“Back home they’ll be thinking about us when we are far away…”
Football anthems – some of them best forgotten (remember Cinnamon Stick?) – belt out rallying choruses on a record player in a corner of Blackpool Carers Centre.
Back Home. Recorded for the 1970 World Cup. England still world champions (from 1966) until losing 3-2 to West Germany in the quarter finals. “We’ll fight until the whistle goes for the folks back home.”
Vendor Stuart Clayton, a carer himself, is talking vinyl with local barbershop chorister Lyn Whitehead. 63, who still has her copy of ‘The Singing Nolans’ Blackpool FC record. She bought it when she was 18 in 1972. “It’s still in the original cover.” It’s back home…
Music has the power to connect you with a moment in time. But football immerses you in that moment.
The two worlds collide at Blackpool Carers Centre at a football fair, memorabilia exhibition and auction organised by Rob Frowen, of Fylde Coast Programmes.
Rob’s become a key team player for what you could call Carers Utd – raising funds for the charity which helped him as a carer, running support groups in his own right and winning awards along the way. He will be leading on the charity’s annual cash quest for carers, once the charity’s Spring Ball – on March 3 at the De Vere – is over.
He also hopes to make sports auctions and exhibitions regular fixtures at the charity.
“Blackpool has been waiting for this kind of event,” he adds.
Around 12 dealers – some from as far afield as Plymouth and Dumfries – have packed the place with artefacts, cherished football card collections, bound Gazette newspaper folders, badges, programmes, Shoot magazines, Football Monthly, The Green, signed press articles and photographs, shirts and more.
The memories of generations of football fans and families are amassed under the roof of Beaverbrooks House on Newton Drive.
A 1953 FA Cup exhibition has pride of place marking Blackpool’s triumph over Bolton. There’s a minute’s silence in tribute to the late great Jimmy Armfield. His testimonial match programme is separated from a batch of other programmes – and outsells the lot. Rob reckons the event has raised around £1,500 for the charity.
The real talking points are the back stories to some of the items on sale. There’s a signed Blackpool FC shirt (2012-13) owned by the late Howard Bentley- bought by Peter Duerden for £30.
A newspaper match report sells for £50 because it was signed by Duncan Edwards, one of the Busby Babes and one of eight players who died as a result of the Munich air disaster 60 years ago this very week (Feb 6).
A slightly deflated 1992 Liverpool FC centenary ball signed by Ian Rush, Bruce Grobbelaar and names still familiar today sells for £20 to Eric Barton. Eric’s wife Patricia has brought along a picture of her husband holding the cup aloft after Blackpool won promotion to the Premier League under Ian Holloway. “It was a very proud moment,” concludes Eric. “And it was young Oyston – Karl – who insisted I hold it aloft like that. I’ll never forget it.”