The plight of Blackpool has been well documented over the past few years, with on-field and off-field problems plaguing the Tangerines under the stewardship of the Oyston family. Here, I take a look at where the side, who beat Wigan Athletic 4-0 on the opening day of the 2010/11 season, are.
Matt Gilks: After the thrashing of Wigan, the Scotsman played 161 more times for the club, which is more than most. Gilks eventually left the Seasiders in 2014. He joined Burnley and didn’t play a league game for Sean Dyche’s men before joining Joey Barton at Rangers, playing five cup games and playing perennial back-up to Wes Foderingham but unlike Barton, he remains at the club.
Stephen Crainey: Another player who made a barrage of appearances after this season. Crainey played over 200 league games in a seven year spell. He left the club in 2013 and had spells at fellow Lancashire clubs Wigan Athletic and Fleetwood Town before moving into the non-league in 2015 at the age of 35 with AFC Fylde.
Alex Baptiste: Baptiste, a goalscorer on that day, also left Blackpool in 2013 to join Bolton Wanderers, playing 39 times in his sole season there, as he spent the 2014-15 on loan from the Trotters at Blackburn Rovers. One of only three to be on the books of a Premier League club. He hasn’t played a league minute for Middlesbrough as of yet and is currently at Blackpool’s bitter rivals, Preston. Nice one, Alex.
Ian Evatt: 34 year-old Evatt is still going strong in League One with Chesterfield. The Coventry-born centre-half rejoined the club he spent two years at between 2003 and 2005 and helped them to promotion to the third-tier in his first season, where they remain – one division above Blackpool.
Craig Cathcart: Cathcart made his Premier League bow in the win over Wigan after joining from Manchester United having spent five years at Old Trafford. Cathcart jumped ship in Blackpool’s penultimate season in the division to join Watford and help the Hornets reach the Premier League, where he remains today as well as having featured in 35 league games last season.
David Vaughan: Blackpool’s only Premier League season since the competition began in 1992 proved to be Vaughan’s last. The Welshman, who was part of the Wales squad who reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016, joined Sunderland in a bid to remain in the Premier League, before an unhappy spell prompted him to drop down to the Championship in 2013, with Nottingham Forest, where he remains.
Charlie Adam: Perhaps the most ‘famous’ member of the team that demolished Wigan back on that sunny afternoon in August 2010. Blackpool’s captain that day played a vital role in the season which unfortunately ended fruitless for the current Scotland international. He duly spent a season at Liverpool until joining Stoke in 2012, where he has played more than 100 games, scoring 19 goals.
Marlon Harewood: One of the more interesting names on this list. Harewood, who scored twice against Wigan, has played for no less than six clubs after leaving the Tangerines in 2011. His career reached China before it was fashionable and then brought him to Nottingham Forest and Bristol City amongst others. Now 37, the once prolific marksman now plays for Nuneaton Town in the National League North.
Brett Ormerod: The Blackpool legend left Bloomfield road after his second spell in 2012 after scoring 61 goals for the Tangerines over the two periods. Ormerod then joined National league club Wrexham and spent two years at the Welsh club before joining the regional leagues where the 40 year-old most recently played for Bamber Bridge.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher: Another club legend. Taylor-Fletcher left the Tangerines in 2013 to join Leicester City where, unfortunately for him, he wasn’t on their books long enough to claim a Premier League medal. The out-of-shape talisman joined Tranmere in 2015 before only recently making it back into league football with Accrington Stanley, who he is yet to score for.
Elliot Grandin: Elliot Grandin’s career hasn’t really taken off anywhere. The French U21 international played only 42 times for the club before joining Crystal Palace where he was released six months into his deal. He eventually found his way back to the Seasiders, making 7 appearances in an unforgettable spell. A short stint at Astra Giurgiu was ended before he joined Shrewsbury in 2016, where he was released without making an appearance once more.
Some interesting names, what were you surprised by? Would you like more of these?