Date: 25th February 2009 at 10:48pm
Written by:

You voted for Campbell, Claridge, Cunliffe & Crouch – The Pompey A to Z continues here?

The Pompey A to Z is back and this month we look at the letter ‘C’.

The shortlist for the poll was decided at the end of January and then you ‘the readers of Vital Pompey‘ had approximately ten days to cast your votes.

Once voting had ceased PFC Gino and Chix decided on their ‘Writers Choice‘ and then researched the highest placed players to bring you the following short summaries which will forever be cemented into the archives of Pompey greatness.

So without further ado let’s look at which C’s from Pompey’s past and present, you voted the most popular.

The Voters Choice:
Sol Campbell 2006 – present (41% of the vote)
It’s no surprise that Sol Campbell is top of this list. The Pompey centre-half is loved by football fans all over the country (except those from one particular team), and was instrumental in Portsmouth’s historic 2008 FA Cup win.

Sulzeer Jeremiah Campbell joined Tottenham Hotspur in 1989 as a striker. He made his first team debut as a substitute in the first Premiership season in 1992, and scored after coming on for Nicky Barmby, however it took two seasons before Sol settled into his natural role as a central defender.

Despite winning the League Cup with Spurs in 1999, his desire to play at the highest level meant that he sought a move elsewhere. Offers from other high-profile clubs were forthcoming but, when his contract ran out in 2001 he opted to play for Arsenal, sparking a long lasting bitterness from the White Hart Lane faithful.

Sol’s time at Arsenal, even if sometimes hampered by injury, was deemed successful as he collected two Premiership titles and two FA Cup winners medals. In 2005 however, Sol’s personal troubles began as he was accused of behaving strangely when he left the stadium halfway through a match with West Ham – This event obviously led to speculation over his Arsenal future.

After becoming only the 5th Englishman to score in a Champions League Final* Sol parted company with Arsenal, citing “personal reasons” for his decision. It was widely expected he would sign for a Spanish club, but on 8 August 2006 he made the move to Portsmouth, signing a one year contract.

Campbell immediately blended in with the squad and formed an immense partnership with Linvoy Primus. Together they were instrumental in helping Pompey’s defence keep five clean sheets on the spin that season. Sol’s form led to a new two-year contract offer and the position of Captain in what turned out to be Portsmouth Football Clubs most successful Premiership season ever and culminated in Sol leading us to Wembley for the FA Cup Final, which of course we won 1-0. When Sol went up to lift the FA Cup, where YOU there?

In addition to his glittering club profile Sol also boasts an accomplished international career at England’s centre back position. In total he has collected 73 England caps but only one goal, that coming in the 1-1 draw with Sweden during the 2002 World Cup, the competition in which he was the only Englishman named in the World Cup All-Star team.

* Can you name the other four?

PFCGino’s Interesting Fact: You can catch a glimpse of Sol as a bouncer at an unlicensed boxing match in Guy Ritchie’s Cockney gangster flick Snatch. Oscar-worthy in my opinion.

1st Runner-up:
Steve Claridge 1998 – 2001 (21% of the vote)
Local-boy Steve Claridge is one of football’s most loyal servants. Having played for 25 clubs, he is best known for his stints at Leicester, and of course Portsmouth. Claridge was initially loaned to Pompey from Leicester in 1998, making ten league appearances and scoring two goals. He signed permanently later that season and went on to become Pompey’s player of the season, an award he retained the following year as he became the clubs top goalscorer a feat he achieved again during the 2000/01 season. When his Pompey days finished Steve’s goals tally stood at 34 league goals in little over 100 games.

Following the sacking of Tony Pulis in October 2000 Steve was appointed player-manager (the only person ever to hold this role in the history of PFC) but was demoted after winning just 5 of 25 games and subsequently replaced by Graham Rix

These days Steve can been seen on Setanta Sports, commentating and generally reporting on all things football.

PFCGino’s Interesting Fact: Claridge was given a six month suspended sentence for driving at over 100mph near Solihull in 2008. His official reason for why he was driving over the limit? He needed a wee.

2nd Runner-up:
Daniel Cunliffe 1899-1900 & 1901-1906 (10% of the vote) Daniel Cunliffe has the distinction of holding many of Pompey’s ‘firsts’

He was part of the first ever professional Pompey team who, wearing salmon pink shirts, played their first game against Chatham in Southern League Division One on 2nd September 1899.

Four days later Cunliffe became the first Pompey professional to score at Fratton Park, and indeed the Fratton End (as it is known now) and considering Pompey were playing Saints (albeit in a friendly) he also became the first player to score in a South Coast derby when with just ten minutes of the match gone, he sent what the papers reported as a ‘clinking shot’ past the Saints keeper. The goal was apparently greeted with ‘terrific applause’ from the Pompey fans. As was the result no doubt, Pompey won 2-0

Daniel Cunliffe is also (likely) to be the first Pompey professional to score a league goal at Fratton Park. Although I can not confirm this for definite as Pompey’s first professional home league game ended in a 2-0 victory over Reading with Cunliffe and another player ‘Nobby’ Clarke both scoring. I can not find out who scored first !

We do know however that Cunliffe also scored Pompey’s first goal in the FA Cup proper during a 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers on 1st February 1900.

Six weeks later on 17th March 1900 Cunliffe was at it again as he notched up another first and became Pompey’s first England international by lining up against Ireland in Dublin. A game which also saw his team mate; Pompey goalkeeper Matt Reilly play for Ireland.

But Daniel Cunliffe wasn’t all about ‘firsts’ All in all during his two spells, totaling six years with Pompey, Cunliffe scored 145 League goals in 256 appearances – Now that takes some beating.

Chixy’s Interesting Fact: After leaving Pompey in 1900 Daniel Cunliffe returned to his previous club New Brighton Tower, who despite finishing 4th in the league where disbanded a year later as the cost of maintaining a professional football club became too high for their owners – Cunliffe returned to Pompey

3rd Runner-up:
Peter Crouch 2001-2002 & 2008-present (7% of the vote) At 6ft 7″ ‘Two Meter Peter’ is officially the tallest player ever to play for Pompey and is also the third player featured to have had two stints at the club.

Crouchy initially joined Pompey in 2001and immediately benefited from Robert Prosinecki’s pinpoint crossing by scoring 18 goals in 37 starts to become Pompey’s top goalscorer for the season. The lanky strikers form however alerted Graham Taylor of Villa so Peter ultimately moved onto bigger and better things. Following Portsmouth’s subsequent turnaround from Division One minnows to Premiership welterweights, Crouch made the move back to Fratton from Liverpool in 2008 and has since netted 13 goals (to date), two of his most important being those that kept us in the UEFA Cup at Vitoria Guimaraes.

Crouch also has a stunning international record, scoring 14 times in 31 appearances for England, including a fantastic hat-trick against Jamaica in a friendly – Remember the dance anyone?

PFCGino’s Interesting Fact: Peter Crouch was once featured in the TV show Punk’d when fellow England international Rio Ferdinand set him up to believe that he was discussing property deals with Russian Gangsters.

The Writers Choice:
Ray Crawford 1954 (trainee – 1958 (5% of the vote)
Although Ray didn`t make the final cut (he finished in 6th) He is well worth a story as he was, in some respects, ‘The one that got away’

Ray is a rarity in Pompey’s history because he was born in Portsmouth (in 1936). He signed as a youngster in December 1954 but had to wait until the start of the 1957/58 season to make his debut in a goalless draw with Burnley. Four days later he scored his first Pompey goals netting two in a 5-1 Fratton win over Tottenham. In Ray’s debut season he netted nine times in eighteen games.

Ray’s career at Fratton was soon be over however, as after just two starts the following season he was sold to Ipswich Town – A move which was to turn him into a legend.

Ipswich Town were fresh out of Third Division (South) and managed by a certain Alf Ramsey when they sprang to prominence winning the Second Division in 1960/61 and incredibly the First Division at the first time of asking in 1961/62, a season which saw Crawford together with partner Ted Phillips, score 61 goals between them. Ray being the league’s top scorer with 33.

In two spells at Ipswich Ray Crawford played 320 games and scored an incredible 204 goals and to this day is still the clubs All Time Top Goalscorer.

Chixy’s Interesting Fact: Ray Crawford played under three managers who later received Knighthoods; Alf Ramsay and Bobby Robson during his two spells at Ipswich and Walter Winterbottom who managed England when Ray won his two caps.

If you would like to know the story of Ray Crawford’s extraordinary Wedding, by Eastneydave a pint and he will reveal all

Also Rans
To complete the picture of the C’s the other players who made the shortlist but were unsuccessful in being featured were:

Former favourite and current member of the coaching staff Mark Chamberlain who polled 6% of the vote. On 2% we find Bobby Campbell who along with Steve Claridge was one of six former players also to manage the club, so for the second time I ask: Can you name the other four?. Also on 2% was Pompey`s leading scorer in the 93/94 & 94/95 seasons Gerry Creaney.

Five players polled 1% of the vote each:
Percy Cherrett the first player to score a Football League hat-trick in Pompey colours in the 4-1 Division 3 (South) victory over Gillingham at Fratton in October 1921. Freddie Cook An ever present in the promotion side of 1926/27 and the player that holds the honour of scoring Pompey first ever top flight goal during the 3-3 draw at Sunderland on 27th August 1927 – A game in which Pompey were 3-0 up after 25 minutes. Ike Clarke the scorer of the goals that made took us to the 1st Division title and Reg Cutler the 1950’s inside-left who played over 100 games and finalyy, George Clifford who played 175 games at Right Back over six season in the 1920’s.

Well that completes the C’s of Pompey A to Z. Did you agree with the poll? Do you have any memories of the players featured? Who would have been your ‘Writers Choice’ Leave your comments below.

Likewise if you like to offer your suggestions on which players should be short listed for the letter ‘D’ – click here

Other Links:
Pompey A to Z – The letter ‘A’ – click here
Pompey A to Z – The letter ‘B’ – click here
He played for them too – Ike Clarke – click here

Join the Vital Pompey Debate


15 Replies to “Pompey A to Z – The letter ‘C’”

  • Nice one Gino and sorry it took a while to do my bit and publish it (even if I did crib Ray Crawford from Eastneydave 😉 …

  • steve claridge lives up the road from me (i think) (at least im pretty sure his wife does!) not suprised sol came top of the voters choice, he is one of our best players and tbh we need him! i dont remember crawford or cunliffe, but hey i might be slightly to young!

  • MFFP
    Go and ask the bloke you think is Steve Claridge if it is him.. Don’t be shy he’s a good bloke by all accounts. As for not remembering Ray Crawford neither do I (well not in a Pompey short anyway) but I know Eastneydave does very well. And as for Danny Cunliffe .. well if anybody remembers him I’ll buy them a three course supper and pay for a taxi home 😉 – What a legend though eh.. All those ‘firsts’

  • No worries Chix, I’m enjoying doing these A-Z’s!! Any takers on the four other Englishmen to score in a European Cup Final? I like these because it’s a good chance to research and read about Pompey players from the past, and really get stuck into Pompey. I’m gonna be gutted when we get to Z!! Perhaps we should go into the numbers….ie ‘Pompey’s best ever number 1s….number 2s….etc’

  • I reckon you are correct Scott but I’ll let Gino confirm.. What about the other 4 Question .. ex-Pompey players to manage the club (other than Claridge & B Campbell

  • Off the top of my head I’ll offer Ron Tindall and Jimmy D, and wasn’t Guy W joint manager with Stevie Claridge?

  • Spot on Scott – will have to set a much harder question next time! And Chix on your question – I don’t have a clue off hand, but I suspect they’d be well before my time!

  • Nice article on Ray Crawford. I grew up with a lad whose dad is Reg Pickett. Reg also did Pompey & Ipswich & their families were close, so as a kid a mixed with both.

  • Chix I will charge you for that Crawford bit!! No great stuff and I am glad Daniel Cunliffe made the list because as instructed I voted for him on every possible occasion!!

    Great article though and good work lads.

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