It’s official Vital Pompey’s number 1 ‘bandwagoner’ has gone to his first game at Fratton Park.
Here is an Aussies view of Fratton Park, the Fratton faithful and the FA cup match against Plymouth from Saturday 26 Feb.
A year ago when I was planning to come over to the UK I decided on a date that being 22nd of January 2008. Unbeknownst to me when the league schedule was released I was gutted to find that my fist game at Fratton Park was going to be Pompey v Chelsea. I really wanted to make my first game to be a winner, and really wanted it to stand out in my memory.
As the year progressed I started realising that the FA Cup 4th round was around when I arrived in the country. But then we usually get one of the big boys away in the 4th round done we. So when I found out that Pompey where playing Plymouth my mouth started watering. Now that’s that game I wanted to be at.
I tried to get tickets online and found PFC’s official site to be completely useless so went through other means to get the ticket. All to no avail, until I arrived and heard that the game was pay on the day. I turned up to the ticket office 4pm on a cool Friday
afternoon. Finally I get called up.
“Hiya” drawled the girl behind the glass plate.
“Hi, how are you?” I reply.
“Yeah where do you want to sit”, she throws back.
I stand there looking like some tosser “ummmm, 1 for the Fratton end please?”
“That’s 25 pounds thank you”.
OMG all my dreams came true, not only was I going to watch Pompey play but I was going to see them play from the Fratton End. So I went home to prepare for the next day. I now knew the way to Fratton Park, had found a nice pub for a pre match
bevy. Planned what time I had to leave to get there, (mind you it’s a 15 minute walk to the ground).
The next day I woke at early and started getting ready around mid day and was ready to leave the house by 1pm. I started the walk up. I was going to make the most of this. Got to the pub I had decided to have my bevy’s in. The place was surrounded by cops. I wandered in got myself a drink and walked outside for a smoke with my drink. First thing I see as I walk outside is smashed glass everywhere and four cops stopping people from getting back into the bar. You don’t usually get this sort of thing in Australia.
So after I finish my drink I still have nearly an hour and a half to get to the ground so it is time to leave. The cop on the gate looks at my shirt and says, “you can go, you’re Pompey.” Some one behind me quips “no he isn’t he bought that shirt a couple of
minutes ago for 2 quid.” I laugh and walk out continuing my march towards the Promised Land. I buy a program and finally reach Frogmore road. I have to get a photo of this so I get the vendor to stand up the sign holding a Pompey program so I can get a picture of it.
I turn up Frogmore Rd and start taking photos of the front of Fratton Park. I have never seen anything like it, truly amazing, the terrace housing ends road ends and there is the entrance. I walk through the turnstiles and see I can get to the corner of the pitch so I go over and take a few photos. Then I find my seat.
I am sitting there watching the start of the match, was to see us go behind and soon after I see this figure walk up the stairs and position himself not four seats away from me. I am sitting within spitting distance of Pompey’s number 1 fan, John Westwood.
The atmosphere is truly amazing. I sang the songs I knew, others I picked up. Pompey played and I sang by half time we were a goal to the good. Diarra and Niko scoring, I got to see Diarra’s first goal. We won the game, which I will always have now. My first game was a win against Plymouth.
Nothing will ever reverberate in me as much as when the chimes ring out.
Play up Pompey, Pompey Play Up
Blessed be and may the goddess protect and guide you.
Written by linvoyforengland.
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.