Owenspompey asked when Alan Ball got us to the old First Division in 1987; our first game was at Oxford, which Pompey players made their debuts for the club in this game.
Pompey team that played Oxford United first game back in the top flight in August 1987 was
Alan Knight; Kenny Swain; Paul Hardyman; Kevin Dillon; Paul Mariner; Billy Gilbert; Clive Whitehead; Mick Kennedy; John Kerr; Mick Quinn and Mike Fillery subs Ian Stewart and Barry Horne.
Debutants that day included Mike Fillery a free transfer from QPR (there was no fee due to an administrative error at QPR), Clive Whitehead from West Brom, John Kerr from non league Wycombe Wanderers and both substitutes Barry Horne from Wrexham and Ian Stewart from QPR.
Owens is probably thinking that Kerr might catch some out. He was an American who had a trial in the spring and was given his chance in the absence, through injury, of record signing Ian Baird. Unfortunately John never got to grips with the physical side of the game and only started two games making three other appearances as sub. He does hold one claim to fame, on 19 September 1987 at Watford he became the first Football League substitute to be himself substituted.
Ian Stewart’s appearance as a sub was his only Pompey game.
Fans of that time will also remember that Noel Blake missed the first half of the season after injuring his knee in pre season training. Hence Paul Mariner playing as an emergency centre back until Malcolm Shotton was signed for Oxford for £70,000.
The result of the game Oxford Utd 4 Pompey 2 (Mariner, Whitehead)
Written by eastneydave.
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