Tag: Blackpool

An Englishman In A Small Town: Paul Grech Meets Ben Perry Acton

We have something a little different for you today on Twohundredpercent, as Paul Grech meets Ben Perry Acton, a player that forsook the English game to pursue a career in Malta. In addition to this, Ben had a grandfather whose name will be more than familiar to the supporters of Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers – Bill Perry, who scored the winning goal in The Matthews FA Cup Final match between the two clubs in 1953. This article was originally scheduled to appear on Les Rosbifs, but the site’s owner yesterday confirmed that he is to close the site. We will take the opportunity to wish Gavin all the best for the future and thank him for maintaining such an excellent site over the last few years. Gharghur is very much a typical Maltese town, with a multitude of narrow winding lanes all leading to a main square that is dominated by a huge church. Although the setting is unique and spectacular – built as it is into a disused quarry – Gharghur is also typical in that it now boasts one of the synthetic pitches that thanks to UEFA’s and FIFA’s money are replacing gravel ones all across the island. It is at the clubhouse adjacent to this pitch that I meet Ben Perry Acton as he and some of his Gharghur FC teamates pass the time before training kicks off...

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How Literal Will The Premier League’s Survival Sunday Be?

In an August 2009 Radio 5 Live programme on the Premier League’s financial troubles, Supporters Direct Chief Executive Dave Boyle addressed the issue of the “chasm” between Premier League and Football League finances. “Once upon a time,” he said to a gathering of football people including the then-Birmingham chairman David Gold, who wasn’t ‘sitting comfortably’, “relegation meant you’d not had a good season. Now it seems to be this existential ‘it’s the end of the club, it’s the end of the world as we know it.’” Boyle’s theory was tested to an extent by that season’s relegation of Hull City and Portsmouth. But it was difficult to gauge how much of Hull’s traumas were down to the gap between the leagues, or the gap between owner Russell Bartlett’s financial strategies and sanity. And Portsmouth, of course, was a test of a different set of theories entirely, largely connected with the wisdom of allowing convicted Russian/Israeli gun-runners to try out a Premier League club’s bank account for size. Allegedly. Some of this season’s bottom six might put Boyle’s theory to a more pertinent test. The bottom six has mostly been the three ‘Bs’ – Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool – nestling uncomfortably on top of the three ‘Ws’ – West Ham United, Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers (the five ‘Ws’, if you have a certain view of the Hammers’...

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Video Special: Six Great FA Cup Finals

It may have escaped your attention, but it is the FA Cup final on Saturday. Manchester City and Stoke City will take the pitch at Wembley on Saturday afternoon, with both clubs looking for their first major trophy since the 1970s. With shameless nostalgia in the back of our minds, then, it’s time to take a look back at six terrific FA Cup finals – unless your team happened to be on the losing side, that is – from the days when Cup Final day was the crowning glory of the domestic season. So, with no further ado and no boring words to have to read between them, here are six classics from the archive. If Saturday’s match can live up to any of these matches, we will have had a very good afternoon indeed. 1953 – Blackpool vs Bolton Wanderers 1964 – West Ham United vs Preston North End 1973 – Sunderland vs Leeds United 1979 – Arsenal vs Manchester United 1981 Replay – Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City 1987 – Coventry City vs Tottenham Hotspur Follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter...

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Match Of The Week 2: Fulham 3-0 Blackpool

Perhaps it was inevitable that it would come to this in the fullness of time. The worlds of football, celebrity and cloying sentimentality have been slowly moving towards each other for the last ten years or so. At Craven Cottage this afternoon, though, a nadir has been reached. There is so much wrong with the statue of Michael Jackson that now stands, some might say creepily, outside Fulham’s ground that it is difficult to know where to start, even if we allow for Mohammed Al Fayed’s friendship with the late singer, chimpanzee maintenance man and moonwalker. Firstly, there is the statue itself. Seemingly based on a design submitted by a reasonably artistically talented seven year-old, it is a statue seemingly made of Play-Doh, a design that would have been rejected by Madame Tussauds on the assumption that the wax had partially melted. It is startlingly bad, really alarmingly so, and, football supporters being football supporters, it seems inconceivable that it won’t lead to Fulham supporters – who, of course, were not consulted over this – being treated as laughing stocks the length and breadth of the nation for a while. Then there is the small matter of the fact that Michael Jackson has no links with Fulham Football Club, apart from his friendship with Al Fayed and having visited Craven Cottage once. If Al Fayed was so desperate to...

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A Rant Or Three

While I was ‘away’ at the Asian Cup, English football ‘personalities’ maintained their capacity to infuriate – through stinking hypocrisy as much as the usual pig ignorance. Brady Everybody on the planet bar a couple of Buddhist monks in Bhutan (only a couple, mind) has had their say on Andy Gray’s and Richard Keys’ departures from SKY. So I feel almost duty-bound to join in, late though I am. Although at the risk of upsetting a few feminists who aren’t concentrating (a risk I’ve taken before), Karren Brady is the source of my ire. At least the Key/Gray sackings haven’t been turned into ‘Graygate’ or ‘Keygate.’ And the “only a bit of banter” excuse has been well and truly squashed. But Brady’s attempted climb to the moral high ground fell ay base camp. As well as being unoriginal and unfunny (“perhaps Richard thought I was too busy making the tea and washing up to take his call”), Brady’s suggestion that she refused to take Keys’ call of apology because she was “heavily occupied with the West Ham and Newham Olympic Stadium bid” doesn’t wash. How long would it take to tell Keys to shove his apology where the sun doesn’t shine because he wasn’t sorry for his views, just for getting caught airing them? I’ve just timed it. Admittedly, I speak quickly. But it took me ten seconds –...

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