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Blackpool At The World Cup: Part 1

Posted: Fri 06 Jun 2014
Author: Mark Ridgway

Seasiders Who Represented Their Nation

With the World Cup less than a week away, we look back at yesteryear where Blackpool players were putting their tangerine jersey on a hanger, and swapping it for their native strip on the world's greatest stage. 

In the first of two delves into the archives, we look at record-breaking Englishmen, as well as those from further afield. 

Spanning over half a century of football, Blackpool FC have been represented in Europe, South America and Africa to name a few.

But far from just making up the numbers, Pool’s international stars did the club proud and returned to Lancashire with their heads held high.

Stan Mortensen – England & Blackpool
World Cup: 1950
Mortensen WCC
While many records come and go, the accolade of ‘first ever’ can never be reclaimed. So when Stan Mortensen scored England’s first ever World Cup finals goal, it would be etched in the history books forever. 

After 12 years without a World Cup due to World War II, the 1950 festival was long overdue, with England entering the tournament for the first time. En route to Brazil Blackpool’s Mortensen had already become the country’s first ever goal scorer in World Cup qualification. 

Hotly tipped to win the competition, England started well against Chile at the Maracana Stadium. Mortensen’s 27th minute strike, England’s first ever World Cup finals goal, set them on their way to a 2-0 victory. 

However a shock 1-0 loss to USA, and then a slender defeat to group winners Spain, meant England would finish second. In 1950 only the top side progressed to the final stages, which meant England and Mortensen’s World Cup dreams were over.  

Jimmy Armfield – England & Blackpool
World Cups: 1962 & 1966
Armfield WC
The rest of the nation may cling on to the tales of 1966, but for Blackpool’s Jimmy Armfield it was four years earlier where he gained his greatest World Cup memories.

Cruelly ruled out of the ’66 tournament through injury, despite being named in the World Cup winning squad, Armfield had picked up a commendable individual honour in 1962. 

Voted the best right-back of the tournament by FIFA, Armfield starred as England progressed into the quarter finals for only the second time in the country’s history. They lost to eventual winners Brazil 3-1 in Chile, but Armfield’s tournament was deemed an overwhelming success. 

He later received his 1966 medal from Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street in 2009.

Allan Brown – Scotland & Blackpool
World Cup: 1954
Brown WC
The first non-English Blackpool player to appear at a World Cup, Brown represented Scotland at their first ever tournament on the world's greatest stage.

Held in Switzerland, each team only played two of the three nations in their group and after a narrow defeat to Austria, the Scots were well beaten by Uruguay 7-0. Pool’s Brown played both matches as an inside forward, but couldn’t prevent his country crashing out at the group stage. 

David Carney – Australia & Blackpool
World Cup: 2010
Carney WC
While not strictly a Seasider at the time of the World Cup, David Carney followed up the 2010 tournament in South Africa with a move to Bloomfield Road later that summer.

After sitting out Australia's first game against Germany, Carney played at left-back for a draw with Ghana and defeat at the hands of Serbia, which ended their hopes of progressing.