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Jane Stuart – Writer

Writing about real life Up North: football, ale, food and mental health – with a good dash of humour.

Blackpool Win Promotion to the Premier League: We Believed And So It Came To Pass

With the play-off finals almost upon us, here’s what I wrote for the Blackpool Gazette back in 2010 when Blackpool FC won promotion to the Premier League…

We believed and so it came to pass.

After the Scunthorpe game we believed that we could win all of our remaining games.  We believed this because we had seen it happen before – and recently.  We knew other teams would drop points.  We won nine of our last 11 games.  We won these matches because we could smell something exciting on the horizon.  We won these matches because we believed.

One of these nine victories was against Nottingham Forest.  A Forest fan told me before the game that they all wanted Blackpool to win because they wanted to come back to Blackpool in the play-offs.  Sometimes you should be careful what you wish for.

We had beaten Forest twice in the league.  We believed we could beat them again, despite them being favourites.  We won both play-off matches because we believed.

We faced Cardiff at Wembley for promotion to the Premiership.  Despite winning eight out of our last ten games; despite having won both of our semi finals and Cardiff only having drawn on aggregate and winning through courtesy of a ridiculous poncy French penalty; despite Blackpool having improved markedly since Cardiff had failed to beat us twice in league games…  Despite all these things Cardiff were favourites to win the final.  We believed otherwise.

We were rightly confident.  We were always going to score.  We were always going to win.  I wondered what all those Cardiff fans were doing there.  Because this was our day.  Always our day.

We believed and so it came to pass.

A four-sided ground; new training facilities; integration of a sound youth policy capable of producing stars of the future; the opportunity to cherry pick the best players in the Football League…  Blackpool Football Club has been transformed forever because two men believed – and inspired all of Blackpool to believe.

Valeri Belokon.  Ian Holloway.  Thank you so very very much. 

Here’s to a smiley summer.  Premiership Blackpool sounds so much better than Little Blackpool, don’t you think…?

Keep on believing.

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