Photography by Shamil Tanna

Championship Playoff Final, May 22 2010

Blackpool 3
  • Adam (13)
  • Taylor-Fletcher (41)
  • Ormerod (45+1)
Cardiff 2
  • Chopra (9)
  • Ledley (37)

After sneaking into the Championship playoffs by a single point, Ian Holloway took his popular Blackpool side all the way to the Premier League in the summer of 2010 by beating Cardiff City in the so-called “richest game in football”.

During an action-packed first half, it was Michael Chopra who opened the scoring for Cardiff, timing his run perfectly to get on the end of a ball from Peter Whittingham and drill his shot into the bottom corner. A Charlie Adam free-kick drew Blackpool level just four minutes later, but despite losing influential striker Jay Bothroyd to injury soon after, Cardiff looked to be heading into half-time ahead when Joe Ledley slotted past the advancing Matt Gilks. It wasn’t to be, though, as Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Brett Ormerod both found the back of the net to earn Holloway’s men a 3-2 half-time lead. On a searingly hot day at Wembley, both sides tired in the latter stages – and the Tangerines held on to seal their place in the top-flight for the first time since 1970.

Here, Holloway talks exclusively to The Coaches’ Voice about the tactics he employed on the day and why, despite twice going behind, he always believed it was a game they simply would not lose.

Watch EFL on Quest every Saturday at 9pm. Also available online and mobile to live stream and catch-up, whenever, wherever on

Starting teams and formations

Michael Appleton

Cut short

Michael Appleton on starting his coaching career at West Brom and taking the tough route in management via Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn
Joe Cole

The next step

Former West Ham, Chelsea, Liverpool and England midfielder Joe Cole on his pathway from child prodigy to future coach

Chris Powell

Chris Powell, of ADO Den Haag, revisits Southend United’s shock victory over then-League One leaders Wigan in only his third fixture as manager