Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Armfield: Seasider dream came true

Jimmy Armfield

Blackpool legend Jimmy Armfield believes the success of the Seasiders this season is proof dreams can come true for small clubs.

The Lancashire outfit were expected to be relegated from the Championship last year but instead won promotion to the Barclays Premier League. Although results have been hard to come by in recent weeks, the Tangerines have generally had a superb season - their first in the top flight for 39 years - and still have a good chance of survival.

Former England captain Armfield, who retired after Blackpool were relegated from the old First Division in 1971, said: "Last year we shocked people by getting into the Premier League, so let's hope we can shock people again by staying in the Premier League."

He added: "If you asked most people in football at the start of the season, they wouldn't have given Blackpool a prayer.

"But they have beaten some of the best teams in the league and it is possible they could just do it.

"It has been a great season, no matter what happens, but it will be an even greater year if they survive. That would be fantastic.

"They have given hope to a lot of clubs who think they'll never get in the Premier League.

"It obviously can be done and they have done it without spending a lot of money.

"It must be a little bit galling for some of the bigger clubs lower down, who are out of the Premier League and getting 25-30,000 regularly, to see a team like Blackpool, who averaged 8,600 last year, up there. It's astonishing really."

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