Full Name: Daniel Heimer Ekner
Born: 05 February 1927, Gothenburg (Sweden)
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), Athlético 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.
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 – Athlético 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: PompeyRama.com
Date: April 2009