Blackpool Supporters’ Liaison Officer responds to concerns over handling of fans following Bloomfield Road match

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Blackpool FC fans raised concerns about the manner in which they were dealt with as they left Bloomfield Road on Saturday night (November 6).


Blackpool and QPR played out a 1-1 draw at Bloomfield Road on Saturday (October 6), in a game where the hosts had an early goal controversially ruled out.

Following the match, Blackpool fans raised concerns over how they were treated as they left the stadium, with many reporting feeling threatened and cramped.

One fan Tweeted: “@SeasidersPolice your officers are threatening fans with the dogs, opening the boot of the car.

“Many of these fans are asking genuine questions about what is going on and many have kids.

“No help and very aggressive.”

Another said: “The raised hatchbacks and barking dogs are too much.

“I have great sympathy for the officers on duty who have to take the flak from the fans – the fault lies with whoever dreams these things up.”

Blackpool fans raised concerns over how they were treated as they left the stadium following the Blackpool v QPR match

Blackpool fans raised concerns over how they were treated as they left the stadium following the Blackpool v QPR match

Today (September 7), Blackpool FC’s Supporters‘ Liaison Officer confirmed they had raised the concerns with chief executive Ben Mansford.

“Ben confirmed the Club shares these concerns,” they added.

“Ben informed me that there is a debrief with the Police regarding the Preston game on Tuesday and a scheduled Safety Advisory Group Meeting on Wednesday.

“Ben informed me the Club intends to raise this issue and will keep me updated with further information in due course.”



Fears Blackpool sea defences failing dismissed despite residents’ concerns

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The contractor has pledged to make repairs to any defects


Sea defences at Anchorsholme
Sea defences at Anchorshome

Council chiefs have dismissed new claims the Anchorsholme sea defences are failing and say latest inspections show the £27m wall is holding firm.

Residents have raised fears on social media, backed by ward councillors, that water is still seeping through cracks in the structure which was completed by contractor Balfour Beatty in 2017.

The contractor has pledged to make repairs to any defects, but the council said Balfour Beatty was still testing its proposed solution and in the meantime inspections show there is no deterioration.

John Blackledge, Blackpool Council director for community and environmental services, said: “The annual inspection in July and a further visual inspection on Friday October 22 2021 does not show any visible signs of deterioration to the sea wall or highway and it is providing a significant barrier to potential flooding.

“The water in the structure changes with the state of the tide. The sea defences are designed to let tidal and ground water into and exit the structure.

“This is normal for sea defence schemes, including the central section between South Pier and North Pier.

“The current focus is to ensure that this drainage functions and performs reliably, and will continue to do so in the long term.

“This is what the contractor has been assessing and requested 12 months for this assessment at the beginning of the year.

“Balfour Beatty are still responsible for the works and we continue to push them to complete those works.”

Coun Tony Williams said it was “no secret” he and fellow Anchorsholme ward councillor Paul Galley “have had concerns regarding erosion and failings of the sea wall defences in the north of the coastline.”

He added: ”Several cracks and breaks could be seen quite quite easily from the promenade, in fact it was residents who regularly walk along this stretch who first alerted us to the problems.”

Coun Williams said while repairs had been being carried out until recently, residents had “once again reported movement and erosion of the defences and alerted Paul and myself as well as the council of their concerns.”

Defects in the sea wall first came to light in 2015 during construction – with concerns raised again in 2017.

In June Mr Blackledge confirmed Balfour Beatty had accepted liability for defects and repairs and were designing a long term solution, while carrying out extensive testing.


Hand, foot and mouth in Blackpool: Symptoms to watch out for as outbreak is reported by nursery worker and GP

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An outbreak of hand, foot, and mouth disease has been reported in Blackpool.


A Bispham GP said his practice had been “smashed” by cases of the common childhood illness, while a North Shore nursery worker said scores of youngsters have caught it in recent weeks.

She said: “Lots of kids are getting it and it’s been spreading in other nurseries as well. They have to stay off.

“Some children get really ill with it but others just have the rash.”

Mouth ulcers are a telltale sign of hand, foot, and mouth disease

The condition, which can affect adults as well, usually gets better on its own after seven to 10 days, the NHS said, but is highly contagious.

The first signs can be a sore throat, fever, and loss of appetite. After a few days, mouth ulcers and a rash will appear.

The illness is nothing to do with foot and mouth disease, which affects farm animals.

Dr Arif Rajpura, Blackpool’s director of public health, said: “We are aware that one school in Blackpool reported a small number of symptomatic children with hand, foot and mouth around three weeks ago.

“However, it is important to stress that hand, foot and mouth is a common childhood illness that is normally a minor infection and usually gets better in around 7 to ten days. It has nothing to do with foot and mouth disease that affects farm animals.

“We would advise anyone who has any concerns to refer to NHS guidance on dealing with any symptoms and advice on keeping a child off school or nursery to help reduce the risk of spreading this common illness.”

Last month, a GP in London said the disease was starting to sweep the country.

Dr Stephanie Ooi said hand, foot and mouth spreads more in the autumn – and said parents should make sure their children are well hydrated.

“Mouth ulcers will be sore so expect your child to be off their food,” she said.

“It’s important to ensure they are drinking enough.

“Signs of dehydration can include an altered level of consciousness, decreased urine output, sunken eyes, dry lips and mouth, and pale or mottled skin.

“If you notice any of these symptoms, then please see your GP for an assessment.”

Parents should speak to a pharmacist for advice about treatments, including mouth ulcer gels, sprays, and mouthwashes, to relieve pain, the NHS said.

They should contact a GP if symptoms persist for more than 10 days, their child has a very high temperature or feels shivery, they’re worried about their child’s symptoms, their child is dehydrated and not peeing as often as usual, or if they are pregnant and get the disease themselves.

“To reduce the risk of spreading hand, foot, and mouth disease, wash your hands often with soap and water – and children’s hands too – use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze, bin used tissues as quickly as possible, do not share towers or household items like cups or cutler, [and] was soiled bedding and clothing on a hot wash.”



Man hospitalised after being stabbed multiple times in Blackpool town centre

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A man in his 30s was hospitalised with multiple stab wounds following an attack in Blackpool town centre.


Police were called to reports of a stabbing in Topping Street at around 9.15pm on Saturday, October 30.

A man in his 30s was found with stab wounds to his chest and arm after officers attended the scene.

He was taken to hospital for treatment but his condition was not described as life-threatening.

A man in his 30s was hospitalised following a stabbing in Blackpool town centre

A man in his 30s was hospitalised following a stabbing in Blackpool town centre

“No arrests have been made at this stage but enquiries are ongoing,” a spokesman for Lancashire Police said.

St Annes man ‘tried to kill one child and attacked another’, Blackpool Magistrat…

Anyone with information has been urged to call 101, quoting log number 1456 of October 30.

Information can also be reported online at

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via



Latest after Blackpool woman, 24, found dead inside her South Shore home – with her mum due to stand trial for manslaughter

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The coroner is expected to hear a pre-trial review into the death of a vulnerable young woman who allegedly died at the hands of her mum.


Elaine Clarke, 49, of Garden Terrace, South Shore, denied the manslaughter of Debbie Leitch, 24, who had Down’s syndrome, and will stand trial in January.

A pre-trial review will be held at the town hall at 10am on Friday, November 12, but a full inquest is unlikely to be heard until after Ms Clarke’s criminal trial.

Earlier this year, Robert Bruce, 45, of Windsor Crescent, Rothwell, Leeds, pleaded not guilty to causing or allowing the death of Ms Leitch between January-August 2019 while he was living with her and her mum.

Debbie Leitch, 24, who had Down’s syndrome, was found dead at her South Shore home in 2019

Debbie Leitch, 24, who had Down’s syndrome, was found dead at her South Shore home in 2019

Both he and Ms Clarke were given unconditional bail ahead of their trial, which is expected to start on Monday, January 31 and last around four weeks.

Ms Leitch was found dead by paramedics when they were called to her Garden Terrace home on the evening of Thursday, August 29, 2019.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as severe emaciation and neglect with extensive scabies skin infection.


Where better than The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach to ask The Big Question?

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It’s the big question – so where better to ask it than The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach?


Jamie Scrutton, an artist and performance poet from Leeds, was determined to ask his partner of 20 months, Marc Hartley, to marry him during a visit to the resort – and was delighted when Marc said ‘yes’ despite him being just as determined not to take to the 72 metres-high seafront ride.

“I’m a big fan of the Big One and have enjoyed riding it for 20 years,” said 32-year-old Jamie.

“Marc is not a thrill-seeker at all and although he was happy to come along to the Pleasure Beach, there was no way I was going to get him on the ride.

Jamie and Marc on The Big One toasting their forthcoming marriage

Jamie and Marc on The Big One toasting their forthcoming marriage

The Big One – 25 years since Blackpool Pleasure Beach introduced world’s ultimat…

“I had the day planned for months but when we came to Blackpool, i had the idea of just asking Marc somewhere at the Pleasure Beach as I knew there was no way he would go on The Big One.

“But it had to be the Big One and thanks for Andy Hygate at the Pleasure Beach and everyone there who treated us so well, it went perfectly.

“I cannot thank the Pleasure Beach enough for their generous courtesy. The support they provided in making this happen was fantastic of them. ”

Jamie and 55-year-old Marc, a support worker with the deaf from Huddersfield, met just before lockdown and plan to get married in around two years’ time.

“He’s the man for me and I knew the proposal had to be extra special,” said Jamie.

“To share something so incredibly special with my soulmate was brilliant.”

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Firefighters called to abandoned overturned vehicle in Pilling

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Firefighters dealt with a vehicle which had been abandoned after overturning in a road traffic collision in Pilling.


Two crews from Preesall and Garstang responded to the call on Lancaster Road shorly after 5am on Saturday.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue said the incident involved one vehicle which was on its roof when the firefighters arrived.

“The vehicle had been abandoned,” said the spokesman. “Firefighters made the scene safe using a hose and were in attendance around two hours.”

Crews were called out just after 5am on Saturday

Crews were called out just after 5am on Saturday

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Blackpool mum died of sepsis days after ‘understaffed, bady organised’ GP surgery found ‘no signs of infection’

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A Blackpool mum-of-five died came down with a rare but deadly infection after having a pregnancy termination – and died ten days after approaching her GP for help.


Blackpool Town Hall

Blackpool Town Hall

Sarah Dunn, 31, of Boothley Road, died of sepsis at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on April 11 2020, almost four weeks after undergoing a termination.

At her inquest today, it emerged the mum of five had reached out for help several times before being rushed to A&E with severe abdominal pains, nausea and sweating the day before she died.

Her mother, Marie Dunn, said: “Sarah was a beautiful, happy, loving, caring young lady. She was my second child and was a happy, fun-loving girl. I do not think I can ever come to terms with how cruelly she was taken from us.”

The court heard that Miss Dunn had attended an appointment with her GP, Dr Sanjeev Maharaj, at the Elizabeth Street Surgery on April 1 after experiencing worsening vaginal bleeding, which a nurse had warned her about.

But Dr Maharaj said she appeared ‘fairly well’ and ‘was not showing any signs of infection’. Her temperature was average and a standard blood test came back normal, though her heart rate was slightly elevated.

Dr Maharaj said: “She was not complaining of any pains or symptoms of infection. There was no evidence that the patient had an infection at that time. If I felt she was unwell, suffering from severe abdominal pain, it’s possible I would have referred her to hospital at that time.”

The court heard that, at the time, Dr Maharaj was the only GP at the Elizabeth Street Surgery, and was responsible for around 5,000 patients.

The surgery closed its doors last week following a damning ‘inadequate’ rating from Care Quality Commission (CQC), which carried out an inspection in May and found evidence that the practice failed to ensure that care and treatment was provided in a safe way , and that leadership was poor.

Last year, an investigation by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) also revealed a series of failures at the practice.

Richard Baker, representing Miss Dunn’s family, said the court had only Dr Maharaj’s word that he had discussed the possibility of an infection with Miss Dunn, as he had not made any notes about it, and had only recorded his concerns about possible anaemia due to blood loss.

He asked the doctor why, if he was indeed concerned about Miss Dunn suffering from an infection, he did not refer her for a hospital test which would have determined whether this was the case.

Dr Maharaj said he did not believe it was necessary based on Miss Dunn’s presentation, adding: “At that time in the pandemic, patients were not being transferred to hospital unless there was an absolute need.”

Mr Baker, however, said: “I suggest the GP practice was understaffed, oversubscribed and badly organised. You do not accept that being understaffed, oversubscribed and badly organised had anything to do with Sarah’s death?”

Dr Maharaj said: “As far as I’m concerned I had no impact on her care.”

On April 9, Miss Dunn called the surgery again to request a prescription for painkillers, and complained of nausea, sweating, and abdominal pain. But the pharmacist she spoke to assumed her symptoms were a result of a lack of painkillers, and arranged for a telephone appointment with Dr Maharaj the next day.

She continued to deteriorate, and by the time she spoke with her GP the following morning, an ambulance was already enroute to her house. She was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where tests revealed high levels of CRP in her blood – a sign of infection.

She died the following day.

Dr Alison Armor, who carried out the post-mortem, said Miss Dunn’s infection probably developed as a result of group A streptococcal bacteria in the vagina entering her womb during the termination, which took place on March 23.

She said: “A streptococcal infection, when it becomes invasive, is a rapid and overwhelming infection. Prior to it becoming invasive, it can cause general symptoms of feeling unwell, maybe a high temperature or low temperature. But when it becomes invasive, it is a life-threatening condition.

“I have seen a number of cases of pregnant women who have died after the birth of their babies due to group A streptococcus.”

Inflammation found in Miss Dunn’s vaginal tract and womb, along with a widespread rash, indicated her condition was ‘consistent with the process of medical termination of pregnancy.”

Dr Armor said: “It’s an unusual but well known complication associated with pregnancy, and can be contracted during or after childbirth, and it has also been documented following termination of pregnancy.”

She added: “It should be noted that medical abortion is not recognised as a high risk factor, but cases have been documented within medical records.”

The inquest continues.

Sarah’s mum, Marie Dunn, said:

“Sarah was a beautiful, happy, loving, caring young lady. She was my second child and was a happy, fun-loving girl. I do not think I can ever come to terms with how cruelly she was taken from us.

“She had a very caring nature and would phone me every day to make sure I was OK… She was a loving sister and foster sister. She even took her brother to live with her when he had a breakdown so he could get back on his feet, which he did. She was a real mother hen.

“Sarah had her whole life ahead of her and we will never accept or come to terms with her loss… My heart will be forever broken for my grandchildren and my family. Sarah’s death has brought about a lifetime of change for me and her children and the rest of the family.”




Blackpool mum spotted cancerous mole on son’s head during family Zoom quiz

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Kieran Drinkwater initially dismissed his mum’s concerns during a virtual get together in lockdown


Grateful: Kieran had the mole checked out after his mum spotted it
Grateful: Kieran had the mole checked out after his mum spotted it (Image: Submitted)

A mum from Blackpool flagged up an unusual mole on her son’s head during a virtual family get together which turned out to be cancerous.

Kieran Drinkwater, 34, regularly met up with his parents, who live in the seaside town, virtually for weekly quiz nights during lockdown.

The civil servant, who lives with his wife Emma and their two children, assured his mum the mole had always been there.

But despite initially dismissing his mum’s remarks, Kieran is now grateful she “planted a seed of doubt” in his mind.

He said: “My mum just made a very innocent comment – something like, ‘What’s that on your head?’

“She was talking about a mole on my temple and I just replied that I’d had it for years, and she said, ‘I’ve never noticed it before.”

Worrying: The mole on Kieran's head
Worrying: The mole on Kieran’s head (Image: Submitted)

He added: “Then, I was looking in the mirror in February 2021 and I realised it looked a little bigger.

“So, I went and looked at an old photograph and it was literally just a spec back then, so I realised I needed to get it seen.”

First, looking on the NHS website, he found a mole checklist and realised he had all the worrying signs, the Manchester Evening News reports.

He said: “Mine had changed colour, was over six millimetres in size and had a jagged edge – all indicators that something was wrong.”

He added: “So I rang my GP and, despite Covid restricting face-to-face appointments, he called me back within hours asking for photos of the mole.

“I was referred through the NHS to have it removed, but I didn’t want to wait, as I had read that if it is cancer even weeks could make a difference.

“Fortunately, I was able to pay to go privately, so I had it removed four weeks later.”

Four week after his operation in April 2021, Kieran was informed that the mole was indeed cancerous – he was called in for more surgery.

Despite being told he had melanoma, Kieran was grateful that it had been caught early.

Relieved: Kieran Drinkwater
Relieved: Kieran Drinkwater (Image: Submitted)

Wanting to raise money for research into the deadly disease, he turned to TikTok for inspiration.

A trend on the site shows people ‘trading up’ where people start with a paper clip and by continually trading upwards for items of larger value, can end up with a house.

Kieran, who lives in Northern Ireland, has set a personal goal of starting with a button and finishing with a £1.2 million Bugatti sports car.

“I really wanted to raise money to help others with cancer,” he said.

“I had seen this influencer doing a trade up on TikTok and thought it would be interesting to do. So I thought hard about what item I wanted to achieve.

“I love cars and I always wanted a Bugatti, which cost over £1 million.”

He added: “So, I launched the Button 2 Bugatti challenge and if I get there, I will sell it and, hopefully, raise £1 million for Stand Up To Cancer.”

Thus far, his button has netted him a pizza oven, a brand new Smeg espresso machine, a Le Creuset espresso set and a massive wall clock.

Kieran is also keen to stress that anyone who is concerned about changes to their skin should contact a doctor as soon as possible.

“I know people are nervous to go to the GP because of Covid,” he said.

“But if you’re in doubt, if a mole has changed, I would advise to first check the NHS website and use their guide and to see your GP.”

To donate and trade go to

The ABCDE NHS mole check:

  • Asymmetrical – melanomas have two very different halves and are an irregular shape.
  • Border – they usually have a notched or ragged border.
  • Colours – melanomas will usually be a mix of two or more colours.
  • Diameter – most melanomas are usually larger than six millimetres in diameter.
  • Enlargement or elevation – a mole that changes size over time is more likely to be a melanoma.