Date: 8th August 2009 at 5:43pm
Written by:

Well Toasters are you feeling a bit happier this morning? Certainly the 2-0 win over Rangers will have put a few more smiles on faces and perhaps the season can be looked at with a little less trepidation.

Farewell Al

This is the final edition of Summer Toast and we set Alfresco loose in the forum the other day to dig up some interesting stats. He spotted that in July 2007 just after pompeyrug took over as editor he boasted to paultsmouth that the figures on the Vital Pompey site had hit a record high. The hits had reached 2.2m and page impressions 179,000 and they were quite content to wallow in their initial deserved success.

Let me explain what those terms mean – A hit is generated when a file is requested and served on your website. The file can be anything from the ordinary HTML document, an image file, a video and so on. An HTML document with 10 image files on it will register 11 hits when the page is viewed by a visitor.

The more accurate reflection is Page impression, also known as page view. It shows how many times the page is viewed. For example, when you click a link and the page is loaded, that request is counted as one page view. When you click the back button on your web browser to return to the previous page, another page view is registered.

Well lets look at the figures for July 2009. The hits was 3.6m an increase of 77% and page impressions remember the key one was 525,000 a hike of almost 200%!! Now that is something to be rightly proud of and shows just what a great job rug has done with the site. Yes it has led to the old site creaking a bit recently but it is on the mend and will be even faster soon.

Last week we implored those who sit and read to get active. It had the right effect on new member pfcTony who wrote in the forum at the end of his first post ‘Finally on an unrelated matter thank you to whoever writes the Toast it was the last one that has inspired me to finally get my fingers moving and actually post instead of just reading and disagreeing/agreeing with my Pc Screen?

Well welcome Tony and to the host of other new members who are joining the Vital Clan.


Remember to click the player`s name to link to Pompeyrama`s stats.

Plenty of birthdays and all the long names!!

9th August Azar Karadas is 28

10th August Andy Cook is 40
William Albury is 76 – Another local boy Bill had the honour of wearing Jimmy Dickinson`s number six shirt on his debut at Arsenal in January 1957. Jim played alongside Bill at centre half. Bill can still be found at Fratton Park or on the golf course.

Bill Thompson was born in Glasgow in 1921 – Ike Clarke is injured so is stand in Reg Pickett. Pompey must win their last home game against Aston Villa to win the league title for the second successive year. It is May 1950, what does manager Bob Jackson do? He calls for wing half Bill Thompson to play as an emergency centre forward. It was to be Bill’s most famous contribution to the history of the Club as the two goals he scored that day allow Pompey to win the title. These were the only goals he ever scored for the club and the only time he would wear the number nine shirt.

I am told the Football Mail for that game is hanging in the Artillery Tavern in Milton. In February 1961 Pompey sacked manager Freddie Cox and Bill stepped in a caretaker boss until George Smith was appointed. Pat Neil believes that Bill went on to manage Egypt and possibly other national sides in the middle east. Bill passed away a few years ago.

11th August Thomas Brown is 85

13th August Niko Kranjcar is 25
Benjani Mwaruwari is 31
Tommy Rowe DFC was born in 1913 Rowe died on 9 May 2006, aged 92. He was the last surviving member of Pompey’s cup-winning side. He was awarded the DFC in November 1943 as Acting Flight Lieutenant Thomas Rowe (124836), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 77 Squadron RAF. He was later a prisoner of war.

14th August Alf Noakes was born in 1933 full back joined from Crystal Palace where he played over 200 games in 1962. New manager George Smith knew Alf well from their days at Palace but he appeared just thirteen times over the next two seasons before leaving to play non league football with Tunbridge Wells. Sadly Alf passed away 2005 aged 72.

Ralph Hunt was born 1933 – Ralph was born in Portsmouth at was brought up in Grafton Street. A forward who began with his home club in 1952, he made his debut in a 3-2 defeat to Middlesbrough at Ayresome Park in December that year. Ralph could not cement a regular place in the side and he moved along the coast to Bournemouth in 1954. After two season at Dean Court Ralph moved to join Norwich.

During his spell at Carrow Road in 1956/57, Norwich finished bottom of Division Three South and had to seek re-election. To make matters worse for their fans Ipswich won the same Division and started their march to the win the Division One title just five years later with another ex Pompey player Ray Crawford as their top scorer. Ralph was a big hit though and managed 67 goals in 124 games and such was his impression that he was invested into the Norwich City Hall of fame in 2003 at the request of Canaries fans.

Ralph left in the summer of 1958 for Derby and that began a run of a number of clubs before his career took him to Chesterfield in 1964. It was on the 17th December 1964 that Ralph lost his life in a car accident. The car was being driven by team mate Peter Stringfellow who had played with Ralph`s brother, Dennis, at Gillingham – two other players were injured in the crash. Dennis never played for Pompey but made 320 appearances for the Gills.

In his career Ralph played nearly 400 league games averaging a goal every other game.

15th August Alessandro Zamperini will be 27
Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi will be 34

Strange that on the same day we have two players celebrating their birthdays who have the longest names of any ex Pompey players with nineteen letters!

Teaser answers

Last week we asked Steve Finnan won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005 and becomes the third members of that side to play for Pompey. Can you name the other two? The answers are of course Djimi Traore and Milan Baros. No one got that right!! Then nobody offered an answer.

The limerick for the boy from Limerick went

An Irish lad named Steve,
Played at full back I believe.
He first played in blue
When past thirty two,
Cos Storrie gave Johnson the Heave

Thanks to Gino for that.

Spanish players

On the subject of PFCGino he asked whether have ever had a Spanish player on their books. Well with Chix`s help we believe the answer is No!

Pompey have signed three players from Spanish clubs in Leo Biagini from Real Mallorca (on loan), Dobray Dario Silva from Sevilla and Sander Westerveld from Real Sociedad. None of them was Spanish though being respectively Italian, Uruguayan and Dutch.

A night to remember

The dream of any real football fan would be to spend the evening talking to an ex-player with extensive contacts in the game about FOOTBALL.

Well that is what happened to me last Wednesday when I met the couple that Toast and pompey4me put together after fifty five years apart. Local Eastney resident John met up with old school friend Pat Neil who is the Chairman of the Pompey ex players club.

Well after a quick look at old school photographs the next THREE hours were spent talking football in general and Pompey in particular. Pat has a tremendous knowledge of the game over the last 60 years and name a Pompey player and he will tell you something about him you did not know.

With football facts flying everywhere I had to be at my best to show that we at VP know our stuff and I think he was impressed. In answer to a question Pat did ask me the answer is yes. The question concerned the home dressing room which of course has been completely rebuilt. Pat was worried that the small pillar in the middle of the room would be removed and he has fond memories of that pillar. Back in 1955 when Pat made his Pompey debut that was the only place there was a mirror in the dressing room and he liked come his hair before going home.

Well Pat we gather that pillar supports the whole of the South Stand, so hopefully it is still there.

Summer Toast done for another year. See you next week for the third season of Sunday Toast.


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