Former Winger On His Time In TangerineHaving joined Blackpool in 1990 from Colne Dynamoes, Tony Rodwell spent four years at Bloomfield Road and helped the club to a Division Four play-off promotion in 1992. Here he reflects on his time in tangerine.
What can you remember about your debut?
My full debut was against Wrexham at Bloomfield Road, it was the fourth game of the season because I’d been sub for every game. I played on the right wing and Phil Stant was up front but he got injured after about 25 minutes so I went up front. I scored my first goal for the club as a centre forward and I set up a few goals as well. I played quite well on my debut, we won 4-1.
What would you say your favourite goal for the club was?
That’s tough. My favourite goal was in the 1991 play-off semi-final away at Scunthorpe. My best goal was probably against Rochdale in the league two years later, I passed two or three players and put the ball in the top corner.
If you could re-live one game from your career in tangerine, which one would you choose?
The second play-off final when we won. After the disappointment of the year before, we played better and justified that we were a good team.
In terms of dressing room banter, what was the best prank you witnessed?
I was involved in the best one. We had some young lads come through and we were away somewhere and I was with David Eyres and Mike Davies. We pretended to ring one of the young lads for an interview and told him that I was from the local paper. Mike Davies instigated it and then I rang his hotel room and spoke to him for about five minutes. It was quite comical and we all burst out laughing at the end. That was one of the funniest things we did.
On reflection, what achievement are you most proud of?
Just playing as many games as I could for the club. Looking back at the time you take it for granted but I’d played non-league and ended up playing for my local team Southport, which I thought was great. As I progressed I don’t know if I got better as a player but I went to better teams and ended up at Blackpool to play nearly 180 games. That was the best achievement, even though we played at Wembley twice.
Best player you played with…
Obviously Trevor Sinclair and Alan Wright come to mind. Dave Bamber was a good player but I’d say Trevor because he went on to play for England and had a good career himself.
Probably Mike Davies because he was so slow, when we went on runs he was miles behind. He was never unfit but he had a funny running style. He wasn’t the best trainer but he kept himself at a level of fitness to get through games.
Phil Horner because he played at centre-half and in midfield after signing from Halifax and always did a good job whenever he played. People like Gary Briggs and Paul Groves got the headlines but Phil always used to be a steady player who’d win the ball, pass it well and could score the odd goal.
Mike Davies. He’s the funniest person I’ve ever met in football and he’s still crackers now. We had a charity game at Bloomfield Road at the end of last season and he was still making everybody laugh from the word go.
Who did you see as most likely to become a manager…
I thought Gary Briggs because he was one of those aggressive centre-halves. He came across as unintelligent because he used to smash into people, but he was very, very intelligent so I thought he’d have been a manager. Phil Horner was well educated so I thought he might have stepped up into management as well.