Lancashire

Blackpool FC: Stan Mortensen statue returned after protests

Stan Mortensen statue cutout Image copyright @HTAFCYork
Image caption Fans replaced the statue with a cutout before Saturday's match against Huddersfield

A statue of Blackpool FC legend Stan Mortensen has been restored after it was removed from outside the ground.

Fans group the Tangerine Knights claim the club took the statue down to thwart a planned demonstration against the Oyston family before the club's final game of the season.

The late footballer's grand-niece Nicola Heaney said: "I am very pleased he is back where he belongs."

Blackpool Football Club has declined to comment.

Ms Heaney added: "I drove past last night and it was not in place then, so they must have been up very early," she added.

"We will have to see if it has been replaced properly but what is important is that it is back."

Blackpool's last Championship game on Saturday with Huddersfield was abandoned due to a mass pitch invasion.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Stan Mortensen scored a hat-trick when Blackpool won the FA Cup in 1953

The statue was placed outside the stadium in 2005 as a tribute to the Seasiders' centre-forward.

Saturday marked the 62nd anniversary of him scoring a hat-trick in Blackpool's famous 4-3 FA Cup final victory over Bolton Wanderers.

Some Blackpool supporters have carried out a series of protests against the Oystons.

The Tangerines were relegated from the Championship with the lowest points tally in the division's history.

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