Blackpool FC

The north is widely considered to be the birthplace of football, with the steel city of Sheffield having hosted the world’s oldest competition in the form of the Youdan Cup in 1867.

English football’s two most successful clubs (Liverpool and Manchester United) also herald from the north, with these sides having won 134 domestic and continental trophies through their illustrious histories.

Then there’s sides like Blackpool, who despite not being as successful as some of their northern peers, retain a rich heritage and fiercely loyal fanbase. But how has the history of Blackpool FC unfolded, and what trophies has the club won during its time?

The burgeoning sport of football had reached the seaside town of Blackpool by 1877, when ‘Victoria FC’ was founded as a church club with a ground in Caunce Street.

While this side disbanded a few years later, a few of its members subsequently merged with those of St. John’s School to form a new club named Blackpool St John’s.

However, these two-faction remained disunited throughout their uneasy union, with Blackpool Football Club subsequently formed on July 26th, 1887, in a bid to represent the entire town.

The club were founder members of the Lancashire League in 1889, before being invited into the Second Division of the Football League seven years later. Apart from a single years’ hiatus in 1899 following a failed re-election to the league, Blackpool FC remained in the second tier until they won the title in 1929-30.

Despite being relegated after four seasons in the top-flight, the club was promoted again at the end of 1936-37 campaign, with this heralding a genuine golden period under the stewardship of long-time manager Joe Smith.

This period saw Blackpool reach the three FA Cup finals, with the club losing in 1948 and 1951.

However, they finally prevailed by beating Bolton Wanderers 4-3 in 1953, with this match subsequently dubbed the so-called “Matthews’ final” as the legendary England winger Stanley helped the club to overturn a 3-1 deficit late on.

Matthews, who made 428 appearances for Blackpool between 1947 and 1961, was one of several 1950 World Cup stars who played for the Tangerines during this period. Another was the prolific striker Stan Mortensen, who joined in 1941 and managed to score an impressive 227 goals in just 352 games over 15 years.

These two were among four Blackpool players who lined up for the England side that infamously lost 6-3 to Hungary in 1953, while they also inspired the Tangerines to four top-six finishes in the English First Division during the 1950s.

They even finished as runners-up to Manchester United in 1955/56, with Stanley Matthews winning the inaugural Ballon d’Or at the end of this campaign.

This halcyon period came to an end in 1961, by which time both Matthews and Mortensen had left Bloomfield Road.

So, despite reaching the League Cup semi-finals in 1962, they continued to fall down the league before being relegated to the Second Division in 1967. They returned to the top-flight for a single season in 1970, but despite winning the Anglo-Italian Cup during their stay, they were relegated once again at the end of this campaign.

The club even sank to the Third Division in 1978, after only missing out on promotion by a single point during the previous year. Then came a further demotion to the English fourth tier in 1981, and even had to reapply for their league status after finishing 21st in 1983.

After languishing in the lower echelons of the Fourth Division through the remainder of the 1980s, the early 90s brought a number of brief flirtations with promotion.

They reached the play-off final in 1991 before losing to Torquay at Wembley, for example, before securing a place in the new Division Two (which was the third tier after the formation of the Premier League) after winning the 1992 play-off final against Scunthorpe 4-3 on penalties.

However, the club endured a challenging time during the remainder of the decade, despite being led by future Premier League managers in the form of Sam Allardyce, Gary Megson and Nigel Worthington.

Despite a third-place finish under Allardyce in 1995/96 (the club ultimately lost to Bradford in the play-off semi-finals while the future Bolton boss lost his job), Blackpool largely struggled in the third tier.

As a result, it should come as no surprise that they were finally relegated to the basement division at the end of the 1999/00 season, under the stewardship of Steve McMahon after the dismissal of Worthington during the campaign.

Of course, the club bounced back immediately at the turn of the century, with McMahon securing a seventh-place finish and play-off win in 2000/21.

After being established as a stable third tier club, Simon Grayson subsequently took the side into the Championship in 2007 (again via the play-offs), laying the foundations for another play-off win in 2010 (under Ian Holloway) as the Tangerines qualified for the EPL and returned to England’s top-flight for the first time in 40 years.

This was also the fourth time that Blackpool had earned promotion to the top-flight, with this including a single Football League Second Division (or Championship) title that was won in 1929-30.

Blackpool have also won five play-offs in League One and League Two through their history, while earning automatic promotion in 1984-85. The club also won the Anglo-Italian Cup in 1971 and the Football League Trophy in 2002 and 2004, although the biggest triumph to date came when they lifted the FAC Cup in 1953.

Since spending a single season in the EPL in 2010, the club has once again embarked on a yo-yo journey through the league, plummeting to League Two after successive demotions in 2014-15 and 2015-16. They’ve since clawed their way back to the Championship, so better times may once again be on the cards for the Tangerines.

Despite this tumult, Blackpool continue to play their home matches at Bloomfield Road, while fans’ favourite Michael Appleton is the Tangerines’ current manager (he works under the guidance of owner Simon Sadler).

Blackpool have once again endured a difficult start to their 2022/23 Championship campaign, with the club potentially facing another relegation battle.

In fact, if you want to bet on football, Blackpool are currently among the bookmakers’ favourites to be relegated this season. The latest football betting odds certainly aren’t kind to the Tangerines, who are currently embarked on a nine-game winless run that has stretched since November 1st.

You should compare the market to find the football betting site that’s offering the most competitive Blackpool FC odds, including ante-post match wagering, in-play betting and outright markets such as promotion and relegation.

Regardless of what happens this season, you can always rely on Blackpool to bounce back, while their loyal fanbase remains one of the most passionate and patient around!