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Wednesday, 28 June, 2000, 14:41 GMT
McMahon fails to save Blackpool
Steve McMahon
Steve McMahon: given job to revive Blackpool
Blackpool were relegated to Division Three for the first time in a decade after an abysmal season.

They won their first game, 2-1 at home to Wrexham and the Tangerine dreams were high.

But the highs were short-lived as Blackpool plummeted into the relegation zone, with just two wins in their first 14 games.

Blackpool were beaten in the first round of the Worthington Cup by First Division Tranmere and their league form worsened.

Their best performance of the season came in the third round of the FA Cup when they took on the mighty Arsenal at Highbury.

Arsenal eventually ran out 3-1 winners but it was a gutsy performance by the Seasiders who refused to give in.

Blackpool manager Nigel Worthington had come in for harsh criticism for most of his short-lived Seasiders career and, after just three wins in 21 games, he resigned two days before Christmas.


Junior Bent
Junior Bent: one of Blackpool's few successes

Former Liverpool star Steve McMahon took over in January giving the fans a glimmer of hope for Division Two survival but it was an uphill task to say the least.

Then the tragic death of striker Martin Aldridge, killed in a car crash while on loan at Rushden and Diamonds, and the loss of Blackpool legend Sir Stanley Matthews took its toll on the players.

They battled as hard as they could in the relegation dog-fight but they were sent down on the penultimate weekend of the season when Oldham equalised in injury time.

Not only was relegation sickening for the fans but it was a double blow as bitter local rivals Preston North End were promoted to Division One as champions.

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