EX-Fleetwood Town player Paul Haslam has a point to prove about the football club’s rich history – and he’ll bet his shirt on it!
Paul, 39, who now runs his own menswear shop in Fleetwood, says rival supporters keep on taunting the Cod Army with the line “You’ve got no history”.
But Paul, proprietor of Northern Rags on Poulton Street, says that is nonsense.
And to prove it he has created a special shirt which namechecks many of the Highbury heroes, past and present.
The garment, in the club’s red and white colours and available as either a hoody, a sweatshirt or T-shirt, features the words FTFC Legends on the front.
And those printed letters are actually made up of some 200 legendary names who have played key roles in the club’s development over many tumultuous seasons.
There is also a stirring poem about the club on the back of the shirt, penned by Town fan Paul himself.
The shirt has become a hot item among Town fans, and orders are even coming in from supporters who live all over the world.
Paul, who played for the club back in the 1990s, told the Weekly News: “People who say the club has no history don’t know anything. Fleetwood Town has a brilliant history.
“There has been a football ground on Highbury for over 70 years, and in 1985 we reached the FA Vase final at Wembley. The club crashed, but Jim Betmead and fans revived it from nothing, and then Andy Pilley came along and transformed it beyond the wildest dreams of any fan.
“My dad has been a supporter for decades and he still cannot believe we have a Football League club and a great modern stadium which plenty of League Two clubs envy.”
The shirt’s legends are a who’s who of the club. Included are heroic reviver Jim Betmead, go-ahead chairman Andy Pilley, Town’s early years star Percy Ronson, popular stalwart Alan Tinsley, former kit man John Dobson, last season’s meteoric hotshot Jamie Vardy - and Town’s former manager, Micky Mellon. Paul added: “To get these names I had to do a lot of research, and it made me realise what a great history this club really does have.
“And it’s right there on the shirt.”