Date: 4th November 2007 at 9:38am
Written by:

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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7 Replies to “Challenge Dave #7”

  • Cheers Dave, brought back all those memories when i thought we would be in the first division for ever, never mind, at least we have put it right now.
    Mariner at Centre Half, not one of Bally’s best decisions was it?
    Signing Ian Baird and Ian Stewart wasnt too clever either.

  • owens, where were you sitting yesterday, and where was that pub you were on about, was it near that chinatown place?

  • Thanks for the memories once again Dave – I miss going to Oxford. At one time I think it was the away ground that we seemed to frequent the most … How things have changed eh – Perhaps a friendly to help ’em out financially wouldn’t go a miss pre season especially with Big Jim Smith and Kevin Ball there now.

    Looking at the Pompey team for that day now it’s no wonder we didn’t last long isn’t it, although at the time I remember thinking it was (nearly) as good as any other team in the (old) first division .. another aspect of my deluded youth !

    Some good players though to be fair.. I loved Micky Kennedy?s ?bite? in midfield and Barry Horne?s later on too – I was never a Fillery lover.. I couldn?t see what others did, and just thought he was an over hyped waster – wasn’t he a poor mans Hoddle ?

    Hardyman was a good player and it was always good to see a local lad play in the team – I played against Paul on numerous occasions and he was some player I can tell ya.

    As for the others; Dillon, The Legend, Billy Gilbert, Micky Quinn et al, all have their names firmly etched in Pompey history… as of course so does Blakey. But Clive Whitehead .. Come on !!

    Finally, I can honestly say that I can not remember John Kerr at all so if this was Owens ploy to catch you out, he may not have succeeded but he’s given me (via you) a bit of knowledge I didn’t have. Nice one Dave keep ’em coming.. You never fail to make me all nostalgic ? A £1 a pint anybody ?

  • There you go Dave.. no sooner do you mention somebody then I come across him for the first time in years the following day – An article about Bristol City’s promotion to the (old) First Division was delivered to my work mailbox this morning – Here’s an extract .. Bristol City?s rise to the upper echelons of football took 65 years of heartache and a goal from Clive Whitehead against Portsmouth at Ashton Gate on Tuesday evening, April 20, 1976. ?The problem was, the goal was scored in the fifth minute, so we had 85 minutes to hold on and it got a bit edgy,? recalls Whitehead, a winger who had experienced the pain of missing promotion. ?If we had not won then, we would have had to win our last match at home to Notts County.?

    The Robins had flirted with a place in the First Division several times, only to fall away at Easter. This season was different. They beat Portsmouth 1-0, finished second behind Sunderland and returned to the top league, where they had last played in 1911…. It goes on about City’s sucess but also at the end mentions … a little more about Clive whitehead …Born in Birmingham, the England youth winger joined City as a junior. He also played for West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth. He is now a financial adviser for the Professional Footballers? Association … An update and Where are they now all in one ..

  • It was a day full of hope. I went with a couple of mates on the train. Within about eight minutes David langan had turned my dream into a nightmare. Pompey were second best all over the pitch that day. you just knew looking at them that they would struggle and struggle they did. I hated going to Oxford. horrible ground and we could never win there. the 5-5 draw in 1992/93 was especially terrible. i was chuffed when thye went out the league and even more chuffed when they didn’t make it back up last season.

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