“A bronze statue that went missing and then reappeared has become the symbol of the steady and unedifying decline of former Premier League football club Blackpool. Depicting club legend Stan Mortensen, scorer of a hat-trick against Bolton Wanderers in the 1953 FA Cup final, the statue had stood on a plinth outside Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road home in northwest England since August 2005. Last week it vanished, after fans earmarked it as a rallying point for a protest against the club’s owners, the Oyston family, prior to the final game of the season against Huddersfield Town. Although it reappeared on Wednesday, the club’s fans are furious, with the Blackpool Supporters’ Trust describing what happened as “beyond contempt”.”
I’ve written a piece for AFP on the peculiar goings-on at Blackpool and you can read it here.