1897–98 Blackpool F.C. season
|Top goalscorer||Jack Cox (12)|
|Highest home attendance||4,000 (v. Burnley, Newton Heath and Darwen)|
|Lowest home attendance||200 (v. Luton Town)|
|Previous season||← 1896-97|
|Next season||1898-99 →|
New signings for the season included Jack Cox from South Shore, Jack Leadbetter, Frank Wilson, and McHardie. Out had gone Fred Thompson (after making only six appearances the previous season), Tom Bradshaw, and John Clarke.
Cox was the club's top scorer, with twelve goals in seventeen appearances. Goalkeeper William Douglas was ever-present throughout the club's 30 league games for the second consecutive season.
The season commenced with a trip to local rivals Burnley. The hosts won 5–1, and even Blackpool’s goal was scored by a Clarets player.
Seven days later, the fixture was reversed. Jimmy Martin, Blackpool’s second-top scorer the previous season, scored the home side’s goal in a 1–1 draw.
On 9 October, Blackpool recorded their first win of the season, 2–1 at home to Burton Swifts. Jack Cox, in only his second start for the club since his arrival from South Shore, scored both Blackpool goals.
On 23 October, Blackpool travelled to Newcastle United and returned empty-handed after a 2–0 defeat.
November proved to be a fruitless month, with defeats at Leicester Fosse (4–1), Darwen (3–1), Woolwich Arsenal (2–1) and Luton Town (3–1). Martin scored Blackpool’s goals in the first three losses, and Clarkin in the final one.
Cox scored two more in the following game a week later, a 3–2 home defeat by Newcastle.
1897 was closed out with a 6–0 defeat at Walsall.
Blackpool began the New Year with a 3–3 draw at home to Woolwich Arsenal. Cox netted twice, with Birkett also scoring.
On 8 January, Parkinson and Martin combined to lift Blackpool to a 2–1 victory over Leicester Fosse.
Continuing their inconsistent season, the Seasiders lost the following game, their third consecutive home match, 4–0 to Newton Heath.
At the end of the month, Blackpool travelled to Small Heath and recorded a 3–2 victory. Parkinson, Martin and Cox were the scorers.
February began with a defeat, 3–2 at Lincoln City; however, Blackpool exacted revenge six days later in the return match: two goals apiece from Birkett and Cox, plus one more from Parkinson, gave them a 5–0 victory. This was Cox's final appearance for Blackpool before he was sold to Liverpool, but his twelve goals remained unbeaten in the remaining nine games.
Birkett scored in the following game, at Burton Swifts on 26 February, but he could not carry them to victory, Swifts winning 2–1.
Blackpool didn’t play again until 19 March, when they travelled to Grimsby Town. The home side won 3–0.
Seven days later, Blackpool hosted Loughborough. Goals from Birkett and Jack Leadbetter, his first of the season, gave Blackpool a 2–0 victory.
March ended with a 3–3 draw at Manchester City, featuring two goals from Parkinson and one from Clarkin.
Another draw followed, this time 1–1 with Walsall, in the first of five consecutive home games for Blackpool. Martin scored his seventh of the season.
On 8 April, Clarkin scored the only goal of the game as Blackpool beat Darwen.
Eight days later, Leadbetter scored his second goal of the season in a 1–1 draw with Grimsby.
Leadbetter was also one of the scorers as Blackpool completed a double over Loughborough. Parkinson (two) and Birkett scored the other goals of the 4–0 victory. Blackpool started the match a man short.
The season ended with a single-goal victory over Luton, Clarkin scoring his fifth of the campaign.
P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GA = Goal average; Pts = Points
- William Douglas – 30
- Jimmy Martin – 29
- Henry Parr – 28
- John Clarkin – 26
- Harry Stirzaker – 25
- D. McHardie – 24
- Jack Parkinson – 24
- Bob Norris – 23
- Frank Wilson – 23
- Jack Cox – 17
- Jack Leadbetter – 17
- Bill Keech – 16
- Bob Birkett – 14
- Alex Stuart – 10
- Tommy Bowman – 8
- G. Cardwell – 6
- Laurence Halsall – 5
- John Scarr – 3
- James Banks – 1
Players used: 19
- Jack Cox – 12
- Bob Birkett – 8
- Jack Parkinson – 8
- Jimmy Martin – 7
- John Clarkin – 5
- Jack Leadbetter – 3
- Harry Stirzaker – 1
- Frank Wilson – 1
- Laurence Halsall – 1
Total goals scored: 46 (plus three own-goals)
|1897||Jack Cox||South Shore||Unknown|
|1897||Laurence Halsall||Southport Central||Unknown|
The following players left after the final game of the previous season:
- Calley, Roy (1992). Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887-1992. Breedon Books Sport. ISBN 1-873626-07-X.