Blackpool v Liverpool (12/01/2011) - Double Agents
Monday, 10th January 2011

YNWA takes a look back at those known to have represented both Blackpool and the reds as we prepare to visit the Seasiders on Wednesday.

Current double agent
Brad Jones had two spells at Bloomfield Road on loan from Middlesbrough, playing seven times after signing on in November 2003, and another twelve times when he joined a year later. He left Teesside to sign for the reds for £2.3m in August, making just two senior appearances to date.

The management
Steve McMahon was appointed Blackpool Manager in January 2000, with Gary Ablett arriving at the club on non-contract terms on the same day. He remained in charge of the Seasiders until June 2004, leading them to promotion via the play-offs in his first full season. Ablett only made twelve appearances for Blackpool before retiring. Mark Seagraves was McMahon's assistant. He signed professional terms at Anfield in August 1983 but only made two reds appearances before joining Manchester City in September 1987.

McMahon had signed from Aston Villa for £350,000 in September 1985 and struck fifty times in 277 reds appearances in his six years at Anfield, during which time he won three League titles, the FA Cup and two FA Charity Shields. He left the reds to sign for Manchester City for £900,000 in December 1991. Ablett signed at Anfield as a professional on his eighteenth birthday, going on to make 147 reds appearances, scoring just once - in only his second game. He helped us to two League titles, FA Cup and FA Charity Shield before being sold to Everton by Graeme Souness for £750,000 in January 1992, with whom he won a second FA Cup. He returned to the club in the summer of 2006 to take over as Reserve Team Manager, leading them to the national title in his second season, although he left in May 2009.

Centre-forward Les Shannon signed professional terms in November 1944, but had to wait until April 1948 to make his reds bow. He bagged just one goal in eleven games, as well as six in fifteen wartime appearances, moving on to Burnley in November 1949. He is the father of recent Under-16's coach Dave Shannon and had led Blackpool into the top flight in 1969/70, but left just two months into the following season.

Crazy Horse
Emlyn Hughes played 665 times in his twelve years at Anfield after signing from Blackpool for just £65,000 in February 1967, after just 28 League games, He netted 49 times, helping us to win two European Cups, four League titles, two UEFA Cups, FA Cup, UEFA Super Cup and two FA Charity Shields. His greatest season was probably 1976/77 when he captained the side to within a whisker of a unique treble, as well as being voted the Football Writers' Player of the Year. He left Anfield to join Wolves for £90,000 in August 1979. Sadly, he died in November 2004, aged just 57.

Reserve forwards
Krisztián Németh joined Blackpool on loan in January 2009, but fractured a cheek bone just a minute into his debut, his only appearance for the Seasiders. He failed to make a senior reds appearance since signing from MTK Hungária in a joint deal with compatriot András Simon for around £1m in July 2007. He was sold to Olympiacos in August for €1.3m. Mike Newell never managed to break through to our first team, and went on to enjoy a chequered career at clubs such as Everton, Leicester City, Luton Town, Birmingham City and Aberdeen. He struck twice in eighteen League games in his one season with Blackpool, his final professional side, going out on a high in May 2001 as he helped them to win the Division Three Play-offs.

John Durnin also failed to make the break-through at Anfield, making only two League Cup appearances and one in the Mercantile Credit Centenary Trophy before his departure to Oxford United for £225,000 in February 1989. His most recent appearance at Anfield came as he scored the only goal of the Replay 86 game in aid of Marina Dalglish Appeal in May 2006. He joined Blackpool on loan from Portsmouth in 1999, netting once in five League appearances. Paul Dalglish signed from Celtic Juniors in August 1996, leaving for Newcastle United in November 1997 without having played for the first team. He joined Blackpool from Norwich City on a free transfer in August 2002. He could only score twice in thirty games for the Seasiders, moving to Linfield in July 2003.

Between the sticks
Billy McOwen, the Englishman in our ‘team of the Macs', arrived at Anfield from Darwen in July 1892, keeping goal in 23 of our 28 League games in our first season in the Football League as we stormed to the Second Division title in 1894 without losing a game and conceding just sixteen goals. He then left the professional game to return to his career as a dentist, but continued to play for Blackpool.

Southport-born keeper Tony Waiters won five senior England caps in 1964 while playing for Blackpool, having signed from Macclesfield Town in 1959. He left there in 1967 after 257 League outings to take on a youth coaching role with the reds, but returned to playing with Burnley in 1970, playing 38 League games before becoming the Manager of Plymouth Argyle in 1972.

Up front
Inside-forward Edgar Chadwick won the League with Everton in 1891, and joined Burnley aged thirty. He top scored with ten goals as they were relegated to the Second Division, before moving on to Southampton in the Southern League. As Burnley still held his Football League registration, the reds had to pay the Clarets £35 in May 1902. However, he only managed 45 reds appearances, netting seven times, moving to Blackpool in May 1904 where he bagged eight goals in 34 League games in his one season there before joining Glossop North End.

Inside-right Fred Pagnam joined the reds from Blackpool in May 1914, having spent just one season there since moving from Southport Central. He struck an astonishing thirty times in just 39 reds games, before joining Arsenal in October 1919, with whom he kept up his remarkable strike-rate. He later had a successful managerial career with Watford and the Turkish national side, amongst others.

Other double agents
Gordon Milne played 282 times for us after signing for £16,000 from Preston North End in August 1960, netting eighteen times and winning the League title twice, as well as the Second Division championship. He moved on to Blackpool in May 1967, bagging four goals in 64 League games before taking over as Player/Manager at Wigan Athletic in 1970.

Centre-back Max Thompson played just two senior reds games, becoming our youngest League debutant to date, aged 17 years and 129 days, when he featured in our 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur in May 1974, Bill Shankly's last official game in charge that came four days after the FA Cup had been claimed for the second time. However, his record was broken by Jack Robinson at Hull City last season. Thompson moved to Blackpool in December 1977, netting six times in 99 League outings before joining Swansea City in 1981.

Forward Frank O'Donnell struck once in two Wartime appearances for the reds. He gained six Scotland caps as well as scoring for Preston North End in every round of the FA Cup in 1937, including the Final. He left Deepdale that year to join their arch rivals, Blackpool. He remained at Bloomfield Road until he joined Aston Villa in 1945/46, having bagged seventeen goals in thirty League outings. Forward John Davies joined the reds during 1900/01 but failed to score in ten reds games before joining Blackpool in 1903.

Winger Jack Cox signed from Blackpool for £150 on Christmas Eve 1897, after netting twelve times in seventeen Second Division outings, having signed pro terms the previous May. He struck eighty times in 362 reds games, helping us to two League titles and the Second Division championship, as well as winning three England caps, before returning to Bloomfield Road as Player/Manager in May 1909, netting a further six goals in 68 League matches. He led them to twelfth and seventh in the Second Division in his two seasons in charge.

Kevin Sheedy scored twice in his five reds appearances after signing from Hereford United for £80,000 in July 1978, before moving on to greater things across Stanley Park with the Blues. He ended his career with Blackpool, netting once in 26 games in the new Second Division for them in 1993/94. Reserves winger Adam Hammill joined Blackpool on loan in July 2008. He struck once in 23 outings for the Seasiders, and later spent time with fellow Championship side Barnsley that season, moving permanently to Oakwell in August 2009. Half-back William Keech played just six Second Division games in late 1895, having signed from Barnsley St. Peter's that October, helping us to claim the title that season. He later played for Blackpool amongst several other sides.

Paul Stewart signed as a professional for Blackpool in October 1981. He played 225 times for the Seasiders, scoring 62 times before being sold to Manchester City in March 1987. His greatest moment came when he scored Tottenham Hotspur's equaliser in the 1991 FA Cup Final, but he failed to shine at Anfield, scoring three times in 42 uninspiring appearances before leaving for free for Sunderland after four seasons. Right-half Harry Eastham signed from his hometown club Blackpool on a free transfer in February 1936 before having made a first-team appearance. His career was badly interrupted by the Second World War as he bagged four goals in 68 reds games, but he did help us to claim the League title in 1947.

Young reserves defender Neil Murphy joined Blackpool on a free transfer in July 2000. He also failed to make the break-through at Bloomfield Road, only making nine first-team appearances before moving on to Altrincham two years later. Midfielder Phil Charnock became our youngest ever player in Europe when he came on as a substitute against Apollon Limassol in September 1992. He joined Blackpool on loan from the reds in February 1996, turning out four times. He left Anfield for Crewe Alexandra in December 1996, and is now working as a driving instructor, as well as driving a tractor!

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