Date: 23rd March 2008 at 8:19am
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Sunday Toast enters double figures as we reach edition number 10. Break out the Stella – well we would but our Chix has emptied the fridge.

The answer to last Sunday’s question was Norwich City – the first defeat of the 2002/03 season.

Colour clash

We noticed last Saturday in the Villa match that some Pompey players were having trouble identifying their team mates. On a number of occasions players running with the ball played a simple pass to a player in a Villa shirt. These players included Sulley Muntari and Nico Krancjar, not the world’s worst passers of a football.

So why we ask did it happen with such simple passes? We believe the answer is simple – shirts. The plain dark colours of Pompey and Villa were not different enough for a player to identify on their peripheral vision. The Canterbury hi tech gizmos obviously not working there then.

Then on Monday night watching Birmingham City and Newcastle battle out a 1-1 draw at St Andrews, again it was spotted that the strips were causing a problem. This time Birmingham’s blue and white penguin strip was certainly too similar to Newcastle’s bar codes especially under floodlights. Once again a number of simple passes went astray and watching on television was difficult too.

So why all of a sudden after a spell of clubs wearing their changes strips when there appeared to be no need (money obviously to blame) do we now have clubs playing in uniforms that are too similar? What colour strip will Pompey wear at Wembley if the Baggies wear their home colours? The blue and white strips are too similar and the black is not too different.

This Week’s birthdays

24th Martyn Busby will be 55, Aliou Cisse 32,
28th Steve Middleton 55, Andy Thomson 34,
30th Eoin Hand 62, Chris Price 48, Gary Stevens 46.

Aliou Cisse of course whose transfer is now subject to further City of London Police enquiries was recently playing for Sedan in France.

Eoin Hand was a junior with Stella Maris in Drumcondra and signed for Pompey from Drumcondra in October 1968. (Sorry Chix for the mention of Stella again, unintentional I assure you.)

Eastneydave remembered his debut at Fulham quite clearly. ‘We knew nothing about Eoin except he had been on trial at Swindon a few years earlier. A friend had seen him arriving at training saying he was a big lad but he wears glasses. Well it was a bright and breezy day on the banks of the Thames and Fulham kicked off and knocked a long ball down field. Hand, without spectacles and wearing contact lenses, rose majestically and powered his header sixty yards up field. I turned to the Pompey fan next to me and said simply “He’ll do”.’

Hand then played the 67 games consecutively to prove the point. In May 1969, Eoin was called into the Eire squad for a World Cup qualifier against Czechoslovakia in Dublin and came on as a late substitute. Over the next six years Hand featured twenty times for his country scoring two goals. The strength of Eire football those days was not good and they only won four of those games.

Eoin played over 300 games for Pompey in two spells – he left for South Africa in 1976 but returned via Shamrock Rovers a year later. He went on to manage his country for five years and then Huddersfield Town for four years and now work in Irish Television as a summariser.

This week’s eleven

Norman Uprichard – guest at the Villa game.
Gerry Bowler
Eoin Hand
Andy O’Brien
Eamonn Collins
Alan McLoughlin
Mick Kennedy
Jimmy McAlinden
Derek Dougan
Colin Clarke
Kevin O’Callaghan
Mark Kelly

Yes as it was St Patrick’s Day last week, we have a team of Irish Internationals both north and south of the border. McAlinden is unique among them as he played for both in 1946.

Toast is still waiting for your alternative teams of Pompey players. How about the worst XI?

Three’s a crowd

Another question fired off after the England squad was named was have three Pompey players ever featured in the same England team? The answer is No. Two has been done a few times the last being in England’s 7-1 debacle in Budapest. The Mighty Magyars (Hungary) wiped the floor with an England team containing both Jimmy Dickinson and Peter Harris. That was back in May 1954, was England’s heaviest defeat and the only time five different players have scored against England in the same game!

All previous occasions of two Pompey players being picked also involved Dickinson with Jack Froggatt (10 times), Len Phillips (once) or Harris (once more) as company.

Semi Final favourites

It has been asked when was the last time Pompey went into the Semi-Finals of the FA Cup as favourites. Well the answer is 1949 when Pompey, soon to be Champions, were drawn against Second Division Two strugglers Leicester City. 25,000 fans made their way to Highbury for what most thought would be a formality but City with Don Revie having a stormer, won 3-1 and the dream of another meeting with Wolves, at Wembley, was dashed.

Folklore tells us that Sep Smith, a Leicester Scout, had spotted that Pompey keeper Ernie Butler liked to tip the ball over oncoming forwards heads before catching it. When Foxes forward challenged Butler for the ball, Revie remembering this tip was waiting and scored the decisive third goal.

Sadly Revie missed the final through a serious nose injury but played two finals later for Manchester City.

More Semi-Final memories next week; see ya!

Written by eastneydave.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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13 Replies to “Dave’s Sunday Toast – #10 Eoin Hand”

  • fantastic as always… unfortunately it looks as tho we will have to wait a while longer to have any chance of seeing 3 pompey players feature in the same england side wont we…

  • mmm. Toated Hot Cross Buns.. and Stella and worthy mix on this fine Easter Sunday morning…
    Eoin Hand remember he well as No6 in that two striped kit we had when I was just a nipper.. partnered Big Paul Went at the back if I recall… Didn’t we give him a testamonial against a Republic of Ireland XI ?.. also (I think) he’s the only Pompey player to have gone on to manage his country, but I’d need to check that out ‘to be sure, to be sure’ …

  • Shame about Defoe missing out.. Would have been good to see three Pompey player represent their country at ths same time.. I think there was an ocassion when England played Scotland and Dicko & Froggat play for Engalnd and Scoular played for Scotland so three were on the pitch at the same time, but not in the same team… Also did Pompey have three of the Reggee boyz in the same starting line up once … again I’d need to check …

  • As for being favourites for the cup.. It really worries me … especially as this is the Chinese year of the underdog (or some thing like that) .. but not long now fellas .. hopefully as Dave publishes Toast #12 we’ll be celebrating a place in the Cup Final.. if I can get me hands on some Stella that is…. Good article as always Dave .. keep it up … next stop your Silver Edition at no25 !!

  • Super nostalga eastneydave, can I clarify, Phillips played with Harris as a dream pairing for England. Where was Dickinson that day?

  • Thanks Chix issue 25?? long way off yet and may need ghost writers!! This is written in advance of Saturday’s game so I will need to write two versions for #12 (win or lose).

  • Chix you are correct Jim, Jack and Jimmy all played in the England v Scotland game 1952. And the date 5th April – semi final day coincidence abound.

  • 007 – Len Phillips only won three England caps, Northern Ireland 1951 Villa Park – Dickinson played; Wales and West Germany both 1954 at Wembley the only Pompey player. Harris and Phillips would have been the dream pairing but never played for England together sadly.

  • Eoin Hand testimonial was April 1979. Fourth Division Pompey held the Republic to a 2-2 draw before a crowd of nearly 7,000. Goals from Garwood and Kemp (as a guest and his last for Pompey). Any more questions lads?

  • This has to be third time lucky for the semis. I just can’t imagaine the agony of not winning the cup, let alone losing the semi.

  • Any more questions ? .. If you’re up for it do you know any of the players in the Republic side for Eoin testimonial .. I haven’t got any info on it all (apart from you’ve just given me) but seem t remember the game .. and a ‘green’ double shetted programme.. or has the Stella finally taken it’s toll.. also was Kemp a guest as his Carlisle move had already gone through ?

  • Chix Kemp had signed for Carlisle the previous month and guested to try and boost the crowd – remember we were heading for relegation to the fourth division at the time. More research need on Eire side. I was there but memory of some games has gone!!

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