Date: 5th May 2018 at 9:42am
Written by:

Today will mark the end of an era for me, but as one chapter ends a new one begins.

A regular at Fratton Park on and off for the best part of 20-years – previously taking a break owing to a return to education in 2000 – and a returning Pompey season ticket holder for the past decade, the visit of Peterborough will represent the changing of the guard. I’m taking another sabbatical, which will enable my cousin’s son to fill that void, doing so in a child’s capacity, not merely using my seat when I can’t make it.

Why am I stopping? No, this isn’t because I’m disillusioned or disinterested. Admittedly, these days it isn’t quite what it used to be for me and it doesn’t bring the level of enjoyment it once did. But, factoring in the time and the money this involves, which couldn’t be justified, a decision has been made.

It’s been a long road for my wife, Trina, and I to get to this point, but finally our first child will arrive in a couple of months. Ok, a baby doesn’t mean all stops. However, when you live in Devon and can’t drive, spending a day or two away for a game can’t be justified with a newborn involved. In fairness I wouldn’t want to lose this time away from my family.

But, as Arnie would say, “I’ll be back.” I’m not sure when, but when the time is right; however, I’ll probably take in the odd game here and there until I look at the potential option of another season ticket. Will I bring my child? Well, hopefully, but I must confess the old man will NOT be forcing footie or the need to become a Pompey fan on them. Working on the assumption they take to the beautiful game, if they were to follow their home town club this would be Exeter or Torquay, never Plymouth though and most definitely not the glory option of a big name Premier League club, never!

A break can sometimes be a good thing, priorities change and mine will focus on my family for a while. I’ll feel a little emotion this evening as I walk away from the ground, but hopefully this comes with me bowing out having enjoyed a great day and a better game.

So, to my mistress that is Fratton Park, it’ll not be a case of goodbye, it is simply until we meet again.


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13 Replies to “It’s Not Goodbye. It’s Until We Meet Again”

  • Best of luck to you PR. I did the same in 2008 and returned 3 years later. It’s a great time to be alive.

    • Thanks James, that is something I’m looking at, perhaps 2-3-years then see if I can return. It’ll soon pass, but I’m NOT going to wish that time away, I’ll continue following from afar until I return.

  • Best of luck Rug haven’t always ageed with your comments, but I do know what you mean when you say it isn’t quite what it used to be.

    • Chris, that’s the beauty of a site like this, isn’t it? We can share our opinions, agree or disagree, without being met with a barrage of abuse. Like you, I wouldn’t always agree with what you say, but I think we have a constructive debate about what we think.

      Admittedly, the comments are fewer these days, but these seem to be growing again, which is, of course, thanks to the likes of yourself. Keep these views coming.

  • Rug my old mate….all the best, to you yours and yours to be, thank you for being a friend for the past 10yrs from both myself and Miranda…we both send you best wishes, thank you my friend

    • Cheers Penton, that time really has flown hasn’t it, but it’s been a great time, all things considered. Been delighted to see how things have unfolded for you on Facebook recently, great stuff. Onwards and upwards for us all!

  • By the way guys, just to clarify, I’m NOT stepping away from Vital Pompey, I’ll keep doing this (when I can) for as long as I can and I’m wanted. Not doing the games will make it tougher in certain elements, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

    I WILL need the help of you guys though!

  • The very best of luck to Rug and his growing family.I took a sabbatical myself during the nineties for a number of reasons having been a regular for thirty years. Next season will see me pass 1,000 games at Fratton. Sometimes you need to recharge your batteries and come back with a renewed appetite. There is no better reason to do that than to raise a young family.Rug almost single-handedly built Vital Pompey into what it is and has been over the last eleven years and more than deserves a break. Thanks again and good luck!

    • Cheers Dave, I’m not sure I’ll ever make the amount of games you have, but will look to add to my hundreds in the years after Bubba arrives. Will they join me though?

      Thanks, but you’re being too kind. It took a team effort to bring Vital Pompey to the top, we’ve had some tough times, however, I feel we can bring the site back to the levels it has been previously, which has seen you play a key role in this.

  • A tiny Rug – oh my it scares me, but I couldn’t be more delighted dude! But you knew that anyway – runs away giggling at Dave’s comment about recharging batteries – it might save 5 grey hairs?

    • Scares you, what about me?! Indeed, I did. Gotta say I miss working with you day-in-day-out mate but would hope ultimately all has worked out best for all concerned. I’ve not got too many hairs left anyway Mike, so what’s losing a few more, or more great coming through, haven’t got too many of those mind.

  • Well you’re bad enough without having a mini me mate. I’m talking from experience, mine have made me realise what I inflict on everyone else as they now inflict it on me!

    Some good and bizarre times, let alone the conversations when we were supposed to be doing something productive lol (but we won’t talk about those!!!!) As you say though fingers crossed and the future is the future, I’ll still bend your ear at points.

    I must stop associating with bald people though, lean on the grey hairs and keep them for as long as you can, that’s my advice!

  • Hi Rug..

    Long time away.. not because of babies.. but lots of other stuff going on… football’s been way off the radar..

    I wish you all the best with the birth of your first child. Its a truly wonderful experience, nothing quite like it. I certainly understand your taking a break from Fratton Park. A balance will be found I’ve no doubt, and in time I’m sure you’ll grace the ‘old gal’ again.. as a ‘Dad’..

    In the meantime, luxuriate in family life, and enjoy every minute.. 🙂

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