A regional daily newspaper has come up with a novel way of ensuring Blackpool manager Paul Ince’s presence is felt when he starts a five-match stadium ban this weekend.
The Blackpool Gazette has teamed up with Blackpool-based Radio Wave to produce 10,000 masks of the Pool boss for supporters to wear for their Sky-televised Championship clash with Wigan Athletic tomorrow.
Masks will be handed out around Bloomfield Road prior to kick-off with fans asked to make a small donation to either The Gazette’s Hospice Heroes appeal or children’s charity, Variety.
Gazette editor Jon Rhodes said the newspaper followed up the idea after it was suggested by fans via message boards, social media and email.
“Paul Ince has proved himself to be a motivational powerhouse in his time as Seasiders’ manager and there is little doubt this ban will hit the Pool team hard,” Jon told HTFP.
“So if the manager can’t be there in person, what better way to lessen the impact than to have 10,000 Paul Inces in the stands?
“We are delighted to hook up with our friends at Radio Wave for something that will lift the spirits of both Pool fans and players – and hopefully see a lot of money raised for two very worthy causes.”
Ince has received a five-game stadium ban from the Football Association after an incident on 14 September when the Seasiders were playing Bournemouth.
During the match, Ince pushed fourth official Mark Pottage and was then sent to the stand for throwing a water bottle to the ground which accidentally hit a female steward in the crowd.
The 45-year-old former England captain has been ordered not to enter a stadium where Blackpool are playing on match days until 30 November when Sheffield Wednesday visit Bloomfield Road.
Paula Davies, station director at Radio Wave, said: “We’re all shocked by the ban and worried about the effect it’s going to have on the team’s performance over the next few weeks.
“So, together with colleagues at The Gazette, we came up with the idea to produce Paul Ince face masks. It’s going to look brilliant with the stands awash with the manager’s face, I can’t wait.
“So, as the teams walk out onto the Bloomfield Road pitch in front of the TV cameras on Saturday, let’s have 10,000 Paul Inces ready to cheer.”