Holloway's 'bear' necessities light up hospice in Blackpool
BLACKPOOL manager Ian Holloway has always been good for a laugh, and his latest 'wacky moment' is up there with the best of them.
Ahead of his team's St Stephen's Day clash with Derby, Holloway thought he would dispense with the usual tactics board and employ...teddy bears.
Having bought 22 of the cuddly toys in aid of a local charity, 'Ollie' sat down with his players at the team hotel before the match and got to work. We'll let the great man explain.
"It was a little bit of hard work to get all the bears to sit up, but I put them in two groups of 11, with the names of our starting line-up next to one group and the names of the team I expected Derby to play next to the other.
"Sometimes we get charged £15 by hotels to write our team out on a flip chart, so I thought I'd use these bears instead, because it was only double the price and it's Christmas!
"I lined Derby's bears up in a 4-4-2 and ours 4-3-3, and I explained with one teddy bear what I wanted my wide man to do, and with another what I wanted Charlie (Adam) to do... though no way did I say shoot from the halfway line twice (as the player did during the game)."
In the end, the ploy worked as the Seasiders won 2-0 to go seventh in the Championship. But the real winner was a children's hospice in Blackpool, which now has a few extra quid in its coffers as well as a few teddy bears for the kids.