10 Dec 1985
Blackpool & Glasgow Rangers
The rise of Charlie Adam to one of the Barclays Premier League's most sought-after midfielders was almost symptomatic of Blackpool's plucky return to the top flight in 2010-11.
Though they were unable to preserve their place in the top division, under the guidance of Ian Holloway the Seasiders' effervescent brand of football won plenty of admirers.
Adam was at the heartbeat, pulling the strings from midfield with a delightful range of passing and an eye for goal that even earned him some comparisons with former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso from the media men.
The Dundonian began his career at Glasgow Rangers and made his first-team bow in the 2003-04 campaign, notching a run out at Livingston after impressing boss Alex McLeish.
He enjoyed a spell on loan at Ross County the following season, whom he helped to the Scottish Cup final and hit the headlines with by scoring from inside his own half against St Mirren.
The Saints were suitably impressed and moved to take Adam on loan themselves, where he played an integral role in helping them to the First Division title and Challenge Cup in 2005.
He returned to Ibrox in the summer of 2006 and was handed his opportunity to shine by gaffer Paul Le Guen.
Adam rewarded the Frenchman by hitting double figures, one of which came via a free-kick in an Old Firm showdown with Celtic. It was enough to earn him Rangers' Young Player of the Year award and a new five-year contract.
In addition, he secured his first international cap for Scotland in an international friendly with Austria in May 2007.
2007-08 saw the playmaker net in the Champions League against VBF Stuttgart both home and away, while he also figured against Spanish giants Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
Goals proved a little harder to come by, however, with Adam only finding the target on four occasions in all competitions.
Adam struggled for regular senior action in 2008-09 and after playing in a defeat to Celtic, moved south of the border to join Blackpool on loan.
But his Seasiders' debut ended in acrimony as he was sent off in a 3-2 reversal to Doncaster.
Nonetheless, he would soon find his feet at Bloomfield Road and his loan deal was made permanent that summer for a cut-price £500,000.
And Adam would prove instrumental as Blackpool defied all odds in securing promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
Indeed, the midfield schemer netted a free-kick in the Play Off final success over Cardiff at Wembley.
Overall, he helped himself to an eye-catching 19 goals and his form did not go overlooked at international level as he earned a return to the Scotland fold.
Adam's stock continued to rise in the top flight as Blackpool took the Premier League by storm in the first half of the season, and the pass master kept his nerve to net a penalty in front of the Kop as the Seasiders clinched a 2-1 success over Liverpool in October 2010.
By the time the January transfer window opened, Blackpool were facing a struggle to hold onto their prize asset - and their top-flight status - with several top clubs sniffing around the Scottish star.
Liverpool were said to be one of the forerunners for his signature and Adam handed in a transfer request, which was subsequently rejected by the Bloomfield Road side as they attempted to retain his services.
Blackpool were heading for the Championship, nonetheless Adam's form never waivered and, as a result, he was nominated for the PFA Player of the Year accolade before finally clinching his dream transfer to Anfield in July 2011.
|7. Man Utd||33||17||6||10||18||57|
|11. Crystal Palace||34||12||4||18||-14||40|
|12. West Ham||34||10||7||17||-9||37|
|13. Hull City||33||10||6||17||-6||36|
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