Who would think that travelling from Devon – Pompey for a game that was called-off just as you arrived could be a memorable one? Well it certainly was for me.
Bizarrely one of my most ‘memorable’ games following Pompey is one that did not even take place at all!
This rain enforced postponement came too late for me to avoid travel but it always sticks in my mind as one of the ‘best’ journeys, of the countless hundreds made from Devon to Pompey over the years, that I have made!
Norwich at Fratton during the 1998/99 season was meant to take place on a Saturday afternoon. My sister, other members of the then south west supporters club and I set off – in Ken’s world renowned white mini bus, what a beast that one was, I loved it! – knowing that conditions were not great but did not fear postponement, well too much, in fact not much at all really, perhaps we should have!?
We continued onwards anyway, as there was no news of a postponement, even though it was not ‘looking good’ weather wise.
My sister and I were dropped off at Fratton train station to meet our cousin Paul as arranged at around 1.30pm and he was the bearer of bad news – the game had just been abandoned.
We caught him as he was shooting off for his train back to Cosham, I still do not know to this day if he would have actually hung around to have told us or if he would have left us hanging out to dry, or soak, which is more appropriate…
By this time our travelling companions had continued down the road so they could turn around and go back the other way, try to picture the roundabout which is near the KFC etc. which was not there at the time? From Fratton station you followed that stretch of road and turned around along that road. They were already aware of this news and were heading off for the pub, The Newcombe, but we spotted them and were able to catch up with them just up the road, thankfully, as always, the traffic was not moving too quickly along that stretch of road.
We set off for the pub and although we never actually got to see a match that day – we did contemplate the possibility of finding a game somewhere else, not that anything would have been on – it still remains one of the most eventful and entertaining visits to Fratton, despite the game literally getting called-off as we arrived, that I have had as we had a cracking afternoon in the boozer and the all-round journey was a good one!
I am pretty sure that we lost the rearranged match 2-1, which took place early in November 1998 I think, after going ahead through John Aloisi?
This rearranged meeting was not a game that I made due to work commitments at the time.
PLAY UP POMPEY!