Date: 15th August 2009 at 6:50pm
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But of course we will need lady luck to shine on us rather more than she did yesterday as a Fluke goal consigned us to an opening day defeat. The performance was strange and subdued but far from the worst we have seen. The most worrying statistic was the crowd of just 17,510.

All the old features this season

? My first game
? Strangest trip to a match
? My worst XI
? Teasers

Come on, send them in and I will publish them – accept no copies which tend to turn up from time to time.

When was the last time an England squad was named without one Pompey player?

Sent to Coventry

The sale of Martin Cranie to Coventry came as a bit of surprise to most fans but Toast believes it is because the club see James Hurst as a better prospect? There will be a big sell on clause in the Cranie contract in case he comes good later in his career.

Hurst of course joined for West Brom and played a part in the Guimaraes tournament

New Sponsor announced

Mercedez Benz, the top selling make of car in Monaco, have joined Pompey sponsors list. Mercedes-Benz of Portsmouth has joined Pompey as the club`s new official car partner.

The deal will see the Mercedes-Benz brand promoted throughout the club including on the LED advertising perimeter, in the match programme and on the club`s official website, as well as in e-campaigns to the database and at car launches. Yes, they will be writing to you soon with the latest offers.

Well we will all have one of them please. Although not exactly a product which will appeal to the pocket of the average fan!! What about Dr SAF`s Lamborghini? Will they be next on board?

So we have just heard it is who are giving fans free bets to the value of £200. Now why couldn`t Mercedes do that?


We have been through the list now so they will be brief unless something of interest has occurred. Remember to click the name for the link to view the Pompeyrama stats on the player.

17th August

Marc Wilson is 22 – this could be a very exciting season for the United youth team reject.

Peter Price is 60

18th August

Mark Burchill is 29

Martin Allen is 44

John Durnin is 44

Keith James is 48

How how many of you knew Martin ‘Mad dog` Allen and Johnny ‘lager` Durnin were twins? Well they did play quite a few games together.

Martin is of course part of the large Allen clan many of who have played league football – Dennis, Les, Clive, Bradley and Paul. He is now managing Cheltenham Town a club managed in the past by his late father Dennis.

20th August

Steve Stone is 38

Phil Figgins is 44

21st August

Paul Ritchie is 34 – large heard of playing in the US of A in the summer.

Hamilton Thorp is 36 – a player who regularly appears in the Worst XI of Pompey fans.

22nd August

Robbie Enes is 34 – both Robbie and Hamilton Thorp joined Pompey on the same day in June 1997 – now that was a memorable day in the history of the club.

Jack Mansell is 82 – Mansell was a full back who played 130 plus games in the mid 50`s. He also won two caps for England at B level.

On this day

Toast looks back at things that happened on or around this date in the years gone by. This week the chosen years all show good starts to the season with different end results.

10 years ago – 14th August 1999 – new £1m signing Rory Allen scored his first goal in a 1-1 draw at Wolves as Pompey started the season with five undefeated games. But things were not what they seemed, Allen scored only three goals for Pompey before disappearing to a beach in Australia and in game six that season Pompey were hit for six at Barnsley.

15 years ago – 13th August 1994 – saw a late Kit Symons winner give Pompey an opening day start against visitors Notts County. That was to begin a run of six unbeaten before Port Vale left Fratton with all three points.

25 years ago – 25th August 1984 – a late start to the season and Alan Biley left it late to score the only goal in a 1-0 home win over Middlesbrough. That also started an unbeaten run which lasted until game eleven when in farcical circumstances and conditions Pompey lost 3-2 at Wimbledon`s Plough Lane. Who will ever forget the Noel Blake own goal scored with no home player touching the ball.

With all the new players arriving Toast will do its best to let you know something about them all in the weeks to come but at present with so much going on you may have to wait patiently.

Getting in over the wall

Well yesterday the Vital Pompey editorial team had a ‘working lunch` at Fratton Park – more about that elsewhere – and then a seat in the South Stand. That reminded me that the only other time I got into the ground without paying was in a pre-season friendly in the late 1960`s and the opposition was ?..Fulham.

Former Fulham Secretary Johnny Price was working with me and he took me along to game. Met the Fulham team in the changing room and then we sat in the Director`s Box – even had a cup of tea in boardroom at half-time.

Come on Toasters some of you must have memories of not paying to watch Pompey. We will feature them in our new occasional series called ‘Over the wall`.

Small world

Over in the Teplice in the Czech Republic on Wednesday there was an international with Belgium. That is of little interest to Pompey fans of course but no, not only did ex favourite Milan Baros score a penalty but future signing, Anthony Vanden Borre, played a full 90 minutes for Belgium.

The Czech Republic ran out 3-1 winners but the game delayed Borre`s signing and the international clearance for him to play yesterday failed to come through due to the Italian FA being on holiday!!

What country was Anthony born in?

Deadline day

The transfer deadline day will now be 1st September at the FA does not work Bank Holidays – prepare for manic Tuesday!!

Sack race

Hughes the favourite at 9/2 with our Paul at 5/1. Place you bets, how about an outsider having a bad start? Like the Spurs manager.


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