Day 29 of 32 – Monday 29 April – Stanley Park, Brunswick 4, We Love Blackpool and 5-a-side !

I’m up early and record a version of a song about growing up in Blackpool called Stanley Park. I’ve had this riff in my head for years but I have only ever played it once to an audience and that was at a solo gig I did in the Boars Head about 5 years ago. I used to love doing those gigs but a bit of The Black Dog set in and I lost a lot of confidence so I’ve not done one since Rebellion 2 years ago – I’m trying to get back on the solo stage there but alas no feedback as yet. I sometimes think songs get sung, recorded and reach out when they want to be and not when the artist wants them to be – rather like the Aboriginal concept of signing …. If it sounds good it’s the song and not the singer and vice versa if it sounds bad it’s not the singer, it’s the song that does not want to be sung.

Pamphlet 4 design is underway today and we are going for a different look and feel. The message ‘Vote INDEPENDENT as POLITICS IS BROKEN both nationally and locally is key and getting the endorsements by ex-councillors from the major parties is important – thankfully we already have these lined up. We should have the words FIGHT BACK FOR BLACKPOOL : against a BLUE background and Conservative logo for the disaffected Tory vote ;  a RED  background and Labour logo for the disaffected Labour vote ; a YELLOW  background and Lib Dem logo for the disaffected Liberal vote. This could be quite powerful.

We also need to remind the good people of BRUNSWICK WARD that it is possible to vote without a polling card, that we + supporters will be at the polling stations on Thursday and to ‘please use your vote wisely – this is a rare opportunity for real change’.  Also a reminder to follow Andy’s daily election blog on www.weloveblackpool.com  and that we would be proud to serve the people of BLACKPOOL. 

Progress decides to sit my chest whilst I’m on the phone …

Spend most of the day at home today working – calls and e-mails, usual stuff. Had a cup of soup in the back garden as the weather was nice otherwise nothing to report other than the same old same old.

Campaign manager and tight Jem of Carlisle trundled around just after 5.00 pm. We recorded an impromptu SMPRS (Saturday Morning Punk Rock Show) in the Garage – it hope we get to to air it sometime, it is a bit daft, but funny.

Ever since Watford John Walsh the ankle-breaker went to work on Yours Truly a couple of years ago at a pre-season friendly I’ve been side lined from my Monday night 5-a-side league.

Gaz Collings and I first put this Blackpool Rox 5-a-side team together at what was originally Uforia at what was Collegiate High School on Garstang Road almost 20 years ago. I think we won our first game 21-0 and the line up was John Armfield in goals, Gaz Collings at the back, with Andy Jackson, Dave Regan, Steve Walsh and myself up front. We named ourselves Blackpool Rox after the local fanzine and wore some old white t-shirts I had designed with the fanzine and the JSNTGM record label.

At that time the place was run by Martin Booker who went on to be commercial manager at Stockport County amongst other places and is now at Fleetwood Town. The original pitches were old school AstroTurf with liberal dosings of sand to cushion the bounce. Wearing shorts rather than tracky bottoms guaranteed grazed knees which often got sore and sometimes infected owing to the grains of sand staying in the wound.

An earlier incarnation of Blackpool Rox 5-a-side team not the original line up though – will have to try and root a really old one out

It’s amazing that the team has stayed together all this time as the venue has grown and over the years Uforia changed its name to Vida and Play Football.

The team personnel has also changed as I’m the only remaining member from back then. Needless to say we are all now vets (some of us super vets) and we play in the vets league.

Since we started there must have been 50 or more lads that have played for us. A few that played lots of games over the period were Steve Traynor, Steve Hartley, Brian ‘the sheriff on Nottingham’ Harper, Dave Butler, Pip Baron, Jordan Spedding, Paul Ryan, Alan Gallagher, Phil Thompson who is one of a few ex-Pool players who played from time to time such as Andy Preece, Phil Clarkson and Chris Beech.

Tonight the line up are regulars Neil Larkin, Stuart Diggle and myself withBilly In goals and young Ryan. Our league game was cancelled so played a friendly instead. The team we played were a nice bunch of lads probably a good 20 years younger than us. After a Close first half we pulled ahead in the second half to win about 14-7 ?  They had one lad who scored nearly all their goals. I really enjoyed it and it was an absolute pleasure to play with great footballers like Neil and Digger again. Great to just pass and move for an hour just pinging the ball to feet. Thankfully I came through it unscathed and as my knees and ankles held out so fingers crossed hopefully I will be back again soon.

Wit the help of BST, the MSG and the TK’s we really need to get this all over social media this week to try and pull in a few extra voters ….

With only three days left to Thursday 2nd May the campaign team has been thinking of anything we can do to encourage a few more BRUNSWICK residents to come and vote for Gary and I.

Today after a few proofs we finalised the design for the last leaflet which is going out on Wednesday. I think we are all pleased with the design of ‘Brunswick 4’ with the message that ‘Politics is Broken’ both locally and nationally. The inner 2 panels carry the colours and logos of the three main parties with recommendations and testimonials from ex Councillors and Party members that voters should go independent this time.

The inner panels look great and we need to start firing these out on social media today. In addition to the three local political endorsements the leaflet carried a few words of support from ex-Pool and Ireland international Eamonn O’Keefe. Eamonn has been one of the few ex-players who dared to speak out against the Oystons during the civil war, something for which I and many BFC supporters will be forever grateful. If you have met Eamonn you will know he has top banter so his endorsement as you might expect is great. It simply reads ….

‘Delighted to support Gary Coleman and Andy Higgins… I’ve known Andy for a long time and he gets things done … just ask the Oystons.!!!

As I left Play Football tonight I texted good old Humphrey Cushion to hear back that he was in The Thatched. As I needed feeding and was making my way up to PLF to visit Ali in BEST next to The Cube for some sustenance, I popped in to  The Thatched for a daily debrief and a chat with Neil Swift the landlord.

It was quiet in The Thatched for a change (well Monday is a proper school night) and we had a good chat about beer, politics and golf-trips. I’m not a golfer myself as I always seem to be too busy …. maybe as I move towards semi-retirement from playing football I should have a re-think about it.

Good night from your candidate – sweet dreams people x

Over to Ali’s for the food of champions from Best (burger and chips) and back to R.T. to watch Newsnight (boring as usual) and Game of Thrones (mint).  H

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