Preston Councillor John Swindells scored own goal with Blackpool FC online jibes

So as far as confessions go I have quite a big one to make – I am a Blackpool FC fan living in Preston for the last 20 years.

By Nicola Jaques
Friday, 1st March 2019, 10:59 am
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 4:22 pm
Ready to return Bloomfield Road, Coun Swindells branded Bombsite Road
Ready to return Bloomfield Road, Coun Swindells branded Bombsite Road

Football runs through the very veins of the family,

As youngsters, the three of us were pretty much brought up on the pitch.

Whether that was playing for various teams or on the sidelines every Saturday sometimes Sunday morning, or watching dad play while he was on daycare duty.

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Preston City Councillor John Swindells

We loved it. We’d start the day with ‘Saturday sweets’; move on to half-time crisps before feasting on the after-match sandwiches and sausage rolls.

I hung up the boots on reaching high school but both siblings and Jaques senior continue.

My sister with Sir Tom Finney Ladies, although now thanks to last week she’ll be out some time, while youngest ‘Jaquesy’ was at Fulwood Amateurs until his move to Australia and dad runs the Over-35s.

Like many families, football really brings us together and today usually that involves any big game.

Up to four years ago, three of us were season ticket holders at Bloomfield Road but as the evidence mounted up, we joined the Not A Penny More (NAPM) campaign.

It was this point the ammunition in the Blackpool-PNE ‘banter’ skirmishes really ran low – already under the cosh having an owner who is a convicted criminal and a then chairman whose mission in life was to alienate everyone.

It adds to the fun, of course, in any playing field but there will always be some who take it too far.

Enter this week, Councillor John Swindells. As a football fan and a PNE one at that, he is entitled to a little sideline chip.

It’s been going on for years but it is no excuse for ignorance.

Appearing to mock fans on Twitter for their lack of attendance after the recent takeover, he failed to grasp most fans have stayed away because those gate receipts would have still been picked up by the Oystons.

The wider football community understands and their support has been brilliant.

Blackpool fans have endured a tough time but the local economy has suffered too. Not to mention the fact this historic football club has also lost a whole generation of young fans; something it could ill-afford to do

As a Lancastrian, I actually like to think I stand proud for both towns regardless of my shirt banner.

I have never subscribed to the 'hate your rivals' theme. Mainly because it's pointless.

Man Utd fans now have a dilemma to match Brexit - who do they want to win the Premier League, Liverpool or City? Bound to keep some of them awake at nights.

Also, my grandmother was from Preston and my great-grandfather was a carpenter at Deepdale.

Coun Swindells labels his objectors ‘snowflakes’ for getting a bit peeved about his remarks? Perhaps.

But if he had ever experienced the buzz of the Premier League arriving at a small club and seeing its impact on the whole town, then maybe he would understand why people are so angry.

Terry McPhillips is doing a sterling job at the moment and hopes are high one day soon BFC will back in the Championship looking forward to derby day.

In the meantime, Coun Swindells might to do well to look into why the two nearest pubs to Deepdale are no longer in operation.

The Garrison has been empty and an eyesore for years and The Sumners is now advertised as a storage yard.

Maybe the footfall around Deepdale is not as big as he thinks it is?