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Blackpool Football Club’s return to the top-flight of English football after an absence of forty years was the heart-warming story of last season. Manager Ian Holloway’s brand of football could provide the heart-warming story of this season too if the Tangerines can maintain their English Premier League (EPL) status. Watch every minute of this dramatic fight for EPL survival with Blackpool live inside our dedicated members area.

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Key Players
 

Midfielder Charlie Adam was central to Blackpool’s late run to, and through the promotion play-offs, with his spectacular free-kick goal in the 3-2 Wembley play-off final victory against Cardiff indicative of his influence. He was the club’s record signing, having been bought from Rangers for £500,000 at the start of 2009/2010.

 

However, after a distinct lack of close season transfer activity, manager Ian Holloway finally broke the bank, and that club transfer record with a late signing spree. Club chairman Karl Oyston had refused to break the club’s tight wage structure and ultimately resigned over the issue of players’ agents.

 

But before he left, he sanctioned a number of key signings, with £1m acquisitions Brett Pitman from Bournemouth and Chris Basham from Bolton brought in alongside the EPL experience of striker Marlon Harewood

 

Yet the main driving force looks likely to be Holloway himself, an inspirational, if frequently off-the-wall character, who can only add to the EPL’s personality factor and will always be worth watching, and hearing, on your Live Football network.

 

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A brief history
 

Blackpool Football Club is best remembered as the team which won the “Matthews Final”, the 4-3 victory over Bolton Wanderers in the 1953 FA Cup Final, which gave their most famous player, Stanley Matthews, his one and only FA Cup winners’ medal.

 

The 1950s was the most successful decade in the club’s history, with a Football League runners-up spot to go alongside their 1953 Wembley triumph, one of three Wembley appearances in six years, when the Cup was a club’s sole route to the famous old stadium.

 

The club was formed in 1887 and has played at its current Bloomfield Road home since 1901, five years after they joined the Football League, where they’ve competed ever since, bar 1899/1900, when they were relegated into the Lancashire League for one season.

 

That FA Cup success remains their only major honour. They won the Football League’s Second Division title in 1930 and they had an unbroken run in the old First Division from 1937 to 1967.

 
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Joe Smith was their most successful manager, his 23 years in charge encompassing the Tangerines’ golden era.

 

Matthews was the inspiration on the wing, with a seemingly never-ending supply of crosses for star strikers such as Stan Mortensen and Bill Perry.

 

The club’s longest serving player is full-back Jimmy Armfield, who played from 1954 to 1971. But the club’s fortunes fell after his retirement and Blackpool finished as low as 21st in League Division Four in 1982/83.

 

They won promotion back to English football’s third tier in 1991/92. And, after being relegated again in 1999/2000, they gained promotions in 2001 and 2007, both via the play-off system.

 

It was a feat they were to repeat last season, setting up their first season in the English Premier League, under the outspoken, entertaining Holloway.

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Tags: Blackpool, Premier League, Blackpool live, Charlie Adam, Brett Pitman, Chris Basham, Marlon Harewood, Holloway, FA Cup

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