Date: 18th March 2009 at 1:00am
Written by:

Steve Aizlewood

Full Name: Steve Aizlewood
Born: 09 October 1952, Newport (Wales)
Nationality: British
Transferred from: Swindon Town, 26 July 1979, £45,000
Previous Clubs: Newport County
Pompey Debut: 11 August 1979 v Swindon Town, League Cup (D 1-1) First Pompey Goal: 29 September 1979 v York City (W 5-2)
Games: 204 (175 League, 29 Cup)
Goals: 15 (13 League, 2 Cup)
Final Game: 24 March 1984 v Crystal Palace (L 0-1)
Transferred to: Released
Subsequent Clubs: Waterlooville

Born in Newport South Wales, Steve Aizlewood began his career by signing a youth contract with his local team Newport County in 1968.
The following year at the age of just sixteen he made his League debut and quickly established himself as a member of County’s Division 4 starting XI.
Gaining Welsh schoolboy and U23 honours along the way, Aizlewood soon reached the milestone of becoming the youngest player in County’s history to make 100 League appearances.

On March deadline day 1976, after six years and a few games shy of 200 league appearances Aizlewood left the comfort of his home town club and transferred to Swindon as a replacement for their long-serving centre-half Frank Burrows. In return for his services Newport collected a club record fee of £13,500

Aizlewood spent the next three full seasons with the Wiltshire club and never finished outside of the top half of the table, but the player he had replaced was now manager of Portsmouth and they had just accepted an offer of £150,000 from First Division new boys Brighton for local favourite Steve Foster and needed a replacement.

On 26 July 1979 in one of the first transfers to require the new Football League arbitration service, Swindon received half of their £90,000 valuation for the big centre-half. Frank Burrows’ 4th Division Pompey had themselves a bargain.

Ironically, Aizlewood’s first two games for Portsmouth were against Swindon. A two-legged League Cup 1st Round tie which Pompey lost 3-1, but ultimately it was the league and not the cups that brought success during the 1979/80 season.

Pompey started at a cracking pace. Two 3-0 wins against Hartlepool and Torquay were followed by the 6-1 drubbing of Scunthorpe as Pompey went on to win nine of their first ten games. Five against York (one of which being Aizlewood’s first for Pompey) four against Darlington and Bradford all followed and it seemed that Burrows’ new team (he had also added Brisley, Styles, Laidlaw, and McLaughlin) was complimenting the strike partnership of Colin Garwood and Jeff Hemmerman very nicely.

Pompey went on to win promotion to the Third Division on the final day of the season with victory at Northampton, finishing 4th on goal difference. Aizlewood however missed the final nine games through injury and was therefore unable to fully experience the achievement of ‘going-up’.

The big centre-half was back for the start of the following campaign however and was a virtual ever present in a Pompey team that faired well in the higher league, finishing in a more than respectable 6th place.

Aizlewood again played in excess of 40 games during the 1981/82 campaign but 22 league and cup draws saw Pompey finish a disappointing 13th. Bobby Campbell’s appointment following the sacking of Frank Burrows in the spring however brought reason for optimism.

Campbell kept faith with Aizlewood during his first full season in charge and as Pompey romped to a record breaking 91point haul, promoting the club, as Champions, to the second division for the first time in eight years he missed just 4 of all games played.

Although they never looked in any serious danger of relegation Pompey had a troubled first season back in Division Two and the acquisition of Malcolm Waldron in March 1984, to firm up a defence that eventually shipped 64 goals during the campaign, spelt the end of Aizlewood’s tenure as Pompey’s No.6. At the end of the season, with Campbell replaced by Alan Ball, Aizlewood moved on spending the next season with non-league Waterlooville.

Career Highlights:
?….1969 – Makes debut for Newport County
March 76 – Transfers to Swindon Town for £13,500
26/07/79 – Transfers to Portsmouth for £45,000
11/08/79 – Makes Pompey debut in 1st Round 1st Leg League Cup tie
29/09/79 – Scores first Pompey goal in 5-2 victory over York City
03/05/80 – Gains promotion to Division 3
14/05/83 – Wins Division 3 Championship Medal

Other Interesting Facts:
As well as Swindon in the League Cup, Aizlewood also faced his other former club, Newport Country in the FA Cup 1st Round during his first season at Fratton Park

On Tuesday 27th April 1982 Aizlewood scored the only goal of the game in the 1-0 victory over Aldershot in the Final of The Hampshire Professional Cup

Pompey were awarded 16 penalties during the 1982/83 title winning season but missed half of them. Aizlewood squandered the last before Kevin ‘Dead-Eye’ Dillon assumed responsibility and restored order

The Aizlewood family produced two league players in the same generation. Steve’s brother Mark followed him into the Newport team before joining six other clubs. Their Grandfather had played a few games for Rotherham

Having left Waterlooville, Steve went on to later work as a Chartered Surveyor for Gwent Council

Season by season games played via PompeyRama

Vital Pompey Author: Chix
Statistics provided by:
Date: March 2009

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12 Replies to “Everything you will ever need to know about..”

  • Loved Aizlewood, for younger fans think DeZeeuw with a more broken nose, you got go far wrong

  • A great comparison Paul.. Aizlewood really was a stalwart of the early 80’s side wasn’t he? .. One of those never say die players and always had some kind of scare on his face at some point in his career .. He even wore a Steve Foster headband for a game or two if I can remember correctly

  • unfortuntely steve aizlewood is another that i was never able to see play, but with help from others – and of course after reading this – i know a little more. i probably knew more about his brother mark, and did see him play towards the end of his career, than i had steve.
    anyone that can be compared with de zeeuw tho is good enough for me!
    fantastic read chix.

  • Man’s a legend. Sort of person I can’t ever remember smiling. Ideal face for a centre back

  • Did well that lad, stuck with us. Went down the coal mines. He reminds me of Linvoy Primus. A loyal Pompey Man through and through…

  • Like you Rug, I never saw Steve, but did see Mark play when he was with Charlton. A real footballing family.

  • Why is it as soon as I write an article called ‘Everything you need to know about’, I find out somehing else.. Oh well at least I’ll be able to update the article when it comes around next time … Or I could post it in the comments .. Humm what to do …??

  • Great article Chix. It’s these sort of things that give the younger fans (me included) a good bit of history to the club we support!

  • One of my first memories of going to football involved Steve Aizlewood at Home Park, Plymouth in 1983. I’d with about twenty thousand others to celebrate Pompey winning the third division championship. During one of the many pitch invasions during the game I ran up to Steve Aizlewood and thinking it was the done thing patted him on the back. Thinking he’d be chuffed to receive my congratulations I got something of a shock when he told me to ‘F*** off you little c***’. I was 14.

  • One of those names I remember as a kid as we made our way from the depths of Div 4 to being the Div 3 championship team.

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