Varney enjoys rapid rise on Blackpool's rollercoaster

Blackpool 2 Fulham 2

The rousing re-introduction of top-flight football to Bloomfield Road featured a meaty collision between Luke Varney and David Stockdale. The shame was they had no chance to compare notes on their unconventional routes into the Premier League.

For Varney and Stockdale, like Morecambe and Wise and other notable double acts who have played Blackpool, came up the hard way. Both paid their dues in non-League football and each was relegated from the Championship while on loan last season. Until this month, they had a solitary top-flight appearance between them at the ages of 27 and 24.

The pacy Varney announced his arrival among the elite by forcing an own goal from John Pantsil to negate Bobby Zamora's header. Soon he shot beyond Stockdale to give Blackpool the scent of victory only for Dickson Etuhu to earn Fulham's third draw after a Moussa Dembele pass that Johnny Haynes would have been proud to claim.

Yet the on-loan newcomer's sense of well-being was palpable. "I had a walk round the town on Friday night and was scared," Varney said, grinning. He explained how, after Derby offloaded him, he hoped to ride the resort's famous rollercoaster. It would certainly be good practice for what awaits Blackpool.

"I had a call at 11.20 on Wednesday night saying Blackpool wanted me. I've always wanted to come to a great footballing town like this. I also wanted to be a part of the spirit in the dressing-room. I've heard a lot about it."

And about manager Ian Holloway, too. "I'd seen him on telly and he's a great character, but to watch him in our Friday meeting was eventful," Varney added. "It picked me up because it's been difficult not playing on Saturdays after training hard every day."

Stockdale knows the feeling, having understudied Mark Schwarzer since Fulham bought him from Darlington in 2008. Where Varney's CV lists Quorn FC, his features Worksop. However, his handful of appearances had lured Fabio Capello to the Fylde coast, fuelling speculation he was in line for the England squad. A twisted ankle, sustained when he tangled with Varney, means he may have to wait.

Match facts

Blackpool 4-3-3: Gilks; Baptiste, Evatt (Eardley, 64), Cathcart, Crainey; Grandin, Adam, Vaughan; Ormerod, Taylor-Fletcher, Varney. Substitutes not used Halstead (gk), Basham, Euell, Sylvestre, Demontagnac, Keinan.

Booked Vaughan.

Fulham 4-4-2: Stockdale; Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Kelly; Davies, Murphy (Gera, 80), Etuhu, Duff (Greening, 85); Dembele, Zamora (Dempsey, 59). Substitutes not used Zuberbühler (gk), Baird, Riise, Briggs.

Man of the match Varney.

Referee M Oliver (North'land)

Attendance 15,529.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning:The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier league

The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action

News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam