Wembley and lose, so my commiserations go to Lincoln but I just want to enjoy the moment.

“It’s a shame there are only 9,700 here, so maybe that makes it bittersweet, but the fans who are here will have thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Pool were dealt a major blow prior to kick-off when it emerged that in-form striker Ellis Simms wasn’t fit enough to play. But, as they have done all season, Critchley’s side got on with things and found a way to get the result.

“We all felt sorry for Ellis when he pulled up in training,” Dougall said.

“It’s one of those things but we pulled it out of the hat for him. We’ll be ready for next season and go again.”

 

Blackpool goal hero Kenny Dougall reveals: Boss told me not to shoot earlier this season

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Blackpool’s play-off final hero Kenny Dougall has revealed his boss Neil Critchley told him not to shoot earlier this season.

 

The midfielder scored both of Blackpool’s goals as the Seasiders ran out deserved 2-1 winners to secure promotion to the Championship.

Critchley’s side had to recover from a goal down to claim the win, after Ollie Turton had scored a freak own goal after just 48 seconds.

Two-goal Kenny Dougall with the man of the match awardTwo-goal Kenny Dougall with the man of the match award

But the day ended in celebrations as the Seasiders held on for a win that makes it six promotions via the play-offs in the nine campaigns the club has taken part in.

“It’s special, that’s all I can say,” Dougall told Sky Sports after the game.

“To play at Wembley and to score two goals is fantastic.

“I’m sure there were a few watching in Australia and obviously it’s great for my parents who have had to get up early every week all season.

“Obviously it was the worst possible start but credit to all the lads for getting ourselves together.

“Earlier in the season the boss was telling me not to shoot but I’m just happy for the team to get the job done.

“You don’t want to come to Wembley and lose, so my commiserations go to Lincoln but I just want to enjoy the moment.

“It’s a shame there are only 9,700 here, so maybe that makes it bittersweet, but the fans who are here will have thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Pool were dealt a major blow prior to kick-off when it emerged that in-form striker Ellis Simms wasn’t fit enough to play. But, as they have done all season, Critchley’s side got on with things and found a way to get the result.

“We all felt sorry for Ellis when he pulled up in training,” Dougall said.

“It’s one of those things but we pulled it out of the hat for him. We’ll be ready for next season and go again.”

Critchley later explained that his instruction to Dougall not to shoot had been given when the newly-signed midfielder had shown a desire to take aim from 30 yards. The Pool boss says he never had a problem with the Australian shooting from 20 … and we can all see why.

 

Historical Blackpool restaurant set to reopen under new owners

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Mamma’s Ristorante closed in 2020 some 40 years after first opening

Mamma's Ristorante, Blackpool

Mamma’s Ristorante, Blackpool

A popular Blackpool Italian restaurant looks set for a new lease of life with renovation plans on the horizon.

Mamma’s Ristorante on Topping Street closed last year after 40 years of trading in the resort when owners Giuliano Giacomini and his wife Susi decided to call it a day during the pandemic.

But planning documents reveal the premises have been taken over by new owners Claire and Lee Martin who have applied for planning permission for renovations including a replacement awning, new timber windows, planting boxes on the first floor and repairs to the frontage.

Blackpool based architect Joseph Boniface, who has drawn up the scheme, says in a design statement: “Mammas Restaurant is a Blackpool institution and has recently come under new ownership.

“The new owners, Claire and Lee Martin, are currently undertaking an extensive refurbishment of the interior and exterior to which this application relates.

“The scheme is designed to complement the existing work underway as part of the Quality Corridors initiative.”

Documents add “extensive works are required to the external facade” including replacing rotten timber, repairing brickwork and rendering.

The premises, which has space for around 60 diners, was advertised last year for lease at £24,000 a year.

It had been forced to close in March 2020 due to the coronavirus lockdown, and Guiliano and Susi then decided to step down permanently due to Susi having to self-isolate while Giuliano was coming up to 80 years old.

Susi said at the time: “It has been wonderful, we have made so many friends and worked with so many wonderful people, we are going to miss it.

“But with everything that has gone on and the health restrictions, we think it is time to retire.”

Giuliano had worked in several places before opening his first restaurant Da Vinci’s in King Street.

“But he realised there was big market for pizzerias and set up Mamma’s Ristorante in June 1980.

 

BLACKPOOL ROCKS! Crowds flock to the resort to soak up the sun

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Thousands of people flocked to Blackpool to make the most of the sunshine on a glorious Bank Holiday weekend.

 

The sun shines on the busy promenade

Here’s a selection of some of the happy sun-lovers. Pictures by Martin Bostock.

‘You beauty’, ‘That’s more like it’ – Blackpool fans react to ‘fantastic’ moment in first half of play-off final vs Lincoln

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Blackpool bounced back from a dreadful start to bring themselves level with Lincoln City in the latter stages of the first half of the League One play-off final – and fans have been quick to react on social media.

Kenny Dougall of Blackpool. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Kenny Dougall of Blackpool. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The Seasiders fell behind after just 47 seconds when Ollie Turton diverted an Imps cross into his own net, but slowly grew into the game from that point onwards.

Neil Critchley’s men then got their reward for their attacking endeavours when Kenny Dougall’s long-range effort sneaked under Lincoln goalkeeper Alex Palmer and into the bottom corner to change the complexion of the clash entirely.

The strike was the Australian’s second in consecutive matches.

@_GeorgeGlass tweeted: “YOU BEAUTY”

@dylanfreckelton tweeted: “That’s more like it”

@upstreamfool tweeted: “Get in!”

Blackpool 2-1 Lincoln City: Kenny Dougall the Wembley hero as Seasiders clinch promotion back to the Championship

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Kenny Dougall was the unlikely Wembley hero as Blackpool came from behind to beat Lincoln City and secure promotion to the Championship.

The Seasiders recovered from a horror start, when they fell behind after just 48 seconds following Ollie Turton’s freak own goal.

But Neil Critchley’s men produced a magnificent response, eventually levelling through Dougall before half-time.

Kenny Dougall was Blackpool's hero with both of their goals

Kenny Dougall was Blackpool’s hero with both of their goals

From this point onwards, the Seasiders had an impressive level of control in the game, edging their noses in front through Dougall’s second of the game.

Pool saw out the remainder of the Wembley showpiece with minimal fuss, clinching a return to England’s second tier after a six-year absence.

The Seasiders, the play-off kings, now have an amazing six promotions from the nine play-off campaigns they’ve taken part in.

The Seasiders were dealt a major blow prior to kick-off when news emerged that in-form striker Ellis Simms missed out.

The striker, who had scored five times in his last four appearances, was sidelined with a knock he picked up in training.

It meant Jerry Yates led the line on his own, with attacking trio Demetri Mitchell, Elliot Embleton and Keshi Anderson playing just off him.

There was better news elsewhere though, as Dan Ballard was fit enough to start in central defence after overcoming his injury scare.

There was also a major boost with the emergence of CJ Hamilton on the substitutes’ bench, the winger returning sooner than expected having injured his metatarsal in March.

Grant Ward was also fit enough to be named among the substitutes on his return from a calf strain, but there was still no place for Sullay Kaikai, who injured his hamstring in the recent win against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Daniel Gretarsson (shoulder) and Matty Virtue (ACL) both missed out with longer term injuries, while Bez Lubala remains unavailable due to a ‘club matter’.

Lincoln, meanwhile, named their strongest available line-up with defender Joe Walsh fit enough to start despite concerns.

The Imps only arrived at Wembley just after 2pm after their team bus was stuck in London traffic on the way to the stadium.

The nightmare preparation certainly didn’t hamper their start though, as the Seasiders got off to the worst start possible.

Dangerman Brennan Johnson was given too much time and space by Luke Garbutt and his low cross was turned into the back of his own net by Ollie Turton.

The right-back had attempted to side-foot the ball away from the six-yard box, but Turton couldn’t quite manouvre his feet in time to make the clearance.

Barely 50 seconds were on the clock but Critchley’s men were left utterly shell-shocked, conceding a goal that was so out of character.

The Imps got in down the right again through Johnson, but this time James Husband was there to clear Blackpool’s lines.

The men in tangerine simply couldn’t get to grips with Johnson in the early stages, Garbutt forced to resort to cynical tactics to hack down the on-loan Nottingham Forest man, picking up a booking in the process.

Pool took a while to get going after their early setback, but they finally began to assert some control, seeing more of the ball and patiently building up their attacks.

Blackpool had to wait until the 20th minute for their first shot in anger, as Garbutt attempted to atone for his poor early defending – but his curling 30-yard free-kick was straight at Palmer in the Lincoln goal.

The Imps, while happy to sit back on their lead and soak up Pool’s pressure, remained a major threat when they attacked.

They came close to doubling their lead on 25 minutes when Jorge Grant’s curler clipped the top of the crossbar, after the referee missed what appeared to be a blatant handball in the build-up.

The Seasiders retialited with a half chance of their own, as Demetri Mitchell headed over at full stretch from Elliot Embleton’s cross.

A minute later, Mitchell was denied by a fine save from Palmer after the increasingly influential winger had latched onto Jerry Yates’ pullback.

With 10 minutes to go until the interval, the Seasiders finally drew themselves level – and Yates was instrumental once again.

The lone striker did superbly to win the ball high up the pitch from Grant, which allowed Embleton to lay the ball off to Kenny Dougall.

The Aussie took a touch to settle himself before lashing home on his weaker left foot. Que scenes of bedlam in the Blackpool end of Wembley.

With momentum now on their side, Pool ended the half well on top, as they forced mistake after mistake out of their opponents.

Embleton had a low drive well saved by Palmer, before the Lincoln keeper did well to handle Mitchell’s downward header.

Chris Maxwell took a risk playing the ball out through a crowded centre of the park at the start of the second-half, but it almost paid dividends.

The ball reached Dougall, who came through a challenge unscathed before threading a through-ball that almost reached Yates, only for Lincoln to clear their lines.

The Seasiders remained well on top at this point, but all they were lacking was that final bit of care in the final third to edge ahead.

On 54 minutes, that all changed.

A ball in from the right took the slightest nick off Turton, which resulted in the ball falling at the feet of Yates.

With his back to goal, Yates showed great unselfishness to lay the ball off to Dougall, who slammed home his and his side’s second of the game to put Blackpool in front.

While Pool had control of the game, they still had to be mindful because Lincoln still posed a threat – especially through Johnson.

The winger got in behind Blackpool’s backline just before the hour mark, but Dan Ballard did well to step across and intercept.

Johnson then pulled the ball back into a crowded six-yard box after a bit of panic among the Blackpool ranks, but thankfully it fell to Mitchell who managed to clear his lines.

Try as they might, Lincoln failed to make any headway in the latter stages, as they found themselves being frustrated by the defensive shape and organisation of the Seasiders.

At the other end, Yates squandered a priceless chance to put daylight in-between the two sides as he chipped over the oncoming keeper, but wide of goal after latching onto a clever flick-on from substitute Gary Madine.

The striker came close himself a few moments later when he headed just wide from Garbutt’s free-kick, but it was a difficult chance with no power on the delivery.

The onslaught eventually came from Lincoln in the dying stages, which ensured a nerve-biting end to the game for the Seasiders.

Morgan Rogers fired wide from range, before a deep cross fell kindly for Lewis Montsma, but the substitute fired wastefully over – much to the relief of the 4,000 Seasiders.

The final whistle was greeted by raucous celebrations from the Blackpool end, the Seasiders celebrating a richly deserved promotion back to the Championship.

TEAMS

Blackpool: Maxwell, Turton, Ballard, Husband, Garbutt, Dougall, Stewart, Mitchell (Madine), Embleton (Hamilton), Anderson (Ward), Yates (Thorniley)

Subs not used: Moore, Ekpiteta, Gabriel

Lincoln: Palmer, Poole, Walsh (Montsma), Eyoma, Edun, Bridcutt, McGrandles, Grant (Scully), Johnson, Rogers, Hopper (Morton)

Subs not used: Long, Bramall, Sanders, Anderson

Referee: Tony Harrington

Attendance: 9,751

‘Beautiful’, ‘Absolutely gutted’ – Blackpool fans torn after ‘massive’ team news reveal vs Lincoln City

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Blackpool manager Neil Critchley has made just one change to his starting lineup ahead of the Seasiders’ League One play-off final clash with Lincoln City on Sunday afternoon – and fans have been quick to react in social media.

Blackpool manager Neil Critchley. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Blackpool manager Neil Critchley. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

After finishing third in the table in their regular campaign, the Tangerines beat Oxford United 6-3 on aggregate over the course of two legs in the semi-final to secure a spot at Wembley.

For their part, Lincoln hung on for a narrow 3-2 aggregate victory over Sunderland in the last round, and go into this clash having finished three points behind Blackpool in the final League One standings.

The main team news for the Seasiders sees Ellis Simms drop out of the side after picking up a knock in training on Saturday, with the 20-year-old having scored four goals in his last five outings. Keshi Anderson comes in to replace him.

CJ Hamilton returns for a place on the bench.

We’ve gathered the best reactions from supporters on Twitter below…

@_GeorgeGlass tweeted: “COME ON BOYS MAKE US PROUD”

@Kieran_Holmes20 tweeted: “Absolutely gutted about Simms but Ballard starting is massive, Up the Pool!”

@dan_masonn01 tweeted: “It’s beautiful”

@themightypool tweeted: “Absolutely gutted for Simms but… COME ON YOU POOL”

@JamesJSando tweeted: “No Simms is a blow but still strong team. C’mon the Pool”

@leanneapril_x tweeted: “If I wasn’t nervous enough… no Simms”

@jakemillard21 tweeted: “CJ off the bench! Ballard fit, COME ON YOU POOL!”

Blackpool mum who spent 80 days in critical care with Covid

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Danielle’s family have gone from dreading the phone ringing to her mum Lynette making an excellent recovery thanks to hospital staff

Danielle Wade, 42, and her mum, Lynette Wade from Blackpool

Danielle Wade, 42, and her mum, Lynette Wade from Blackpool (Image: Blue Skies NHS)

A woman from Blackpool is raising money as a way to thank a local hospital staff for the excellent care they provided for her mum while she spent 80 days in critical care due to Covid-19.

Danielle Wade, 42, has so far raised over £2,000 for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Charity, Blue Skies Hospitals Fund, as part of her gratitude for their lifesaving treatment.

In January this year, both her parents became ill with Covid-19 with Danielle’s mum, Lynette Wade, taken into hospital not long after being diagnosed.

Danielle’s father made a recovery from the virus but was then told he had cancer only a matter of days before wife Lynette was admitted.

It was not long after she took a turn for the worse and was admitted to the critical care unit.

Danielle said: “It was the biggest roller coaster ever and my dad couldn’t understand why he wasn’t suffering with it as bad but my mum was.

“When she got to hospital she went straight into a CPAP mask and then a ventilator and was turned over onto her stomach.

“She got worse and worse and they warned us about the blood clots and infection. We then got a phone call to say she probably wasn’t going to make it.”

What followed was a tense wait to see how Lynette was doing, so much so that Danielle used to dread the phone ringing.

She added: “The phone ringing used to make jump and I’d specifically ask people to text me first before calling. I realised that the worse her condition was the earlier the hospital would call.

“How I got through was I’d think ‘oh, I’ve gotten to tea time without a call’ and I carry on each day like that.

“We really did think she wasn’t going to make it one point.”

Danielle Wade, 42, and her mum, Lynette Wade from Blackpool

Danielle Wade, 42, and her mum, Lynette Wade from Blackpool (Image: Blue Skies NHS)

But after 80 long days, Lynette is now out of critical care and on the road to recovery. When she first awoke she was unable to smile due to paralysis in her face however now she’s home.

Though she is still receiving oxygen it is hoped this won’t be for much longer.

It comes as Danielle’s dad has been told that although his cancer is incurable it is treatable.

Danielle added: “Critical care were amazing, just unbelievable. Phone calls to update us every day and even wheeling her out to the garden one day.”

“The pressure the staff were under was unreal. There was one day when they were inundated with Covid-19 patients and had to move some to another hospital.

“Thankfully mum could stay but they really took their time and put patient care right at the forefront despite being in the third wave and nearly a year of looking after Covid-19 patients. We will always be grateful to them.”

The whole ordeal inspired Danielle to raise money and give back to the hospital that saved her mums life.

Determined to push herself out of her comfort zone, she set herself the challenge of running 5k a day for 30 days.

Although she doesn’t particularly like running, Danielle is being spurred on by family and friends, the desire to raise money for the hospital and her mum’s ordeal.

Danielle said: “They told us when she [her mum] woke up that her rehab would be like training for a marathon, so I try and think to myself, come on, other people feel worse, keep going.

“A lot of family and close friends were really apprehensive about what was going to happen to mum, so obviously they’re very grateful to the hospital too.”

Lynette herself is a former member of staff at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, as Waiting List Manager for over 30 years, and Danielle knows her mum was just as keen as her to show their gratitude to the hospital.

Despite the magnitude of her recovery journey, Lynette has been keeping a close eye on her daughter’s fundraising page and watched her smash the original goal of £500.

However, the fundraising hasn’t been all smooth sailing. Danielle faced a calf injury halfway through, but she’s now back putting one foot in front of the other and is on her way to completing her challenge.

Danielle said: “I got into a routine and started to enjoy it, but the hardest bit is finding time every day. I wanted something that would be a challenge however similar way to the way my mum’s recovery is a challenge.

” I only have a few days left however as I’m on day 26 so I’ll keep going. I don’t think I’m going to make a runner out of myself yet but I’ll try and keep up with it after the challenge as it would be a shame to waste the fitness I’ve built up!”

To find out more about Danielle’s Blue Skie Hosoital fund, please visit the Just Giving Page here.

Heartwarming moment Blackpool care home resident visits seaside for first time in 2 years as lockdown eases

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The 79-year-old was overjoyed to be able to walk along the sand and look at Blackpool Tower for the first time in two years

Ray Larkin visit the seaside for the first time in two years.

Ray Larkin visit the seaside for the first time in two years.

Life is slowly getting back to normal, following the uncertainty of the past 18 months.

Lockdowns, local tiers and restrictions have spread chaos throughout our normal lives and disrupted the everyday things which we once took for granted.

Thankfully, with the mass vaccine roll out and a gradual end to restrictions, we are returning to normality.

One person who has recently been able to return to one of their favourite pastimes was Ray Larkin, a 79-year-old care home resident in Blackpool.

Having lived in Blackpool during his former years, Ray later settled in the city of Preston, leaving the seaside behind him.

But his fondness for the resort, and its beaches, stayed with him.

Ray became a resident at Pennystone Court, a care home in Blackpool and, last weekend, was able to enjoy his first beach walk since 2019.

It’s the small things in life that make us happy, and for Ray, walking along the Blackpool sands for the first time in 24 months, was the highlight of his year.

The pandemic has kept Ray confined to his care home for months.

The pandemic has kept Ray confined to his care home for months.

Ray said: “I was particularly excited about the idea of living by the sea again when I moved to Blackpool.

“However, due to the pandemic, I was was unable to safely leave the care home.”

As soon as infection rates improved and guidance on leaving the home changed, staff carried out a full risk assessment.

Care home staff waited for a sunny day to make Ray’s dreams of a walk by the sea come true.

Ray said: “It made my day to see the sea and the tower again.

“The walk brought back a lot of memories about my time in Blackpool as a young man. I even remembered some of the roads as we walked past them.”

Pennystone Court worker, Lisa Robins, says Ray had been talking about visiting the seaside for a while.

The home manager was able to accompany the 79-year-old on his first seaside jaunt in two years.

She said: “I was delighted to safely support the walk for Ray. It made such a difference to his overall mental wellbeing.

“I love moments like this where we can bring joy to our residents and make a difference to their lives – that’s what my job is all about.”