Opening day for new Blackpool town centre cafe bar Vintro Lounge

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A new cafe bar opened its doors for the first time today, in the resort’s former Pizza Express restaurant.

 

Vintro Lounge cafe bar, the newest venue from Bristol-based company Lounges, opened in St John’s Square in the unit previously occupied by Pizza Express.

The pizza restaurant chain announced last year that it would close 73 branches across the UK permanently.

The Lounges firm was founded in 2002 by friends Dave Reid, Alex Reilley and Jake Bishop, who have since opened over 100 venues across the country.

Vintro Lounge cafe bar opened in Church Street today.Vintro Lounge cafe bar opened in Church Street today.

Its venues pride themselves on their quirky, “eccentric” interiors, which “celebrate the local community,” and the resort’s newest addition will provide both indoor and outdoor seating for customers.

 

Former Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton’s assault trial rescheduled for November

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Former Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton will go on trial again later this year accused of assaulting a rival football boss.

 

The former England international went on trial on Monday (June 7) at Sheffield Crown Court charged with assaulting former Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel.

But this trial was abandoned on Tuesday (June 8) after Judge Jeremy Richardson QC decided translation issues which arose as Mr Stendel gave evidence over a video link from Germany were insurmountable.

On Wednesday, Judge Richardson ruled that the trial will begin again on November 26, court officials confirmed.

Joey Barton.Joey Barton.

Barton, 38, who denies one charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, did not attend a brief hearing in Sheffield on Wednesday morning (June 9).

He is alleged to have pushed Mr Stendel in the tunnel at Barnsley’s Oakwell Stadium, causing him to hit his head and injure his face.

The alleged incident took place after a League One match between Barnsley and Fleetwood Town, on April 13 2019, which the home team won 4-2.

Barton, who played for a number of teams including Manchester City, Newcastle and Burnley, was Fleetwood manager at the time.

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On Tuesday, Judge Richardson said the video-link set-up, which had been brought in due to coronavirus travel restrictions, meant that parts of Mr Stendel’s evidence were being “lost in translation”.

He discharged the jury, saying the trial would be relisted for when the complainant could travel to Sheffield to appear in court in person.

The judge pointed out that the case had already been delayed for a year due to the pandemic.

Barton is on unconditional bail.

 

Euro 2020: These are the Blackpool pubs where you’ll be able to claim a free pint during the Euros

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Football fans will be able to grab a free pint in Greene King pubs across Blackpool as the Euro 2020 competition gets underway.

 

These are the pubs where you can claim a free pint in Blackpool during the Euros.

Pub chain Greene King is offering a free pint to every customer in celebration of pubs reopening across the country and the impending summer of sport.

The offer will be rolled on on the first day of the highly anticipated Euros football tournament on Friday, June 11.

Customers across the UK will be able to claim a free pint of Ice Breaker at more than 1,000 participating Greene King pubs nationwide.

No vouchers or downloads will be needed for the freebie, customers simply need to utter the phrase ‘Your home of pub sport’ to bar staff.

These are the participating Greene King pubs in Blackpool:

*One free pint of Ice Breaker per person available when you say ‘Your home of pub sport’ in a participating Greene King pub, see www.greeneking-pubs.co.uk/euro-2021/ for a full list.

Valid during serving hours on June 11, 2021.

Offer cannot be combined with any other offer, promotion or discount.

2. Washington

Layton woman who died of drugs overdose was ‘scared’ to seek help for her addiction

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A Layton woman died of a drugs overdose years after falling into addiction following the death of her mum.

 

Lynn Blockley was found dead at her Eastwood Avenue home by her husband, Terence Blockley, on the night of February 27.

He ran to her neighbour’s house in a distressed state, knocked on the door and asked her to call an ambulance. But she asked him why he couldn’t do it himself, said she didn’t want to get involved, and shut the door in his face.

Mr Blockley then called 999 and told them what had happened. He then took a taxi back to his own home on Yew Treet Road in Grange Park to pick up an epipen in the hope of using it to revive his wife, from whom he was separated.

Lynn BlockleyLynn Blockley

A paramedic arrived at the scene just before 8.30pm and found Mrs Blockley in a foetal position on her bed, surrounded by drugs paraphernalia. She was pronounced dead at 8.35pm.

A post moterm revealed high levels of morphine, indicating heroin use, and epilepsy medication in her system. The cause of death was multi-drug toxicity.

At her inquest yesterday, Mr Blockley told the court how his wife had struggled for years with drug addiction, depression and anxiety.

He said: “We were more like brother and sister than husband and wife. We were friends from the day I saw her. We basically propped each other up.

“I was worried about her. She always said if I ever told anyone she’d never talk to me again. But I did ring her best friend and her sister. I told her sister that her sister was going to die if she didn’t sort herself out.

“Lynn had been using drugs since I met her. She used speed and ecstasy. If someone had a handful of something, she’d take it and she’d just eat it. She didn’t care what it was. It used to worry me. It worried me a lot.

“She was a heroin user, but she had been the way I had been treated by doctors in the past so she was scared to tell anybody. She was scared of the stigma. I begged her, but she said no. It’s true, if people know you take drugs they treat you like a criminal.”

Plan to stem the tide of young lives lost to Blackpool drug use

Between 6pm and 8pm, he called her eight times but could not get through to her, so called for a taxi to take him back to Eastwood Avenue. There he found her unresponsive with a needle in her hand.

He said: “I took it out of her hand. It wasn’t stuck in, she was just holding it. I knew she was dead.”

Mr Blockley was arrested on suspicion of supplying class A drugs following his wife’s death, but was later released without charge. Police sergeant Safia Swelim told the court: “Her phone indicated she was obtaining drugs from an unknown person, and Mr Blockley was aware and engaging in the use of drugs with her, but nothing outside of that.”

Coroner Louise Rae handed down a conclusion of a drugs-related death. She said: “I don’t find any evidence of Lynn taking her own life.”

 

One person treated for smoke inhalation after kitchen fire in Blackpool

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One person was given first aid treatment following a kitchen fire at a domestic property in Blackpool.

Two fire engines from Blackpool and South Shore attended the scene in Haig Road shortly before 4.20pm today (June 8).

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used one hose reel and a positive pressure ventilation unit to extinguish the flames.

One person received first aid treatment for suspected smoke inhalation.

Two fire engines from Blackpool and South Shore attended the scene in Haig Road.Two fire engines from Blackpool and South Shore attended the scene in Haig Road.

Crews were in attendance for one hour.

Joey Barton assault trial halted due to video link difficulties

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The trial of former Fleetwood Town and current Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton, who is accused of assaulting a rival football boss, has been halted at Sheffield Crown Court.

Barton, 38, denies assaulting former Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel occasioning him actual bodily harm.

His trial began on Monday but was halted by Judge Jeremy Richardson QC on Tuesday due to difficulties with Mr Stendel giving evidence in German over a video link from Hanover.

Judge Richardson discharged the jury saying: “It is just not right to struggle on.”

Joey Barton arriving at Sheffield Crown Court. (Credit: PA Wire/ Danny Lawson)Joey Barton arriving at Sheffield Crown Court. (Credit: PA Wire/ Danny Lawson)

He told the panel: “I became increasingly concerned that things are getting lost in translation.

“He is a critical witness in this case. It’s not fair to him and not fair to anyone in this case.”

Barton was given unconditional bail.

Blackpool’s Jerry Yates shortlisted for fans’ player of the season award alongside Sunderland, Hull City and Lincoln City men

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Blackpool striker Jerry Yates has been shortlisted for the FLW fans’ player of the season award.

Jerry Yates scored 23 goals to help fire Blackpool to the Championship

Jerry Yates scored 23 goals to help fire Blackpool to the Championship
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The club’s top scorer found the back of the net on 23 occasions this season, helping the 24-year-old become a firm fans’ favourite at Bloomfield Road.

Yates became the first Blackpool player to hit 20 goals in a season since Andy Morrell in 2007.

Announcing Yates’ nominated, FLW said: “The driving force of Blackpool’s forward line, 2020/21 has been a season to remember for Jerry Yates.

“The 24-year-old looks a star on the rise and has proven a real handful for opposition defences throughout the season.

“Only two players scored more than Yates in League One this term, while he’s also showcased his quality as a creator as well – helping Blackpool return to the Championship via the play-offs.”

Yates faces competition from Lincoln City goalkeeper Alex Palmer, Oxford United defender Rob Atkinson, midfielders George Honeyman (Hull City) and Aiden McGeady (Sunderland) and forward Jonson Clarke-Harris (Peterborough United).

The winner of the award will be decided by a public vote, which can be found here.Voting starts at 11am on Tuesday and will run until 9am on Wednesday, June 9.

Prolific former Everton striker becomes Blackpool’s THIRD signing of the day

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Prolific striker Shayne Lavery has become Blackpool’s third signing of the day.

 

Prolific striker Shayne Lavery has become Blackpool’s third signing of the day.

The 22-year-old arrives on a free transfer from Linfield, where he scored 47 times in 77 appearances.

The Northern Ireland international has agreed a two-year deal at Bloomfield Road, with the option to extend by a further 12 months.

“I’m very excited,” Lavery said of the move. “Blackpool’s a massive club and I’m glad to get the deal done.

“I feel like I’ve proved myself back home this season and I’m now looking to test myself at the next level.

Shayne Lavery has been capped seven times by Northern Ireland

Shayne Lavery has been capped seven times by Northern Ireland

“I had mixed emotions last week lifting the league and cup with Linfield, knowing in the back of my head that I’d be moving on, but I’ve loved my time there and I’m very grateful for everything they’ve done for me.

“I’m now joining a Blackpool team that has played well all season and it was amazing to see them become one of the three teams promoted.

“I watched the play-off final myself and I’m just excited to come and play for the Blackpool fans in the Championship now.”

Lavery joined Linfield in 2019 after a loan spell at Falkirk while at parent club Everton, where he spent four years in their academy.

Kilmarnock and Motherwell were linked with the striker but, according to reports, his previous spell in Scotland was a fairly forgettable one and the player was keen to make the move to England.

The in-demand forward follows Reece James and Daniel Grimshaw in moving to the club ahead of their return to the Championship.

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley said: “Having first been aware of Shayne when coming through the academy system at Everton, he’s gone back over to Northern Ireland and had two fantastic years for Linfield, where his goalscoring record is phenomenal.

“He’s won numerous awards and now become a full international for his country.

“At 22, we’re getting somebody who is hungry and ambitious to come and prove himself.

“He’s a very humble individual and his character fits in perfectly with the squad we have here.

“On the pitch, he’ll bring pace, energy and scores different types of goals. We’re all looking forward to working with him.”

Video emerges of fight breaking out in dispute over queue jumping for Blackpool dodgems ride

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This is the moment a heated exchange turned violent during a row over queue jumping in front of the dodgems ride on Blackpool South Pier.

 

It is understood the brawl, in which a group of women can be seen throwing multiple punches before two are wrestled to the ground, happened on Friday June 4.

No one was injured in the incident and one of the families was removed off the site by staff.

A spokesperson for Blackpool Piers said: “This was a dispute over an issue of queue jumping.

A heated exchange over queue jumping at South Pier dodgems led to a fight and a family removed from the attraction.A heated exchange over queue jumping at South Pier dodgems led to a fight and a family removed from the attraction.

“There were no injuries and the matter was dealt with swiftly and effectively by staff, who escorted a party off the premises.”

In the footage shared with the Gazette, by-standers appear shocked during the tense scenes before a member of the public steps in to try and intervene.

The spokesperson added there was no police involvement and Lancashire Police confirmed officers had not been called to attend and no arrests were made.

Police catch thief who stole Audi on test drive in Blackpool

The car was found parked in Preston

The Audi S3 was stolen from Blackpool during a test drive

The Audi S3 was stolen from Blackpool during a test drive

A brazen thief stole a car during a test drive in Blackpool.

Police said the Audi S3 was reported stolen by the dealership on Tuesday (June 8) sparking a search of the area.

The vehicle was located nearly 20 miles away in Preston.

It was parked on a residential street before being towed away and returned.

Officers said the thief was later stopped by Kirkham Police in another vehicle as it travelled back to Blackpool.

The offender was arrested for the theft and ‘two other similar offences’ in the North West.

He remains in custody for questioning.

Lancs Road Police tweeted a picture of the stolen vehicle, saying: “This Audi S3 was stolen on a test drive in Blackpool but quickly located parked in Preston.

“@KirkhamPolice then intercepted another vehicle the driver left in, as it headed back to Blackpool where he was arrested for this & 2 other similar offences in the North West.”