Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Billy Ayre's Tangerine Army

The past few days have been surreal. With Monday being the 10 year anniversary of my Dad passing away, I received countless messages on Facebook and Twitter from Blackpool fans who were offering their love and support. Later on in the day I started to receive messages asking if I was going to the match on Tuesday night, so I Tweeted, "I want to go to the match tomorrow night! Can you buy tickets on the door??? #BillyAyresTangerineArmy" to which I received more replies that I could have imagined. People offering to pay for tickets for me, people offering me their season tickets, people ringing the club to ask if there were tickets left... I couldn't believe it. I was then contacted by somebody who provided me with the Club Secretary's phone number, who eventually provided me with two tickets in the East Stand. Dave Booth and Matt Williams, I can't thank you enough.

When I arrived at Bloomfield Road yesterday, the atmosphere was incredible. I have been to many football matches in my life, but the Blackpool fans are in a league of their own when it comes to dedication and loyalty to their team. Although I had received a few hundred messages on Twitter from people saying they were going to sing "Billy Ayre's Tangerine Army", part of me didn't think it would happen, simply because there was nearly 15,000 people in the stadium. However, as soon as the 10th minute arrived, every single Blackpool fan rose to their feet to sing at the top of their lungs, "BILLY AYRE'S TANGERINE ARMY!" and I closed my eyes for a couple of seconds just to listen to you all. It was surreal. And then of course, I joined in, and I am pretty sure I have done some serious damage to my vocal cords. Just to top it off, when my Dad's picture appeared on the screen with the words "Billy Ayre - Gone, But Never Forgotten" my heart stopped. The entire experience was heart warming and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I am not exaggerating when I say it was by far the best moment of my life to date. Never have I been so proud to be the daughter of King Billy Ayre.

To top off the evening, Blackpool beat Leeds 1-0. I am so glad I was there to witness not only Blackpool winning on the 10 year anniversary, but also to listen to everybody singing my Dad's name. It made me realise how lucky I am. People lose somebody they love every day. It's not very often that ten years after their loved one has died, they can listen to thousands of people singing their name. If I could thank each and every one of you individually, believe me, I would. I would also like to thank the hundreds of people who have written to me on Twitter, you are all my Tangerine Family.

I speak on behalf of my entire family when I say thank you to all the Blackpool fans who have continued to show their love and support since my Dad passed away. Your dedication is what keeps his name alive. To every person who has contacted us, written on the Message Boards, recorded podcasts, and read my blogs -- thank you.

#BillyAyresTangerineArmy #TangerineFamily


  1. A proud post from a no doubt proud girl. He was the King and is still a great loss to the game and to Blackpool. I hope that we went a short way to doing him proud last night. x

  2. Beautiful blog, so heartwarming.
    He was + still is loved by so many of us, all who met him were charmed by him, a true gent.
    Players + fans alike adored him, just a real shame he didnt get the finiancial backing from the board,
    You are a credit to him and thank you so much for sharing with us all x

  3. Never has a manager had a relationship with the fans like your Dad, King Billy. Got to admit had tears in my eyes singing Billly Ayres Tangerine Army. So glad you were there to witness it.