If Prince William brought the biggest smile to Ian Holloway's face at Bloomfield Road on Saturday, Luke Varney will surely have given Blackpool's royal visitor a run for his money.
The 28-year-old striker delivered a stunning goal and set up his team's second for Marlon Harewood as Holloway's roller-coaster ride in the Premier League reached another high point. Had shaking the hand of the future king not meant so much to the Blackpool manager, he would have talked of little else. As it was, he had plenty to say about a player he plans to make a permanent signing in January, midway through a loan from Derby.
Holloway can buy Varney for a bargain £250,000 – less than a quarter of the fee Derby paid Charlton for him in January 2009 – although the player will need to accept a pay cut.
"He is fantastic," Holloway said. "We played Crewe, where he learned to play, in a pre-season friendly and after the game Dario Gradi was talking about our shape and said 'have you thought about Luke Varney?'
"He said he could play anywhere across the front three and he will cause problems.
"When we asked Derby about him he was on too much money for us but the chairman got a deal where we do not have to pay all the money. We are not stupid here. This club is run correctly.
"Luke will probably have to take less than he is on there but hopefully he will want to stay with us now."
Prince William was in the stag-night capital not to toast his own engagement but to celebrate a friend's impending nuptials as the town's iconic Pleasure Beach rides were made available for his party's private entertainment.
Scorers: Blackpool Varney 3, Harewood 44; Wolves Doyle 86.
Substitutes: Blackpool Sylvestre (Harewood, 65), Taylor-Fletcher (Phillips, 65), Carney, Crainey, 89). Unused Halstead (gk), Edwards, Grandin, Ormerod.
Wolves Milijas (Foley, 29), Ebanks-Blake (Hunt, 46), Fletcher (Henry, 60). Unused Hennessey (gk), Ward, Mouyokolo, Bent.
Booked: Wolves Berra, Henry.
Man of the match Varney. Match rating 7/10.
Possession Blackpool 44% Wolves 56%.
Shots on target Blackpool 4 Wolves 9.
Referee M Clattenburg (Co Durham). Att 15,922.Reuse content