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BST Gazette Column 19/08/2016

BST19/08/2016

We were at AFC Fylde’s new ground earlier this week with Brett Ormerod, making final arrangements for Brett’s ‘testimonial’ game which Blackpool Supporters Trust is organising in conjunction with AFC Fylde. It promises to be a fantastic occasion.

Brett holds a special place in the hearts of all Blackpool fans. He is a true legend at the club. It was Brett’s winning goal at Wembley which propelled Blackpool into the Premier League (and the best trip we have ever been on); and who could forget his goal against Tottenham in that Premier League season, a goal which made him the only player to score for the same club in all four divisions? As one of his team mates said: “Brett deserves this day as a reflection of his wonderful career.”

So on Sunday 28th August at 3pm, the long awaited game to celebrate the career of Brett Ormerod will take place. He will lead out his Tangerine All Stars team against Dave Challinor’s AFC Fylde Select XI at the spectacular new Mill Farm stadium and we can now confirm who will be lining up alongside Brett on the day.

The Tangerine All Stars squad will comprise: Matt Gilks, Paul Rachubka, Stephen Crainey, John Hills, Barry Shuttleworth, Ian Evatt, Danny Coid, Alex Baptiste, Charlie Adam, David Vaughan, Jamie Milligan, Keith Southern, Phil Clarkson, Billy Clarke, Gary Taylor-Fletcher and John Murphy.

That line up ought to get every Blackpool fan turning out on the day to celebrate Brett’s magnificent career and all that was so fantastic about the Blackpool teams that he played in. The other significant plus point is that it is a charity event and a large percentage of the proceeds from the day will be going to the Gary Parkinson Trust.

The good news about having to reschedule the match from its original intended date at the end of July is that AFC Fylde have now completed an additional side to their new ground and have been able to make extra tickets available. There are still some seats at £12 and there are standing tickets at £10 (£5 for juniors), all bookable now via the AFC Fylde website.

By rights, of course, this game should be taking place at a packed Bloomfield Road but the current situation between owners and fans has rendered that impossible. Without wishing to become embroiled in the politics, Brett recognised that holding the game at Bloomfield Road would have alienated too many people and so an alternative venue was needed. BST thanks David Haythornthwaite and his staff at AFC Fylde, without whom this game would not have been possible.

With so many Blackpool fans now boycotting games, both home and away, the opportunity to come together and unite in support of a club legend, past players and Blackpool FC cannot be underestimated. At a time when it feels as though the heart of our football club has been ripped out, this is an opportunity for us all to unite in the true spirit which has bound us together for decades and to affirm our commitment as fans to our club, Blackpool FC. The ethical boycott of Bloomfield Road comes at a high emotional cost to Blackpool fans. The decision to forego watching your team is a hard one and should not be under estimated. We want Sunday 28th August to be a joyous, Oyston free day, where we can remember what football is supposed to be about, where we can forget the troubles which beset us, on and off the pitch, for a few hours, maybe anticipate what it will be like when we finally get our club back and show our lasting appreciation to a true legend in tangerine.

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