Tuesday, 25 January 2011
LOYALTIES STRAINED AT BLOOMFIELD RD...
When Manchester United meet Blackpool at Bloomfield Road tonight, it will be the first league meeting in 40 years. That match saw the last time Blackpool were in the top flight of English football and the last match played by Mr Blackpool - Jimmy Armfield. Two legends of their clubs, Sir Bobby Charlton and Jimmy Armfield led out their teams at that day's Lancashire derby. Charlton and Armfield were and still are great friends. They played football together in the Army during their National Service and were in the same England team which went on to win the World Cup in 1966. In those days, players from the top division were paid the same wages and Charlton has been on record as saying there was 'a great camaraderie in the game'. Not sure that Blackpool's Charlie Adam (on a reputed 10k per week) and Wayne Rooney (on 250,000k) will be able to say the same in 40 years time.
Bloomfield Road had 30,000 fans that day cheering on Blackpool to a 1-1 draw. With their new all-seater stadium, they'll be substantially less than 30,000 there tonight but the noise and chants will make it seem like 90,000. I'm not sure if Blackpool will manage a 1-1 draw tonight but if they do, it will be a fitting tribute to the two older men and legends of the game who will watching on from the stands.