Date: 10th October 2013 at 3:23pm
Written by:

An article from khodgkins looking back at Pompey life from the beginning for them, this time looking at Division four back to three.

Division Four – Three: On the up

Memorable players
Steve Foster (Head band)
Peter Mellor (Blondy)
John McLaughlin
Jeff Hemmerman
Alan Knight (The new boy in town)

The first season in the basement and my first full season, saw the likes of local lad Steve Foster along with the distinctive head band leave the club to Brighton and to play for England in the world cup, Colin Garwood scored 15 goals, but in the end Pompey had a pretty average season and finished seventh, I suppose in the scheme of things this was not too bad after the preceding years of neglect, many of the people who you speak to about that era like to think that Pompey played in front of massive crowds, but in reality that was not the case for the first season in the basement, last game of the season vs Aldershot only saw only 6200 turn up at Fratton Park.

However this was probably the lowest ebb and Pompey were now on a rebound; things were all about to get an awful lot better.

The next season in division four was the start of real progress and saw changes in all areas of the team Mellor the incumbent goal keeper was suddenly under threat by a young pretender Alan knight, the likes of Steve Aizlewood Alan Rogers and Terry Brisley joined the fray along with Joe Laidlaw and others.

I started going with a friend of mine from school Kevin Whitfield and moved from the North stand to the Fratton end where we found a spot on the right hand side, in line with the eighteen yard box facing the pitch and halfway up against the railings, which at times proved a bit scary during a crowd surge, many a time I was squashed against the railings with a few hundred Pompey fans surging forward behind me. The crowds were back to what they should be with regular attendances above 16k, however there was the one day against Middlesbrough which saw an incredible 32k crammed into Fratton park to watch pompey take on the 1st division side in the FA cup. A match I will never forget, by this time in the season Pompey had really got it together and were scoring plenty of goals from midfield and up front. Remember the games back then were predominantly pay on the gate if they did have tickets I never brought one, any way I arrived relatively early and was amazed to see the queue into the Fratton end stretching out into Goldsmith Avenue. After eventually getting I was squeezed up against the right had side of the Fratton end. I mostly remember special bits of the game especially near the end of the game when it was 1-1 and Jeff Hemmerman popped up to score a cracking goal only for it to be controversially called off-side which it never was, ‘Obviously’.

Another special day in the calendar was a trip along the coast to Dean court a league match with Bournemouth remember again it was pay on the gate and somewhere in the region of ten thousand Pompey supporters turned up, I missed fifteen minutes of the match just queuing to get in, Pompey had taken over three sides of the ground, I will never forget the Pompey chime doing a round Pompey won 2-0.

To round off a cracking season Pompey were promoted on the last day by goal difference. Unfortunately I never went to the game at Northampton.

Probably when I think about it this is the season I caught Pompey, it was now in my blood and a part of that will never fade.

Written by khodgkins.

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2 Replies to “A Lifetime of Pompey Part Two”

  • Thanks for sharing this latest part of the journey. Have a comment on this Lifetime of Pompey Part 2 article with a comment here and/or on the front pages too!
    To see the forum thread – click here

  • Ah Northampton .. Davey and Purdie ! .. do you know I still owe the bloke we took me there the petrol money .. ’tis true … F

    ond memories of a great season .. the wins at Aldershot and Port Vale .. then the 4-0 drubbing of Peterboro all in the build up to that day at Northampton… The biggest thing remember … The rumours from the blokes with the radios and Pompey fans climbing the floodlights ..

    What people forget was although this was just a 4th placed promotion from Div 4 to Div 3 it was the first success a generation and a half of Pompey fans … nobody under 35 had ever seen Pompey win anything (although technically we had still not won anything !)

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