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Last Updated: Friday, 24 February 2006, 16:55 GMT
Football legends paintings stolen
Stan Mortenson scoring in the 1953 FA Cup Final portrait
Fans have paid for the portraits
Thieves have stolen portraits - donated by fans - of some of Blackpool FC's greatest players from the club's Hall of Fame gallery.

Club officials suspect the portraits were stolen when the club's ground staged the Blackpool Mechanics v FC United game last Saturday.

Lancashire Police have been informed about the theft, a club spokesman said.

Glen Bowley, of the Blackpool Supporters Association, said fans were "sickened" by the theft.

Fans have been asked to nominate the best five players from each decade from the 1950s onwards and have raised the funds to pay for the special photographs and displays.

The portraits were from a gallery of 1950s stars including 1953 FA Cup-winning legends Sir Stanley Matthews, hat trick hero Stan Mortenson, Bill Perry (who scored the winning goal) and club captain Harry Johnston.

Former manager Allan Brown, who as player missed the 1953 final through injury, was the subject of the other stolen picture.

"We're sick. Everybody has put so much time and effort into this project - it's very frustrating," said Mr Bowley.

He said fans would raise funds to replace the photographs if they were not recovered.

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