Category Archives: Blackpool FC

Blackpool FC await court ruling on appeal over abuse damages

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Blackpool Football Club bosses are waiting for a ruling on an appeal after being ordered to pay £19,000 in damages to a man abused by a former “scout” as a youth footballer.

 

The man, now in his 40s, was abused when he was 13 by paedophile Frank Roper during a youth football tour to New Zealand in the summer of 1987, judges have heard.

He sued Blackpool and argued that the club was “vicariously liable”.

Mr Justice Griffiths ruled in his favour and ordered Blackpool to pay more than £19,000 after a High Court hearing in March 2020.

Blackpool FC is arguing Frank Roper was the equivalent to a "contractor".Blackpool FC is arguing Frank Roper was the equivalent to a “contractor”.

Lawyers representing Blackpool asked three appeal judges to overturn the ruling, arguing Roper was not a “quasi employee”.

Lady Justice Macur, Lord Justice Stuart-Smith and Sir Stephen Richards finished considering arguments at a Court of Appeal hearing in London on Thursday (July 22).

They said they would deliver a ruling on a date to be fixed.

Judges have ruled that the man cannot be identified in media reports of the case.

Fighting for justice for Blackpool residents denied access to the law

Roper, a former businessman who died in 2005, had convictions for indecent assaults on boys dating back to the 1960s, judges heard.

He had been a Blackpool fan, ran a youth team in Stockport, Great Manchester, and owned a sports shop in Blackpool.

Mr Justice Griffiths concluded that Roper had been a “Blackpool scout” and decided that his Nova Juniors side was a “Blackpool feeder team”.

He concluded that the relationship between Roper and Blackpool was one “capable of giving rise to vicarious liability”.

The man had told Mr Justice Griffiths how he had met Mr Roper when 11.

He said Roper had been a well-known local football scout who had scouted him to play for the Blackpool school of excellence.

Mr Justice Griffiths said he accepted the man’s account of the abuse he had suffered on the New Zealand trip.

Michael Kent QC, who is leading Blackpool’s legal team, argued that the club had not controlled Roper.

He told appeal judges that Roper had been a “completely free agent” and the equivalent of an “independent contractor”.

Judges heard that Roper had brought Paul Stewart and David Bardsley, who both played for England, to Blackpool when they were schoolboys.

 

Blackpool FC await court ruling on appeal over abuse damages

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool Football Club bosses are waiting for a ruling on an appeal after being ordered to pay £19,000 in damages to a man abused by a former “scout” as a youth footballer.

 

The man, now in his 40s, was abused when he was 13 by paedophile Frank Roper during a youth football tour to New Zealand in the summer of 1987, judges have heard.

He sued Blackpool and argued that the club was “vicariously liable”.

Mr Justice Griffiths ruled in his favour and ordered Blackpool to pay more than £19,000 after a High Court hearing in March 2020.Blackpool FC is arguing Frank Roper was the equivalent to a "contractor".Blackpool FC is arguing Frank Roper was the equivalent to a “contractor”.

Lawyers representing Blackpool asked three appeal judges to overturn the ruling, arguing Roper was not a “quasi employee”.

Lady Justice Macur, Lord Justice Stuart-Smith and Sir Stephen Richards finished considering arguments at a Court of Appeal hearing in London on Thursday (July 22).

They said they would deliver a ruling on a date to be fixed.

Judges have ruled that the man cannot be identified in media reports of the case.

Fighting for justice for Blackpool residents denied access to the law

Roper, a former businessman who died in 2005, had convictions for indecent assaults on boys dating back to the 1960s, judges heard.

He had been a Blackpool fan, ran a youth team in Stockport, Great Manchester, and owned a sports shop in Blackpool.

Mr Justice Griffiths concluded that Roper had been a “Blackpool scout” and decided that his Nova Juniors side was a “Blackpool feeder team”.

He concluded that the relationship between Roper and Blackpool was one “capable of giving rise to vicarious liability”.

The man had told Mr Justice Griffiths how he had met Mr Roper when 11.

He said Roper had been a well-known local football scout who had scouted him to play for the Blackpool school of excellence.

Mr Justice Griffiths said he accepted the man’s account of the abuse he had suffered on the New Zealand trip.

Michael Kent QC, who is leading Blackpool’s legal team, argued that the club had not controlled Roper.

He told appeal judges that Roper had been a “completely free agent” and the equivalent of an “independent contractor”.

Judges heard that Roper had brought Paul Stewart and David Bardsley, who both played for England, to Blackpool when they were schoolboys.

Art celebration of Blackpool FC great Morty presented to Boris Johnson

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Artwork celebrating one of Blackpool’s greatest No 9s could soon be adorning the walls of No 10.

 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was presented with artwork specially commissioned by lifelong Seasiders fan Chris Hull to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bloomfield Road legend Stan Mortensen earlier this year.

Chris, who grew up in Poulton, worked for the Football League when it was based at St Annes and now runs his own public relations business in the Cotswolds, took the opportunity to make the presentation while on a recent visit to Downing Street.

He issued the PM with an invitation to join him at a match at Bloomfield Road and said he hoped his party will be the first to return conference trade and awareness to Blackpool “our iconic town”.

Chris Hull presents the Morty celebration artwork to Prime Minister Boris Johnson outside No 10 Downing Street.

Chris Hull presents the Morty celebration artwork to Prime Minister Boris Johnson outside No 10 Downing Street.

100 years today, Blackpool’s FA Cup legend Morty was born

He has already handed copies of the Morty art to several leading football figures and said he was delighted to have the opportunity to promote Blackpool to the Prime Minister.

“I have been very fortunate throughout my working life to travel the country and the world through my role in sport and the media,” said Chris.

“Everywhere I go I always tell everyone about our great town of Blackpool.

“In the last month alone, I have been with Sir Geoff Hurst, Bryan Robson, Tony Adams and actor Ray Winstone among many others.

“I always leave them with a small gift to remind them of Blackpool and its brilliant people and community.

“On my visit to Downing Street, I managed a very small effort on behalf of the levelling up the country movement when I had a short moment with the Prime Minister.

“I understand the art is now in the PM’s office and I hope he comes to see the progress and further potential in Blackpool and further hope his party sets the tone by being the first to return its main conference trade and awareness to our iconic town,

“I am completely apolitical and my beliefs are always in positivity, good causes, good people, progress and making life better for everyone.

“I love my town and would do anything Blackpool ever asked of me.

“Built on the town’s crown jewels and heritage – complemented by modern business, innovation, thinking and architecture – I think Blackpool can be truly great again.”

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Young Blackpool XI defeat non-league neighbours Squires Gate in pre-season friendly

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A Blackpool XI defeated non-league neighbours Squires Gate 7-0 at their Brian Addison Stadium last night.

 

It was a Blackpool side made up of outstanding youth team players, that included the likes of Rob Apter and Ewan Bange, who have both appeared in the first team.

Gate started strongly as Dean Ing’s deflected effort forced keeper Charlie Monks into a fine first-minute save and home captain Josh Westwood headed narrowly over from a corner just two minutes later.

Gate keeper Matty Garrett was called into action for the first time on seven minutes, saving at his near post after being dispossessed by Bange.

Wing-backs Jacob Ridings and Jake Higham threatened for the hosts but it was Blackpool who opened the scoring on 22 minutes, James Harrison taking advantage of a goalmouth scramble.

Luke Evans’ men looked to hit back but were denied an equaliser as Monks made several brilliant close-range saves to thwart Ing.

Blackpool made it 2-0 on 35 minutes, when Luke Mariette found the bottom corner from distance after a well-worked short corner

Picture courtesy of Squires Gate FCPicture courtesy of Squires Gate FC

Ing headed over from a tight angle and Blackpool had a goal ruled out for offside as the first half ended 2-0.

A less frantic start to the second half saw Ryan Riley hit a free-kick over the bar from 25 yards for Gate.

Just as the North West Counties League club looked to be gaining a foothold in the game, a brilliant lob from Arnold Matshazi made it 3-0 on 57 minutes.

Gate introduced former Blackpool striker Keigan Parker, who received a warm reception from the supporters, and thought they had pulled one back on 70 minutes.

Ing rounded the keeper and found the net after fine work by Ridings but was denied by the offside flag.

And to compound the blow for Gate, Blackpool added their fourth a minute later when Dannen Francis headed home from close range.

Blackpool wrapped the game up with three goals in five minutes, starting with a Bange penalty.

Prince Yelegon made it six with a clever header before Francis’ second completed the scoring.

Report by James Ashton

Blackpool confirm friendly with Premier League Burnley

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Blackpool have added a friendly against Burnley to their pre-season itinerary.

 

The Premier League club will visit Bloomfield Road on Tuesday, July 27, with a 7.45pm kick-off and ticket details will be confirmed in due course.

The match comes between away friendlies at Carlisle United on Saturday 24 and Morecambe on Saturday 31. The Clarets’ visit comes six days after Blackpool welcome Steven Gerrard’s Scottish champions Rangers.

Blackpool will welcome Rangers and Burnley to Bloomfield Road within a week of each otherBlackpool will welcome Rangers and Burnley to Bloomfield Road within a week of each other

The Seasiders’ pre-season programme begins at Southport a week on Saturday (July 10), though a Blackpool XI will visit non-league neighbours Squires Gate the previous evening.

£18,500 antique silver tea service presented to Blackpool FC legend Sir Stanley Matthews to be auctioned

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A silver tea service presented to former Blackpool FC player Sir Stanley Matthews is being sold at auction

 

The tea service was presented by Stoke City FC to Matthews when he was their player and it marked his record 44th cap for England

Nicknamed ‘the wizard of the dribble’, Matthews made his record international appearance in the 2-0 win against Belgium in January 1946.

He was presented with the service shortly before he moved to Blackpool after what the press described as a ‘bust-up’ with Stoke’s manager Bob McGory.

The silver tea service presented to Sir Stanley Matthews is to be auctioned offThe silver tea service presented to Sir Stanley Matthews is to be auctioned off

The outside right would later return to Stoke where he played in the top flight until he was 50. He died in the Staffordshire city in 2000 aged 85

The tea set consists of a teapot, hot water jug, sugar bowl and milk jug and each piece is monogrammed with ‘SM’.

The teapot is also inscribed with the words: “Presented by Stoke City Football Club to their player S Matthews in recognition of his creating a record of 44 appearances for England which he established when playing against Belgium on January 19th 1946.”

It is being sold by Charles Wallrock of Wick Antiques on the 2Covet antique portal.

Auctioneer Steve Sly said he would be delighted for the tea service to go back to Stoke City who originally gifted the setAuctioneer Steve Sly said he would be delighted for the tea service to go back to Stoke City who originally gifted the set

His fellow 2Covet director Steve Sly, who was previously co-owner and vice chairman of AFC Bournemouth, has pledged the first £1,000 of the £18,500 asking price if the service were bought for Stoke City.

The tea set was made by Pidduck & Sons of Sheffield in 1932 and is described as being ‘of a fine quality’.

Steve, from Bournemouth, said: “I’d love to see it go back to Stoke. Having been involved in the game I know how much these things are valued by the fans.

“Matthews was one of our greatest ever players and I was delighted to learn that he played at Bournemouth when representing England schoolboys against Wales in 1929 in front of 20,000 fans.

It was presented to Matthews in 1946 after achieving a record 44 appearances for EnglandIt was presented to Matthews in 1946 after achieving a record 44 appearances for England

“He is the only footballer ever to be knighted while still playing, and his list of achievements is as long as his playing career and includes being the first person to win the Ballon d’Or.

“It is fitting that he was presented with a tea service because the only time he drank alcohol was when he supped some champagne straight from the FA Cup after winning it in 1953 – the famous ‘Matthews Final’.”

Following his record 44th cap, Matthews went on to represent his country another ten times and finally retired from playing in 1965.

Afterwards he became a manager and coach all around the world and gave up much of his time to coach in poor parts of Africa

It has a valuation of £18,500It has a valuation of £18,500

Steve added: “This tea set is a wonderful historic item which is of interest to collectors of silver and of tea sets – but it’s of most interest to Stoke City fans.

“If there is a pledge to buy it for Stoke I will put in £1,000.”

Charles added: “I have had this for several years and decided it’s time to sell.

“It is a lovely silver tea service by a fine maker and of course it’s unique because of the inscription and who it was presented to.

“I agree with Steve that we would feel very proud that 2Covet had helped this unique historical artefact return to its home at Stoke FC.

Euro 2020: No Blackpool fan zone planned for England games despite consultation

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There are no plans to hold a Blackpool fan zone for England’s remaining Euro 2020 games despite a council consultation.

 

The Three Lions have progressed through to the quarter finals of the competition and will face Ukraine on Saturday but fans will have to make their way to pubs and venues in the resort rather than a dedicated fan zone.

A fan zone has been popular, as well as lucrative, in Preston with all of the England games being shown on a large screen at the city’s Flag Market.

Tickets for this Saturday’s match sold out in less than five minutes on Wednesday morning with 500 people expected to attend across 90 tables.

Fans celebrating at The No3 Wine & Sports Bar on Devonshire Road last monthFans celebrating at The No3 Wine & Sports Bar on Devonshire Road last month

However, officials at Blackpool Council said they were ‘mindful’ for resort businesses to benefit from the games following the Covid-19 pandemic, despite a fan zone being considered.

A spokesman for the council said: “We explored the possibility of doing something for the Euros but after consultation with police and given the delay in the further easing of restrictions, decided not to go ahead for this particular tournament.

“We are also mindful that a number of pubs and venues in the resort are showing the Euros and we want them to be able to benefit from any additional business during this key recovery period.”

When asked if the council may consider a fan zone for future tournaments, it would not give a definitive answer but said options were available.

The spokesman added: “The Tower Festival Headland is an ideal space and in the right circumstances would be our first choice for an outdoor fan zone.”

Permanent exit from Arsenal not ruled out for Blackpool’s loan star Dan Ballard amid growing interest from Championship clubs

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A permanent move away from Arsenal for Blackpool’s loan star Dan Ballard hasn’t been ruled out.

 

The 21-year-old is due to meet with Arsenal officials this week to discuss his future, according to football website Football Insider.

A number of clubs in the Championship, including the Seasiders, are keen to seal a loan move for the defender.

Blackburn Rovers are one of the other clubs credited with an interest.

But it’s been claimed the Gunners would also consider a permanent transfer for the Northern Ireland international, who is unlikely to force his way into Mikel Arteta’s first-team plans.

Nevertheless, a season-long loan move appears to be the most likely option for Ballard, who still has two years remaining on his contract.

Ballard, who has yet to make his senior bow for the Premier League side, finds himself behind the likes of Rob Holding and Gabriel at the Emirates Stadium.

Ballard celebrates Blackpool's recent play-off triumphBallard celebrates Blackpool’s recent play-off triumph

According to reports, Arsenal are also interested in signing Brighton and Hove Albion and England centre-back Ben White, which would force him further down the pecking order.

Ballard made 38 appearances under Neil Critchley last season and was a key member of their promotion-winning side.

The Seasiders have already strengthened in the centre of defence this summer, bringing Oliver Casey in from Leeds United on a three-year deal.

Ballard clearly enjoyed his season-long spell at Bloomfield Road, something that could work in the Seasiders favour in their bid to bring him back for a second campaign.

“Thank you to all the staff, players and fans at Blackpool for making me feel so welcome during my time here,” Ballard posted to his Instagram page after the conclusion of his loan spell.

“I loved every moment and it was even more special to finish with a win at Wembley.

“Thank you.”

Blackpool keeper Chris Maxwell says return to Championship was always number one goal

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Blackpool captain Chris Maxwell is  keen to prove he can still cut it in the Championship.

 

Maxwell played at that level with Blackpool’s fierce rivals Preston North End, who the Seasiders will be reacquainted with next season.

On his ambition to play in the Championship again, Maxwell said: “That was the open conversation I had. You can see that from the recruitment over the last 18 months – the club, the owner, Ben (Mansford, chief executive) and the gaffer have recruited really well.

Chris Maxwell can't wait for another crack at the Championship

Chris Maxwell can’t wait for another crack at the Championship

“That’s not just in terms of ability and how well players play on the field– it’s the characters that have been brought into the club because they’ve been fantastic.

“The culture and atmosphere of the dressing room is amazing and I think this team is going to do really well in the Championship. I think we’re all set.

“It’s a fantastic league. It’s going to be a test for us but I think we’ll do really well.

“A lot of players in our dressing room have never played at that level, so they’ll be excited and relishing the prospect of proving themselves.

“There are also us guys who have played there before but want to prove we can still do it, so we’re looking forward to it and we’ll all be ready for pre-season.”

Maxwell, whose side will discover their Championship schedule when fixtures are released a week today, has praised the club’s upward trajectory.

“It’s such an amazing place to be at the moment,” the goalkeeper added. “It’s really good off the field. The group, the manager, the staff and the hierarchy of the club all just fits well.

“I believe the club deserved to achieve the success it has this season. We’re all looking forward to next season already.”

Blackpool bring former Everton and QPR winger to Bloomfield Road

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Blackpool bring former Everton and QPR winger to Bloomfield Road

 

The 22-year-old winger has agreed a one-year contract with the option of a further 12 months as the Seasiders look forward to life in the Championship.

Bowler had been a free agent, having joined Everton from QPR during 2017 for a fee rising to £4.25m.

He had been strongly linked with a move to Bloomfield Road after leaving Goodison Park at the end of last season.

Josh Bowler has completed his move to Blackpool Picture: Blackpool FC

Josh Bowler has completed his move to Blackpool Picture: Blackpool FC

Blackpool assistant boss Colin Calderwood to leave for Northampton Town

Bowler told the club website: “I’m so happy the move has been completed, and I can’t wait to get started.

“To come and play for a club like Blackpool in the Championship is really exciting. As a player, you want to test yourself at the highest level, and this is a great opportunity for me to do that.

“Wherever I get the ball, I want to run with it and try and create something.

“I want to get the fans off their seats and entertain them as much as I can, and to work under a coach like Neil Critchley who is renowned for nurturing younger players, I hope to be able to develop my game further.”

Bowler failed to make a senior appearance for the Toffees, but he enjoyed plenty of game time in the Championship during the 2019/20 season – making 31 appearances during a loan spell with Hull City.

He now becomes the fourth player to join the club this summer, following on from Reece James, Daniel Grimshaw and Shayne Lavery.

Head coach Neil Critchley added: “Josh will be a valuable addition to the squad.

“He’s a player who Everton invested in from QPR at the age of 18 and is very good in the final third, where he’s capable of adding goals and assists to the team.

“Now 22, he joins us at a good age and with room to develop and improve his game further.

“He’s had previous Championship experience with Hull, and we believe he can come here and fulfil his potential.”