Date: 27th March 2009 at 1:10am
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You voted for Dickinson, Daniel, Diarra & D`Alessandro – The Pompey A to Z continues here?

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

The shortlist for the poll was decided at the end of February 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 D’s from Pompey’s past and present, you voted the most popular.

Voter’s Choice:
Jimmy Dickinson 1946-1965 (35% of the vote)
The Vital Pompey A-Z is not by any stretch the only list that Jimmy Dickinson has topped. His face is immortalised in the seating of the Fratton End, and you would be hard pushed to find a Portsmouth fan that doesn’t know his name. James William Dickinson was born in 1925 in the village of Alton near Petersfield, and made his first team debut in 1946 against Blackburn Rovers. He settled in his favoured position of Left-Half, and went on to make 845 first team appearances for the Blues. His form in his early career, that saw him win back-to-back titles with Portsmouth in 1949 and 1950, was rewarded with an England call-up. ‘Gentlemen Jim’ went on to make 48 England appearances, and was awarded the MBE for services to football in 1964. His last game for Portsmouth was a 1-1 draw at Northampton, and after serving as liaison officer at the club, he went on to take the Portsmouth managers hot seat in 1977. His managerial career wasn’t as impressive as his footballing one and as a result Pompey were relegated the following season to the Fourth Division. Sadly, after three heart attacks Dickinson died in 1982 aged just 57, but Jimmy will go down forever as one of Portsmouth’s most loved and revered people.

PFCGino’s Interesting Fact: In all of his 893 appearances for club and country Jimmy Dickinson was never once booked or sent off. That’s why he’s referred to as ‘Gentleman Jim’.

1st Runner-up:
Ray Daniel 1990-1994 (33%)
Underrated defender Ray Daniel is most famous for the 1992/93 season in which Portsmouth narrowly missed promotion to the Premier League by virtue of West Ham having a superior goal difference. Daniel was born in Luton and after starting his career with his home town club found his way to Pompey in 1990 (courtesy of Frank Burrows and a fee of £90,000) via Hull and Cardiff City. Early appearances was few and far between but when John Beresford was sold to Newcastle in 1992, Ray was thrust into first team action and started to show why Burrows had rated him so highly. His proudest moment in a Pompey shirt (in over 100 appearances) came in the 1992 FA Cup semi-final replay.
In 1994, after a few injury-prone years Ray was loaned to Notts County before transferring to Walsall for a season before hanging up his boots in 1996.

PFCGino’s Interesting Fact: Ray Daniel made the subs bench in Guy Whittingham’s all time Portsmouth Dream-Team, ironically, the left-back slot was taken by John Beresford!

2nd Runner-up:
Lassana Diarra 2008 (11%)
One of the most technically gifted players to ever play for Portsmouth, ‘Lass’ joined Portsmouth from Arsenal for a reported £5.5m fee. He began his professional career at Le Havre, before joining Chelsea in 2005. His first season at Chelsea saw him voted Young Player of the Season, but a lack of first team football saw him move to Arsenal in 2007. Mathieu Flamini`s emergence at Arsenal saw Diarra once again on the subs bench, so he moved to Portsmouth where first team football was pretty much guaranteed. In Diarra’s performances helped Pompey win the FA Cup and achieve their highest Premier League standing in years. Diarra also holds the distinction of scoring Portsmouth’s first ever UEFA Cup goal. He moved to Real Madrid in January 2009 for a reported £20m.

PFCGino’s Interesting Fact: Despite Flamini keeping Diarra out of the Arsenal squad, Diarra got his ‘revenge’ when Raymond Domenech left Flamini out of France’s Euro 2008 squad, picking Lassana instead.

3rd Runner-up:
Andrés D’Alessandro 2006 (7%)
Little known D`Alessandro turned up at Fratton Park on loan from Wolfsburg in 2006 and immediately impressed on the left side of the pitch. Emerging through the River Plate youth system, the Argentinian international and Olympic Gold medallist found himself on the verge of a top European career, with spells at Wolfsburg and Zaragoza as well as Portsmouth. However he opted to return to South America and now plays for Internacional in Brazil but is still attracting interest from elsewhere with LA Galaxy recently reported as having a $10m bid turned down.

PFCGino’s Interesting Fact: Nicknamed El Cabezon (literally ‘Big Headed`), he scored the Bundesliga`s 4,000th goal against Hamburg in 2005

The Writers Choice:
Johnny ‘Lager’ Durnin 1993-1999 (2%)
Born in Bootle, Durnin started his career as an apprentice at Liverpool but despite scoring on a regular basis for the reserves he was unable to break into the first team due to the international class of those in front of him; Aldridge, Rush, Beardsley et al. A move to Oxford in February 1988 saw his career take off as he finished top scorer for two seasons before transferring to Pompey. Durnin had many defining moments during his stay at Fratton Park but none more so than when he bagged a brace at Valley Parade on 3rd May 1998 to send in excess of 4,000 travelling Pompey fans ecstatic as Pompey secured their Division One status on the final day of the season. After striking a total of 34 times in 211 appearances Durnin had a loan spell with Blackpool and later signed for Carlisle on a free transfer.

Chixy’s Interesting Fact: Durnin only started one first-team game for Liverpool a League Cup 2nd round tie at Craven Cottage on 7th October 1986 where the Reds beat Fulham 3-2 – having already won 10-0 at Anfield two weeks previously.

Also Rans
To complete the picture of the D’s the other players who made the shortlist but were unsuccessful in being featured were:
‘Dead-eye’ Dillon, the scorer of a the famous penalty hat-trick with 3% followed by; Central Defender Steve Davey, 1950’s winger Gordon Dale, Tony Dobson, Haslemere born Peter Denyer, 1982/83 championship stalwart Bobby Doyle, David Dodson and the one that got away Derek Dougan each with 1%

Well that completes the D’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 ‘E’ – click here

Other Links:
Pompey A to Z – The letter ‘A’ – click here
Pompey A to Z – The letter ‘B’ – click here
Pompey A to Z – The letter ‘C’ – click here

Join the Vital Pompey Debate
Players Past and Present


17 Replies to “Pompey A to Z – The letter ‘D’”

  • Well we are getting there… I still suspect some vote rigging by the Ray Daniel Appreciation Society.. But this is what you voted for !… Mext up are the E’s .. now that’s gonna be tough to call.. Follow the link to the forum if you want your say on who should be included in the poll..

  • Oops, should say “Isn’t he” as I am sure he’s not dead and can’t assume that he has retired

  • Good work Chix and Gino. Not sure on Ray Daniel almost pinching it but there we go. Some great names there and interesting facts.

  • No real surprise about the winner but Ray Daniel as runner up. Having seen nearly every home game he was around, I can’t remember him being the star player. Diarra by a country mile!

  • Wasn’t Jimmy D the Club Secretary after he retired from playing ? A slightly more important job than ‘liaison officer’. He only took over as manager because of the mess we were in.

  • Norfolk – not sure of the exact title but my research shows Liaison Officer. And yes, you are right he didn’t want to take the Pompey hotseat but reluctantly agreed in the end! Ray Daniel was a surprise runner-up definately – I hope someone owns up to over-active voting!

  • well i’ll be damned never knew gentleman jim was born in alton (thats pretty much where i’ve lived me whole life) explains why theres a pub named after him lol but good article guys

  • With Gentleman Jim in the frame, nobody else starting with ‘D’ gets a look in really, the man was such a legend.

  • True tracyc but he ony just finished in front of Daniel!! Good stuff Chix and Gino I think you can start E already.

  • Re Ray Daniel vote, I’m sure we have been victim of a scam but hey ho Jimmy Dick won through anyway.. Still feel that Diarra, ADA, Dillon and Durnin as well as some of the others have contributed more to Pompey over the years.. ahh well the vote must stand .. but if Robbie Enes wins the E’s we are in trouble !!

  • After reading about Genteman Jim, the rest pale into somewhat obscruity. My Uncle used to travel on the train with him to home games and that was the way he was. At an open Pompey I had the pleasure of meeting him when I was a kid in the early 60s and he was a true professional. What a man. 764 games for Pompey.

  • Awesom memory Gray – I wish I was around to see him play. 764 games is correct, but that’s just league appearances. In all competitions it was 845 – damn impressive.

  • His managership was all the more IMPRESSIVE because we more than skint and he found players like Garwood in lower crevices that no one else went to. He had to drag the club forward like a cart with no wheels and dare I say, it ultimately killed him.

  • Intesting stuff there i never knew about d’alesandro plays in brazil if so lets get him in the summer if niko goes we only have belhadj so get the little legend back. Apperently stoke are after benjani get him back to and the good old days will come back. PUP

  • The good old days of The Great Escape ballboy…. erm.. not sure about that one .. as for ADA we couldn’t afford him now even if he did want to caome back to Europe.. which he doesn’t .. as for Benji nah he’s getting on now .. let the legend live on.. although calling Benji a ‘legend’ in an article where Jimmy Dick is featured doesn’t seem right.. let’s call Benji a hero !..

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