Date: 7th April 2009 at 10:24pm
Written by:

Dan Ekner

Full Name: Daniel Heimer Ekner
Born: 05 February 1927, Gothenburg (Sweden)
Nationality: Swedish
Transferred from: IFK Gothenburg (Swe) November 1949
Previous Clubs: Orgrypte (Swe), Halmia (Swe)
Pompey Debut: 26 November 1949 v Sunderland (D 2-2)
First Pompey Goal: n/a
Games: 5 (League)
Final Game: 26 December 1949 v Charlton Athletic (W 2-1)
Subsequent Clubs: Olympique Marseille (Fra), Fiorentina (Ita), Ferrara (Ita), Chicago Vikings (USA), Athl├ętico Madrid (Spa), Rot Weiss Essen (Ger), PSV Eindhoven (Hol), Orgryte (Swe), Vatra Frolunda (Swe)
Date of Death: 17 April 1975, Gothenburg (Sweden)

Centre Forward Dan Ekner not only holds the distinction of being Pompey’s first continental player but also the first Swede to play for a professional club outside of his homeland.

Having started his career with Swedish 2nd Division side Orgrypte, Ekner moved to top-flight Halmia and then later IFK Gothenburg before, after touring the United States, he migrated to England to take-up a Business Studies course.

It was during his stay in Britain that Ekner was offered the opportunity to play for Pompey; and in a period of 30 days during November and December 1949, Ekner took the field alongside legends such Dickinson, Harris, Flewin, Scoular and Froggatt and played five matches for the English League Champions.

Whether Ekner’s presence during those five unbeaten games contributed to Pompey retaining the League title is debatable, but just by entering the field of play for his Fratton Park debut against Sunderland he wrote his name into Portsmouth FC’s history books forever.

It is not known whether Ekner completed his studies, but records show that during the following season he played for French club Olympique Marseille and then embarked on a globetrotting tour which saw him play for some of the top sides in Italy, the United States, Spain, Germany and Holland before in 1960 eventually returning home to Sweden to play once again for Orgrypte before finally hanging up his boots with Vatra Frolunda.

Playing Career:
1945/1946 – Orgrypte (Swe)
1946/1947 – Halmia (Swe)
1947/1949 – IFK Gothenburg (Swe)
1949/1950 – Portsmouth
1950/1951 – Olympique Marseille (Fra)
1951/1953 – Fiorentina (Ita)
1953/1954 – Ferrara (Ita)
1954/1955 – Chicago Vikings (USA)
1955/1956 – Athl├ętico Madrid (Spa)
1956/1958 – Rot Weiss Essen (Ger)
1958/1960 – PSV Eindhoven (Hol)
1960/1962 – Orgrypte (Swe)
1962/1963 – Vatra Frolunda (Swe)

Season by season games played via PompeyRama

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

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15 Replies to “Everything you will ever need to know about Pompey”

  • Well done Chix if it was translated!! Wasn’t aware of this player, and it seems like he had quite a career! Must have been a decent player if he only played 5 games and is still remembered now. Collins Mbesuma played a similar number and yet who remembers him eh?

  • Clearly you do Gino (lol) As for the translation.. yeah seriously it was.. Try googling him to see what you get ! … A lot of it was gobblygook but managed to shift through what I (and google translator) could make sense of to do the profile.

  • what a fantastic read chixy, and brilliantly researched!
    some fine names among those that ekner – who i hadnt heard of before this – played for, and such a shame that he died so young.

  • Interesting and great research Chix. Dan replaced Len Phillips in his first game and Duggie Reid in the other four – both absolute Pompey legends.

  • Sneakay to answer you question I have a list of about 40 players that have only ever played one game for Pompey… You’ll be surprised at the percentage of player Dave Rug and I are writing about who have played less than ten…. must be about 20% .. seriously..

    Pompeygray.. (I think) the player you are referring to is Duncan Gilchrist who played for us in the early 20’s (not 30’s) .. but he did make three league appearances .. but more interestingly he died during a Pompey reserve game in 1924.. (sorry to correct you .. but as you know pre-war Pompey is my passion)..

  • Whoops .. bold went a big wrong there !

    Anyway .. as is becoming the norm in these profiles it seems that as soon as I published them I find out another piece of interesting information… I’ve just noticed that the ‘Pompey Bible’ (Mike Neason’s book claims that Ekner was from Norway !! .. (he most definately wasn’t) .. but also I’ve found that both jimmy Elder & Jimmy Stephen made their debuts in the same game as Ekner and also the game kicked off ten minutes early due to bad light … (no floodlights in those days)

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