A Q and A with...

Last updated : 21 March 2005 By Smallsy

1. Tell us a bit about yourself....name, age, how long you've supported your team etc...

My name is Peter Gillatt I've been maintaining Seasiders.net since 1996 and I'm now 43 and have been watching Blackpool since 1970... gulp that's over 35 years - time flies eh!

2. What was the first game you went to see?

Remember it well my first game was our first home match in the old First Division on a warm sunny Monday evening August 17th 1970 that match was against the mighty Liverpool and the game ended in a 0-0 stalemat with over a 27,000 attendance the Blackpool team that night was : Thompson, Armfield, Mowbray, Bentley, James, Hatton, Brown, Craven, Pickering, Suddick, Hutchison whilst Liverpool had such stars as Clemence, Lawler, Ross, Smith, Lloyd, Hughes, Callaghan, Evans, Graham, McLaughlin, Thompson in their side.

3. What have been the best and worst games you've attended?

One match from so many seems harsh I've been fortunate to see Blackpool win two nail biting play-off finals at both Wembley and the Millenium stadium plus two LDV Vans Trophy victories but when as existing Anglo-Italian Cup holders we ran riot with a 10-0 victory over  Lanerossi Vicenza at Bloomfield Road on June 10th 1972 to make sure of a final place for the second year in the Anglo-Italian Cup competition against Roma whilst notching up the all time record win and the record number of points ever obtained by any club in the Anglo-Italian competition that was some game!
Worst well,  as a game the 1991 Fourth Division Play-off final defeat by Torquay United when Dave Bamber scuffed his shot wide in the last penalty of the penalty kick shoot out was something I never wanted to go through again (although we did the following season!). However without doubt the worst match for me took place on 24th August 1974  a Blackpool youth, Kevin Olsson, was fatally stabbed at the rear of the Spion Kop whilst attending the Second Division ‘derby’ game against Bolton Wanderers (attendance 15,513). Police reinforcements were brought in from all over Lancashire and supporters from both clubs were locked in the ground long after the match ended for questioning - it was Britains first soccer death and I was 12 and terrified at the time.

4. Where did you finish last season?

On Boxing Day our 2-1 victory against Tranmere Rovers left us just 3 points of a play-off place. Sadly by the end of the season we had slumped to 14th place with only 6 further wins to our credit for the entire rest of the season and without a manager. However, on Sunday 21st March the club did enjoy their third succesful trip to Cardiff with a 2-0 win in the LDV final against Southend United in front of 34,000.

5. Where do you think you will finish this season?

At one stage in mid September after being bottom for around 8 weeks I thought we were on the fast track back to the Second Division. Then we defeated Port Vale 3-0 away on the 25th September and the survival fight was well and truly on. To find ourselves currently 15th in the table is heaven and I hope we can continue this great run and finish above half-way in the table which would be a remarkable transformation in the teams fortunes and will be a fabulous turnaorund for rookie manager Colin Hendry.

6. What is your team like, strengths, weakness etc...?

The entire defence unit has changed since our dreadful start to the season and we now have the impressive Peter Clarke the U21 England International signed from Everton alongside Tony Butler recently signed from Bristol City at the heart of our defence. Clarke has simply been a revelation and we still can't beleive we managed to land him from the toffees he's single handedly changed our fortunes we've had problems up front with Scott Taylor moving on to Plymouth and our midfield can be quickly overun but when Richie Wellens, Keith Southern and Martin Bullock are on form they can prove a handful for any opposition in this League.

7. Which of your players should we be most fearful of?

The current Blackpool side is a very hard working unit and as  previously mentioned our defence is much improved and has kept a number of clean sheets lately however Martin Bullock can be a handfull in midfield although sadly Richie Wellens who caused your problems in the first encounter will be suspended for the game. Upfront both Keigan Parker and John Murphy are forming a useful partnership .

8. Which of Brentford's players should you be most fearful of?

Both the Bees regular strikers Isaiah Rankin and Deon Burton are the two players that I think may cause us problems and should be more worried than I am but surprisingly Brentford have only scored 15 goals on their travels so whether they add to this on Tuesday night will be interesting.

9. Give us your prediction of where we will finish this season?

I've a good online friend who is a Brentford fan and therefore have developed a soft spot for the Bees I hope you do well and enjoy a well deserved trip to the Millenium Stadium for the play-offs I've been there three times and never lost you'll love it but you won't have any finger nails left!! 

10. What is your predicted scoreline for the game when the two sides play?

Prediction for Tuesday well Brentford's 100% home record was blown away by Blackpool as a double strike by John Murphy helped give the Seasiders their third win of the season back on the 23rd October. However, a few weeks ago I would have expected you to murder us. Our home form has been nothing short of atrocious and the football on display has seen attendances plummenting at Bloomfield Road. Now the team are playing some exciting football again and Colin Hendry appears to have found a unit capable of securing much needed points to claw us away from the relegation zone. I'd be more than happy if we shared the points against a team such as Brentford at this stage of the season so lets say a draw would be fine and leave it at that.