Monday, 21 May 2012

Dreams: It could have all been so different.

13:31:00 Posted by Shaun , , , , , , 1 comment

As a small boy in Blackpool, I spent most of my summers kicking balls up and down alleyways, fields and the beach. I cannot have been alone in dreaming of making it as a footballer- playing on the hallowed turf of Wembley. That and seeing my side in the top flight were the dreams and I never thought either day would come.

Long time Pool fans have had their share of the suffering over the years. Supporters around my age can count themselves fairly lucky having seen the boys rise up through the leagues but, even with the Wembley wins of yesteryear, Saturday was not an easy one to take. To be quite frank, we bossed it. We dominated possession first half and with a timely equaliser straight from the break, momentum looked to be pushing us over the line again. Looked... that wonderful word that counts for absolutely nothing in football.

The truth of the matter is that West Ham were a very good side. After seeing Big Sam tear down the touchline last season flailing his arms- helicopter fashion- I wanted nothing more than for Ollie's lads to go out there on Saturday and stick it to the former Pool boss. Oyston famously sacked him from his prison cell after a play off heartbreak- it seems Big Sam has learnt his lesson.

The very reason that I am talking football today is because the blog theme for this week is dreams. Blackpool came close, we came very close but goals win games, not half chances and might-have-beens. Had young Mr Phillips popped in his two chances, we'd have been 2-0 up and comfortable. Had Mr Dobbie turned his second half effort home, we'd be Premier League. Alas, we aren't.

The newspapers can tell you half the story, the record books will tell you even less but in truth, as a Blackpool fan, we're still in wildest dreams territory. Premier League or no Premier League, if you'd have asked me after Allardyce's last game as Blackpool boss- deep in the depths of league football and dumped out of the play offs at home, through the tears I would never have seen days like Saturday on the horizon.

I have a carrier bag with a match programme in it. On the side of the bag are the words "Que Sera Sera, Whatever will be will be, We've been to Wembley". That is exactly how we've got to look at this one- onwards and upwards- try again next year.
I'm gutted we've missed out but am so very proud of the lads.

For this week I'm leaving it at that. We have a theme, we have a mission and we all know how young boys can dream. This one didn't pay off but it does give me a nice opportunity to plug the book, A Poet's Guide to Blackpool (get in touch if you want a copy). I wrote Dreamland after the Premier League relegation and after Saturday, I think it makes a nice end to the post.


A bald headed man took a town by the laces
Gave witty soundbites and put smiles onto faces
& while those in the game said they’d be a disaster
Nobody predicted the run that came after
For just over an hour they looked down on football
The table can’t lie, Blackpool written above all
They took three points at Anfield, amongst other places
What a buzz, what a ride, every fan so elated
No money, no big stars just one little squad
But the bald man from Bristol kept getting the nod
On Match of the Day, first up for excitement
Their attacking football kept neutrals delighted
And whilst years ago, many thought it a dream
This small town found joy in the great Tangerines.
They went bursting with pride but not all went quite right
At Old Trafford, Pool’s dream reached the end of the night.
Results swung on a knife-edge, so nearly, so close
And left teary eyed men walking back to the coaches.
As fairytales go this was one of the best
A full team of heroes, all taking the test
of their lives. Sadly, this time there was no happy ending
But tell that to Blackpool, whose pride is unending
For the Premier League dream is still well within sight
Dream well little town: Goodnight Blackpool. Sleep tight

Thanks for reading,


Ashley R Lister said...


You know I'm not a huge football follower but I have to admit I was saddened by the result this weekend.

Great post - and a good start to the week.