Jack Stretton county Bradford Football Boxing Jack Stretton county Bradford

Another episode of the Simpsons: family ties in Stockport-Carlisle battle

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S tockport landed the first psychological blow in the buildup to the League Two playoff final when six-month-old Lottie Simpson pledged her allegiance to the club over Carlisle.

Dad Jake is head of performance at County, while Grandad Paul is the manager of their opponents, making Sundaytoday a peculiar family affair at Wembley.

The teams reached the final in dramatic circumstances: Stockport advanced past Salford via penalties after a late equaliser from Jack Stretton, who started the season at Carlisle, while at Brunton Park, Ben Barclay, on loan from County, struck the winner against Bradford in extra time.

There is no shortage of links between the two clubs but none is stronger than father and son. “We bought Lottie a Carlisle babygrow but she’s grown out of it,” Paul says. “I had the sad news that they’ve found a Stockport shirt on eBay that she is going to be wearing, so I am not sure she will be allowed in my house before the match and hopefully I can change her over time.” Paul is back at his hometown club for a second spell as manager.

Read more on theguardian.com
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