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13 November 2014

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You are in: Lancashire > History > Local History > Revoe's Footballing Heritage

Revoe's Footballing Heritage

Sport historian Gerry Wolstenholme celebrates the contribution Revoe boys made to Blackpool Football Club and beyond...from the Eastham brothers to Jimmy Armfield!

Jimmy Armfield © David Butterworth

Jimmy Armfield © David Butterworth

Arguably the most iconic building in the South Shore area is Blackpool Football Club’s Bloomfield Road ground, which nestles on the outermost edges of Revoe.

It has played an important part in the residents’ lives since Blackpool first played an occasional game at the ground in 1899 and moved there on a permanent basis in 1901. Since then the cheers of huge crowds, particularly in the heyday of the 1950s, have rung around the area on matchdays.

Yaggie 'Harry' Read

Yaggie 'Harry' Read who lived at 45 Ibbison Street

And there are a number of Revoe boys who have performed well for the Seasiders beginning with ‘Yaggie’ Read who resided at 45 Ibbison Street and who scored on his League debut in a 2-2 draw with Grimsby Town on 26 October 1907. He went on to play 31 League and Cup games and score three goals in his two seasons at Blackpool.
Twenty years after Reid first appeared came another Ibbison Street boy in the guise of Fred Swift, the goalkeeping brother of Frank of Manchester City fame. Fred first played for the club in August 1927 as an amateur but had to wait until April 1929 before he made his League debut in a 2-1 defeat at Millwall. Fred signed as a professional for the 1929/30 season but he remained just one year before moving on to Chorley, Oldham Athletic and Bolton Wanderers.

Then there was the famous footballing Eastham family who hailed from Revoe. Three brothers, Billy, Harry and George, all played for Blackpool with the latter, the father of George junior who went on to play for Arsenal and to represent England, being the most famous although he originally joined Bolton Wanderers and only returned to Blackpool in 1938 after he had played his international football.

One player who made his mark in a brief spell at Bloomfield Road in the 1930s was Billy Parr who began his football with Grasmere Road Methodists. He was an amateur, being employed at the Town Hall, and therefore only played occasional games in the Seasiders’ first team. But he was good enough to catch the eye of the national selectors and went on to win eight amateur international caps. He had played 18 League games and almost 100 League games for Blackpool when his work commitments took him down to London where he played for Dulwich Hamlet and made one wartime appearance for Arsenal. Sadly he was killed in a night flying accident in March 1942.

David Durie

David 'Legs' Durie

Another Revoe boy who starred for Blackpool was David ‘Legs’ Durie who spent 13 seasons with the club. A gangly inside forward or half back he was a regular goalscorer and, in over 300 games, he scored almost 100 goals. David is still seen around town and always has a friendly word for those who recognise him.

Finally Blackpool’s record appearance holder and most capped England international, former captain Jimmy Armfield, went to school at Revoe before moving on to Arnold. Jimmy, who played 627 games for Blackpool and won 43 England caps, was voted the best right back in the world at the 1962 World Cup finals.

Blackpool Football Club has always been at the heart of the Revoe people and the chants of ‘Up the ‘Pool’ and ‘Revoe Forever’ will always echo around the close knit community that lies in the centre of Blackpool.

Article sent in by Gerry Wolstenholme.

The views expressed on this page are those of the contributor and the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the BBC.

last updated: 02/02/2009 at 12:04
created: 29/01/2009

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