For Gary Brabin, Blackpool Football Club will always hold a special place in his heart.
The former Seasider spent three years as a player at Bloomfield Road in the 1990’s, making over 60 appearances in tangerine. His long career as a player saw him represent many other clubs along the way, as far as Hull City in the north to Torquay United in the south.
A much admired player for his dogged determination and demeanor on the pitch, Brabin never left football and has since gone on to coaching and managing.
Before his time as assistant manager under Terry McPhillips at Bloomfield Road last season, the 49-year-old also had spells as manager at Southport, Cambridge and Tranmere Rovers.
Now as number two to Graeme Jones at Luton Town, Brabin has spoken very highly of his time with the Seasiders.
“I really enjoyed my time at Blackpool, particularly my first year here as a player,” he said.
“I was involved a great deal and it’s a fantastic, historical club. Unfortunately, football has it’s ups and downs and the new manager came in and wanted to bring in all of his own players at the time, and I became a bit-part player. That’s football though, and my time at the club was fantastic overall.”
After a successful playing career, Brabin went down the coaching and management route, enjoying spells as manager and assistant manager at various clubs.
Following Gary Bowyer’s departure from Blackpool in the summer of 2018, Terry McPhillips stepped up as manager, opening the door for Brabin to return as assistant manager in September of that year. His time back at Bloomfield Road was only short, however, with a move down south to join Luton Town on the cards less than a year later.
“It was always going to be difficult at that time coming back to Blackpool,” he admitted.
“The ownership issues were really at it’s worst, and I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I thought I would.
“However, with the new owner in place now and all of the supporters back, the opportunities at the football club now are endless. I think there is a vision to get the Club back in the Premier League at some point, and I know a few people in the coaching set up and other staff who have gone in, and they will all have the good of the club at heart.
“I think Blackpool belong in the Championship at least, and I’m confident the club will get there again soon. After that, who knows where the club can go…
“I enjoyed my time as assistant at Blackpool. I love being involved in football, and if I can help a football club and another manager to grow, then that’s great."