1902–03 Blackpool F.C. season

Blackpool F.C.
Season 1902-03
League Division Two
Manager None
League position 14th
Top goalscorer Walter Cookson and
Geordie Anderson (8 each)
Highest home attendance 4,000 (v. Manchester City, Doncaster Rovers and Preston North End)[1]
Lowest home attendance 600 (v. Burnley)[1]
Previous season 1901-02
Next season 1903-04

The 1902-03 season was Blackpool F.C.'s sixth season (third consecutive) in the Football League. They competed in the eighteen-team Division Two, then the second tier of English football, finishing fourteenth.

Walter Cookson and Geordie Anderson were the club's joint-top scorers, with eight goals apiece.

Harry Stirzaker retired at the end of the season, after nine years of service for Blackpool, his only professional club.

Season review

Blackpool opened the season with a trip to Burslem Port Vale on 6 September. Fred Heywood, on his debut for the club, netted Blackpool's goal in a 1–1 draw. Two other Blackpool players were given debuts: Teddy Duckworth and, from Bristol City, Walter Cookson.

Seven days later, the Seasiders hosted Barnsley at Bloomfield Road. Geordie Anderson scored a hat-trick in a 3–3 draw.

Three more draws followed: 0–0 at Gainsborough Trinity, 3–3 at home to Burton United (Anderson, Jack Parkinson and Duckworth getting the hosts' goals) and 2–2 at home to Glossop North End (Parkinson and Cookson).

Blackpool obtained their first win in their six-game unbeaten start to the campaign against Stockport County on 25 October. Jack Birchall (his only goal of the season) and a Stockport own-goal were the decisive strikes.

On 8 November, Blackpool travelled to Woolwich Arsenal and suffered their first defeat of the season, 2–1, with Edward Threlfall getting the visitors' goal.

After a two-week break, Lincoln City hosted Blackpool. Parkinson and Anderson scored in a 2–0 win for the Lancastrians.

A week later, Small Heath visited Bloomfield Road and won by a single goal.

Into December, Blackpool travelled to Leicester Fosse on the 6th. Cookson scored, but the visitors lost 2–1.

Manchester City made it three straight defeats for the Seasiders on 13 December, winning 3–0 at Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool made the short trip to East Lancashire the following week to take on Burnley. Cookson scored his third of the season as the honours were shared in a 1–1 draw.

On Christmas Day, Blackpool put four without reply past Doncaster Rovers at Bloomfield Road. Harold Hardman (two), Parkinson and William Anderton scored the goals.

The next day, Blackpool travelled to Manchester United for a first meeting with their north-west neighbours since they changed their name from Newton Heath. Heywood scored two goals as Blackpool held on for a 2–2 draw.

The same scoreline followed in Blackpool's third game in as many days, at home to Preston North End in the first West Lancashire derby of the season, Heywood and Cookson the scorers for 'Pool.

Blackpool suffered a New Year's Day single-goal defeat at home to Bristol City to kick off 1903. It was the first of three consecutive reversals, the other two being at home against Burslem Port Vale (2–5; Anderson and Cookson the scorers) and away to Barnsley (0–6).

The ship was steadied briefly with a 4–0 victory over Gainsborough Trinity at Bloomfield Road on 17 January (two goals from Anderson and one each from Hardman and Anderton), but another defeat followed — 0–2 at Burton United.

A run of three consecutive wins in late January and early February boosted Blackpool's league position. Firstly, on 31 January, they defeated Bristol City on the road with a single Cookson goal. This was followed by a 2–0 result at home to Burnley, a Jack Scott penalty and Hardman's fourth strike of the season doing the damage. Finally, Manchester United visited Bloomfield Road on 14 February, and were dealt a 2–0 defeat, Cookson and Threlfall getting the goals.

Away defeats against Glossop North End and Stockport County (0–1 and 0–4, respectively) followed, however, then two draws (1–1 at Chesterfield — Anderton getting Blackpool's goal — and 0–0 at home to Woolwich Arsenal).

Three consecutive defeats made it seven games without a win for the Seasiders. On 14 March they lost 3–0 at Doncaster Rovers. A week later, at home to Lincoln City, they were overturned 3–2 (Hardman and Parkinson netting their goals), and on 28 March they suffered a 5–1 defeat, with Hardman making the scoresheet. Blackpool's goalkeeper, Arthur Hull, played in midfield.

On 4 April, Blackpool returned to winning ways with a 2–0 result at home to Leicester Fosse. Duckworth scored both goals.

Six days later, Blackpool faced arch-rivals Preston North End at Deepdale and returned pointless after a 3–1 defeat. Scott scored the visitors' goal from the penalty spot.

The next day saw another defeat, this time 2–0 at champions-elect Manchester City.

The season was rounded off with a 2–1 victory over Chesterfield at Bloomfield Road.


P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Manchester City 34 25 4 5 95 29 3.276 54
2 Small Heath 34 24 3 7 74 36 2.056 51
3 Woolwich Arsenal 34 20 8 6 66 30 2.200 48
4 Bristol City 34 17 8 9 59 38 1.553 42
5 Manchester United 34 15 8 11 53 38 1.395 38
6 Chesterfield 34 14 9 11 67 40 1.675 37
7 Preston North End 34 13 10 11 56 40 1.400 36
8 Barnsley 34 13 8 13 55 51 1.078 34
9 Burslem Port Vale 34 13 8 13 57 62 0.919 34
10 Lincoln City 34 12 6 16 46 53 0.868 30
11 Glossop North End 34 11 7 16 43 58 0.741 29
12 Gainsborough Trinity 34 11 7 16 41 59 0.695 29
13 Burton United 34 11 7 16 39 59 0.661 29
14 Blackpool 34 9 10 15 44 59 0.746 28
15 Leicester Fosse 34 10 8 16 41 65 0.631 28
16 Doncaster Rovers[2] 34 9 7 18 35 72 0.486 25
17 Stockport County 34 7 6 21 39 74 0.527 20
18 Burnley 34 6 8 20 30 77 0.390 20

P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GA = Goal average; Pts = Points

Player statistics


Players used: 18


Goals scored: 43 (plus one own-goal)



Date Player From Fee
1902 Teddy Duckworth Unknown Unknown
1902 Walter Cookson South Shore Unknown
1902 Fred Heywood Unknown Unknown
1902 Tom Wolstenholme Unknown Unknown
1902 J.W. Wright Unknown Unknown
1902 Henry Parr Unknown Unknown
1902 Arthur Hull Unknown Unknown


The following players left after the final game of the previous season:

Date Player To Fee
1902 John Burden Unknown Unknown
1902 Sammy Brookes Unknown Unknown
1902 Jack Foster Unknown Unknown
1902 William Higginson Unknown Unknown
1902 Alfred Boulton Unknown Unknown
1902 Nicholas Gillett Unknown Unknown
1902 Watty Allan Unknown Unknown
1902 Tom Barcroft Became club secretary
1902 Joseph Billington Unknown Unknown



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