Date: 4th February 2008 at 12:37pm
Written by:

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.

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17 Replies to “My Great Pompey Adventure”

  • thanks for sharing your thoughts linvoyforengland 🙂 the weather is terrible over here, so australia would win that socre for me everytime – but we have something much more special over here that oz doesnt dont we… and that is portsmouth football club! you can now enjoy this more and more cant you. ive been to fratton god knows how many times but i still get that buzz as i approach the ground, that never dies for me – maybe i enjoy it even more as i dont get to go as much as i would like to anymore, which probably make it better? again thanks for sharing your thoughts mate – well worth a read fellas…

  • also if Chix was in his usual seat for that game – which i think he was you would have been pretty close to him i reckon, also had storagematt sat in his usual seat you would have also been near him – but he was in the north stand i believe? if you like at the ‘albums’ section linvoyforengland in the forum at the match of the day 2 photos and you might recognise Chix? click here

  • Snap! linvoy my first game was a win against Plymouth too. 1-0 in 1959 and I was on the Fratton End. Changed a but since then. John Westwood is a fan not #1 though.

  • Linvoy4England, what a nice article, glad you made it to the ground and enjoyed the game – sounds like a day you’ll always remember.

  • really good article, reminded me of my first game. good point about the buzz you get before a game, its amazing. you don’t get that buzz at too many of the other grounds!

  • it is a special buzz. i wrote it because i though a lot of people would understand the feeling and enjoyment, although since being, i really do believe that leaving fratton park will be a very sad day. it is a special stadium.

  • Am really impressed with the support our club has in ” the colonies ” ! How about a summer tour of Canada & Australia (bit more relevant that the ” Asian Cup ” or whatever the hell it was called last year !)

  • After all, why bother playing exhibition games in parts of the world where wearing a “big4” is considered universally impressive. Bring the lads over here for a game against Toronto FC. (or Adelaide FC over in Aussieland !). Good article Linvoy4England.

  • I am going to break my months silence here – partly to make the point i am having a “months silence in memory of benji” and partly because this has struck a chord. It was only my 5th or 6th game, and i still marvel at the sound the fratton end makes. However this game, i was literally sitting behind the fratton end, witha great big wall between me and them (but inches from chris kamara!!!) – so i never really got the full force of them in song. and that makes this bit even more impressive! Plymoth scorred, and in any other ground in the country, the supporters would be stunned into silence. they had aplies the pressure, and then a freak deflection, and they are 1-0 down. you expect not to hear anything other than plymoth fans chearing. but no, all you can hear, from my sheltered (well, from the noise, not the wind!) area, is “Blue Army, Blue Army, Blue Army”. that is a truly unique thing, that you will hear nowhere else in the country. (and for all you peddants, thats not just because not many other teams chant “blue army”, you will only hear the away fans chear if they score.)

  • Carps you’ve really made me smile.. I was wondering where you were and what really made me laugh was you lastest a massive 4 days !! … It won’t be the same without you around and I bet I can get you ‘talking’ a little more before the week is out ?

  • Linv.. great article mate and as the others have said your first game at Fratton lives with you forever.. even if the score and the year doesn’t (as in my case .. I had to ask Eastneydave.. but I was only 9 !). Really pleased you enjoyed it .. when you do it again give me a shout an we’ll have a beer together… oh and yep as rug says I was in my normal seat (as always – DD44) so we couldn’t have been that far away from each other …

  • chix – good luck making me talk! never! its a tribute to benji…doh, i just broke it, oh well, 4 days is still quite an acheivment…maye i can see if i can break my own record…could i make 5 days? good bye benji, you will be missed forever. my first game was against watford…2006, so AGES ago. saw andy cole score about his only pompey goal, and lualua score (i think) his last.

  • Linv. Nice article. Not sure about Westwind being the No1 fan, spitting distance yes, me too. Happy memories to take back to Oz. Have you got one of my ebay Pompey windscreen blinds? A few have been sold down under.

  • not going back matt. i have moved to the land of the supposed grey sky, (i say supposed because the last two weeks have been superb here, nice , warm and sunny.).

    chix i would love to meet up before a game and have a drink with you. i will definately be at sunderland, not sure about bolton yet. think the article sent a quite a few vital useres down memory lane which is what it was trying to do.

    have to admit carpet i thought it was going to go silent, but when everyone started singing around me it spurred me on. truely unique. i am gutted benji has gone as well, but dont deny us your thoughts and insights, your a valued contributer on this site.

    thank you all

  • Yes I heard there was some trouble in Pubs near the station – glad to say it doesn’t happen often these days. Chix and I were talking to Chelsea supporters in the Brewers on Saturday. Always remember your first game then you won’t have to ask me to remind you. Talking about ‘the colonies’ had abrief chat with a guy with a broad Canadian accent after Chelsea game – born in Pompey brought up in Canada now back home. Meet up soon I hope.

  • great story linvoy, and T4P I really hope pompey come to toronto like Villa did last summer, I wouldnt miss it for the world

  • i chatted to a couple of plymouth supporters in KFC after the game, i thought they were nice lads. the pub incident was the only thing that i saw. which is pretty good in a crowd that big.

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