Date: 6th September 2008 at 8:30pm
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The first question the Toastmaster was asked after the UEFA cup draw was made was – ‘How do you pronounce Guimarães?’

Well not being a fluent Portuguese speaker placed me at a bit of a disadvantage so I used the way I had always said it Gee – MA -rish. Bit trawling the internet looking for sites to help I got quite a surprise. That is no-one has a definitive pronunciation I came across Gim-a-raysh-eh; gee-ma-RYE-sh; guh-MAR-is and even gee-mer-ine-sh.

Perhaps any members travelling to Portugal could let the Toast team know.

The second question was what is the difference between Vitoria SC and Vitoria FC? Simple one that, SC are from Guimarães and FC from Setubal. They are not neighbours, being divided by most of the length of the country.

The Draw

For those who did not see the draw let us quickly explain what happened at the glitzy event in Monaco. It was all introduced by David Taylor (no relation) who is a Scotsman with a great knowledge of now to pronounce the names of some rather unpronounceable teams.

Clubs were split into seeded and un-seeded teams based on a UEFA rankings system. Then teams were broken into groups of ten, five seeded and the other five not. Pompey were in a group of seeded clubs with Sevilla, Rapid Bucharest, PSG and Sampdoria; now that is quite exalted company for a club on their first European venture.

For the record the other teams we could have drawn were Wolfsburg of Germany, Kayserispor (Turkey), Salzburg (Austria) and Kaunas (Lithuania) so we fared ok from the point of a venue but if I had chosen it would have been Kaunas or Salzburg.

David Taylor did an excellent job open all those yellow kinder eggs to identify the teams and has a great knowledge. Taylor, former Scottish Football Association Chief Executive, is now UEFA General Secretary.

Three’s a crowd

No doubt it will by now have been written elsewhere on the site but three Pompey players in an England competitive international is of course a new record. In fact Pompey have only ever had one player in the team in competitive games.

I wrote an article on this subject exactly a year ago and you can find it here

Strength in Depth

Pompey now have such strength in some positions in their squad that on Friday night Martin Cranie played at right back for the England U21s and he was followed by Glen Johnson playing in the same position for the senior side. Add to that Richard Duffy being a regular Welsh choice at number two and Lauren playing in the same position for Arsenal through their unbeaten season we are not short in that position.

We are not happy with the transfer activity during the summer window but that is impressive for little old Pompey.


September 2nd – Mickey Ross was 37; Mickey only started two games for Pompey both being Simod Cup ties in 1988/89.

September 3rd – Archie Styles was 59, Brian Bason 53, Lee Russell 39 and John Curtis 30.

September 4th – John Beresford was 42. John signed from Barnsley for £300,000 in 1989 and was one of the best buys of that era. The Sheffield born left back played 107 games for Pompey and netted eight times. He was eventually sold to Newcastle for a healthy profit where he played twice for England B and in later life represented England at Beach Soccer! John will always be remembered for the image of him sinking to his knees after missing in the penalty shoot-out against Liverpool in 1992.

September 5th – John Armstrong was 72, Barry Cordjohn 66 and Steve Bryant 55. Bryant was a member of the side that won promotion from Division Four in 1980. Steve had a cultured left foot and was a 100% trier. Cobblers I hear someone say – well yes Bryant signed from Northampton, was sold back to Northampton and Pompey clinched promotion with Bryant at left back at Northampton!!

September 6th – Cliff Parker was born 95 years ago. 1939 Cup Final goal hero Parker was on Pompey’s books for twenty years playing his final game in April 1951 against Derby and Fratton Park. England U23 goalkeeper David Best was 65 and Malcolm Waldron 52

September 7th – marks the 121st anniversary of the birth of a true Pompey legend AE Knight. Not Alan Knight of course but Arthur Egerton Knight. Knight signed for Pompey in 1908 and soon made the first team at left back. He was capped by England and also played cricket for Hampshire. He was the Pompey captain when they gained promotion to the Football League in 1920.

But Knight is a true legend as he is the only Pompey player to win an Olympic Gold Medal. It was in 1912 when Knight was a member of the Great Britain team that beat Denmark 4-2 in the final in Stockholm.

September 8th – it will be 98 years since Fred Worrall was born. An England International right winger, Fred was the only man to play in both the 1934 and 1939 Cup Finals. Robbie Pethick will be 38.

September 9th – Chris Burns will be 41. Often maligned, Burns was snatched from the obscurity of non league football at Cheltenham by Jim Smith and went on to play in a FA Cup semi final in 1992.

September 11th – is a day that marks the date of birth Pompey two true Pompey legends. In 1922 Len Phillips was born in Shoreditch. He career was late in starting due to the war but Len played 245 games at inside forward scoring 48 goals. Len was the darling of the Pompey fans during the championship years with his deft skills and the question that has never been answered is why did Len only win three England caps?

The second great name is Johnny Gordon who was born in 1931. Gordon played 443 times and scored 106 goals in two spells at Pompey over sixteen years. Johnny spent three seasons at Birmingham City. To neatly tie up today’s column during that spell he played in the 1960 Inter Cities Fairs Cup Final against Barcelona.

That is it for this week. Keep you ideas coming in and see you soon.

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