The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Matt Bad­cock

BRETT ORMEROD will be a quiz an­swer for many years af­ter he hangs up his boots. The striker scored in ev­ery pro­fes­sional di­vi­sion for Black­pool from Di­vi­sion Three to the Pre­mier League.

He can even boast scor­ing at ev­ery level right down to English foot­ball’s eighth tier with the spells in Non-League that book­end his dis­tin­guished ca­reer.

Now play­ing for Padi­ham, Ormerod’s ca­reer has come full cir­cle from his first taste of first team foot­ball with Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley. Com­bin­ing foot­ball with a day job in a tex­tiles fac­tory, Ormerod rose to the top and was part of the Seasiders’ un­likely Pre­mier League adventure.

He even man­aged to score the goal that got them there…


I’d been at Black­burn re­serves but it was at Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley where I had proper first team foot­ball. I’d been at Black­burn since I was a kid so it was gut-wrench­ing to leave. But back then they’d just won the Premier­ship with an in­ter­na­tional squad so it was hard to get in.

Accy were in the Uni­Bond Prem – the sec­ond tier of Non-League at the time – so it was part-time.

I worked at a tex­tiles fac­tory. It did bed­ding and cur­tains.We used to cut the ma­te­rial, which would be taken off to the women who did the sewing, and then packed and sent off.

I was 18 but it wasn’t like I went there and thought, ‘I’ve got to get back in the League’. It was the fact I got my con­fi­dence back and was en­joy­ing my foot­ball. By the time I fin­ished at Black­burn, I’d frac­tured my shoul­der blade and had a dou­ble her­nia op­er­a­tion. I’d had some bad luck, my con­fi­dence was low and Ac­cring­ton gave me fresh im­pe­tus.


It has to be a split be­tween Gor­don Stra­chan and Ian Holloway, for two dif­fer­ent rea­sons. Gor­don got us very fit, he was very ac­tive and he built a team at Southamp­ton. We went into ev­ery lit­tle de­tail. It was very dis­ci­plined and very pro­fes­sional.

Ian Holloway put con­fi­dence in the lads and the way we played foot­ball in my sec­ond spell at Black­pool was un­be­liev­able. He was in­fec­tious around the club. He lifted ev­ery­one. Black­pool be­came such a good at­mos­phere – ev­ery­one worked hard for each other.


Di­vi­sion Three play­offs with Black­pool in 2001. We beat Ley­ton Ori­ent at the Mil­len­nium Sta­dium. There had been the big build-up to­wards the game with lots of in­ter­views and me­dia at­ten­tion, we stayed in a lovely ho­tel in Cardiff, there were lots of nerves.

We kicked-off, played it back and our keeper Phil Barnes had a touch, but then he slipped and their lad nipped in to score af­ter 20 sec­onds. We came back, went be­hind, came back and they hit the post at 2-2.

We kicked on from there. Paul Simp­son scored, I got the other and it turned into a great day. I’d bro­ken my leg the year be­fore and we got rel­e­gated. It was a dou­ble whammy. A bad break – my tib and fib – and I had to sit in the stands and watch the lads strug­gle. So to come back from that, me and John Mur­phy scored 50odd goals that sea­son, and win pro­mo­tion was a com­plete turn­around.


This is re­ally hard be­cause at all the clubs I played at we had some re­ally good lads who I re­ally en­joyed be­ing around. I’ve been lucky to be in some great dress­ing rooms at Black­pool, Pre­ston, Southamp­ton, Wrex­ham – even when I went on loan at Not­ting­ham For­est and Wi­gan. Jimmy Bullard was a great lad. Crack­ers, but he was funny. I re­mem­ber telling the lads when I went back to Southamp­ton that he was a great lad but crazy. He’s a lad who never seemed to be down or have a bad day.


Mike Newell al­ways used to play pranks on us at Black­pool. Me and John Mur­phy used to room to­gether. One time he got our room key. We went up­stairs and he was like, ‘Oh, sorry lads, I’ve got the wrong room’. He gave us our key back and we thought nowt of it. We jumped on our beds and he’d soaked our beds with wa­ter. An­other time we were on a pre­sea­son tour in St Kitts, in the Caribbean. We’d trained late in the day and we couldn’t get our kit washed, so we hung it out on the bal­cony for the next day.

It was a ho­tel where you could jump down onto a flat roof and walk along. We got up the next morn­ing and ev­ery­one’s kit was at the bot­tom of the swim­ming pool.

We went down for break­fast and only Mike Newell is sat there in his kit say­ing, ‘What? Why does ev­ery­one al­ways think it’s me?’


Get­ting to the FA Cup fi­nal with Southamp­ton in 2003 was un­be­liev­able, although we didn’t win it. But I’d have to say get­ting to the Pre­mier League with Black­pool in 2010.

We did it on the low­est bud­get it’s ever been done on, and prob­a­bly ever will be. We were rel­e­ga­tion favourites at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son. It was a dream come true. We just all en­joyed our foot­ball.

When Ian Holloway came in, he’d been out of foot­ball for a year, his last job at Le­ices­ter hadn’t gone well, and I think he’d sat on his hands watch­ing teams like Barcelona and de­cided that’s how he wanted to play.

He got the lads be­hind him, con­fi­dent on the ball and we had one or two spe­cial play­ers like Char­lie Adam. Sign­ing him at the start of the sea­son was a mas­sive plus for us.

He’d done well for us on loan the pre­vi­ous sea­son.We didn’t think he would come back to us and other Cham­pi­onship clubs wanted him – and would have paid him more money. But he en­joyed it so much so he came back. We got DJ Camp­bell back in the Jan­uary and ev­ery­thing just clicked. It was the most re­mark­able sea­son of my life.

I played for the club in ev­ery divi-

sion. To go back to the times when you were even think­ing the club could even go into Non-League, to be in the Pre­mier League ten years later wasn’t some­thing I ever thought would hap­pen in my wildest dreams.


Win­ner against Cardiff at Wem­b­ley to get Black­pool in the Pre­mier League in 2010. It wasn’t the most spec­tac­u­lar but it was the most im­por­tant. David Mar­shall came out at me and I toe-poked it through his legs. I tell ev­ery­one I got a £90m goal! I’ve got a DVD of the sea­son which is al­ways nice to watch. I try to show the kids but they’re bored of it.


I can’t re­mem­ber ever feel­ing as bad as I did when we lost the Con­fer­ence play-off fi­nal at Wrex­ham. We played New­port County at Wem­b­ley and, in my opin­ion, we were the bet­ter team on the day. But we never scored and New­port hit us with two late goals.

We’d man­aged to win the FA Tro­phy at Wem­b­ley that sea­son which was bril­liant. We car­ried on graft­ing and got to the play-off fi­nal. I got a chance at 0-0 that came at me quickly and I missed it.We missed a clear­ance and their lad went through and scored. Then they got us again as we pushed. That was hard to bear. It took me a long time to get over it.


I’ve played there a lot down the years, for loads of dif­fer­ent clubs in dif­fer­ent leagues, but I can’t ever re­call win­ning at Lu­ton Town. I re­mem­ber play­ing a pre-sea­son friendly there with Southamp­ton.We were 2-0 up and they came back to 2-2. Even in pre-sea­son, I didn’t win!


Rio Fer­di­nand. I was quite fit and quick when I was play­ing for Southamp­ton, but he was re­ally quick. I re­mem­ber once be­ing put clear and he was miles be­hind me. I was sprint­ing like mad, turned around and he was right be­hind me and took the ball away. ‘Wow, where did he come from?’


For some rea­son, I al­ways used to like White Hart Lane. Manch­ester United, Ar­se­nal, New­cas­tle – I played in some great sta­di­ums. But I al­ways liked play­ing at Spurs. The pitch was al­ways fan­tas­tic.We had a cou­ple of good wins there with Southamp­ton.


I’m play­ing part-time with Padi­ham in the Evo-Stik NPL North. At the end of the sea­son I’ll have a few de­ci­sions to make. It is get­ting harder. Part-time has helped but I’m not as fit as I was and re­cov­er­ing is harder – I feel like the Tin Man out of The

Wiz­ard of Oz the day af­ter. But you’re a long time re­tired. I haven’t made any de­ci­sions at the mo­ment. One week you do well and you think, ‘I could go on for an­other year here’. The next week you get bat­tered, you’re ter­ri­ble and you want to re­tire right then!

Best man­agers: Ian Holloway & Gor­don Stra­chan

Low­est mo­ment: Los­ing Con­fer­ence play-off fi­nal

Fun­ni­est in­ci­dent: Mike Newell

Best Goal: Win­ner for Black­pool against Cardiff at Wem­b­ley

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