Date: 16th July 2011 at 12:42pm
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Welcome to a very special edition of Sunday Toast where we bring you a real exclusive. More of that later.

So Pompey ended up with the usual result against Chelsea yesterday and but for a missed penalty (again) could have got a draw for their efforts. THe Luke Varney effort was brilliantly saved by Hilario but should he have been on the pitch after bringing down Pompey’s new striker? The excellent crowd of 19,345 will certainly swell the coffers though.

Pompey move the goalposts

For those that don’t read this column regularly you will not know that Pompey have a new groundsman – unfortunately as yet I do not have his name but I do know that he has worked previously with manager Steve Cotterill.

Recently when working on the Fratton Park pitch he noticed that there was something wrong with the shape particularly at the Milton End. This resulted in it being necessary to move the goalposts!! Those whose seats looked along the goal line (as mine did a few seasons back will notice that they no longer do.

Those at the Chelsea game will have noticed other improvements to the stadium since CSI took over on 1st June. They include all the seats have been cleaned by the stewards – back breaking stuff apparently, attempts have been made to get hot water to all the toilets, the directors car park has been resurfaced (not that many will have noticed) and many others.

However when the pitch was inspected earlier in the week it still had some bald patches but I have no doubt they will get urgent attention – remember the groundstaff have to look after the training ground too and that has just been re-laid and is twenty miles away.

Rumours are now rife around the city that CSI are in discussion with former owner Sacha Gaydamak over the parcels of land he still owns. That would seem to make sense.

A new Pompey shop to open under the new turquoise building in Goldsmith Avenue the name of which escapes me – signs on the window simply say Opening Soon!

Thanks Lucius!

Farewell to Lucius Peart most fans will stay but was he pushed or did he jump? We will probably never know but there is no doubt that he was intensely popular with Pompey fans and always did his best to help them as we have reported on more than one occasion in the past.

He will be missed but I am told that he will be replaced by a CSI man with much marketing experience.

The Real Legend

Of course Alan Knight has for many years now carried that tag but in my mind the only true Pompey legend was Jimmy Dickinson MBE.

One of our Vital Pompey members, dedmans, has sent us some never seen before photographs of the man who was a very good friend of his late father. He was passed these fantastic pictures by his mother and has asked us to share them with you the fans.

The first is of Jim and his wife Ann. Jim, then 26, an established England International first met Ann in the summer of 1951 whilst attending a tennis match with some other Pompey players at the Seacourt Club on Hayling Island. She originated from Singapore was on a six month holiday in England with her parents and although on vacation she was working at Blake Maternity Home in Gosport as part of her Nursing and Midwifery training.

They married in June 1955 at the village church in Chawton, Alton with dedmans father as best man, although Peter Jeffs book ‘Gentleman Jim` does mention that Reg Flewin carried the ring in his pocket.

You will notice in the picture is holding glove in his right hand and yes it is only one. The story is that when groom and best man arrived at the church they discovered they only had one pair of gloves between and they belonged to the best man. They decided that the best impression would created by them carrying one each!!

The couple honeymooned in the West Country and then set up home in Alton in a house that Ann still lives in today. Apparently, Ann’s first major challenges were to get Jim to help with the housework and ‘slowly’ introduce him to Malaysian cooking.

Dedmans ells me that Ann is still alive and we believe well today. In the marriage it was Ann who wore the trousers which she readily admits to. The couple in fact were absolute opposites with Jim shy and retiring whereas Ann was described as forthright.

Dedmans mother told him of a time when Jim was visiting his dad and chatting to an umpire in the kitchen when Ann came in and asked ‘where are you?’ His dad introduced the gentleman to Ann in front of Jim and Ann simply retorted ‘So what?’

Picture number two shows Jim in his England blazer with his 1955 Ford Popular. Jim became the first player at Fratton Park to be given a car. This permission was granted because of the travel involved from his hometown of Alton to Portsmouth. The logbook players possessed at the start of the season clearly stated they weren`t allowed to drive a car, but being who he was, along with his day to day journey Jimmy was an exception.

Ray Crawford tells the story “Jimmy used to bring his own sandwiches into work. He would go into the Pompey pub on the corner, have his sandwiches, half a lager then go back to his office and do his job.” Presumably that would be when Jim was playing and working in the office in the late 1950s.

The third photo is of Jim and dedmans’ father in their cricket kit. He believes the picture was taken at a charity match played at a school in Basingstoke. They would have being playing for the Maniacs who were involved in raising funds for the ‘Guy Jewell’ memorial Pavilion.

As we have said these two were great friends and one of dedmans prized possessions is a watch that Jim gave his dad after returning from playing in the World Cup in Switzerland in 1954. It is a 17 jewel Modena and no longer works but his father got it engraved on the back. The inscription show how proud his father was of how his boyhood pal had become a great.

Here’s a nice touch too as dedmans` father is mentioned as a ‘close friend’ of Jim’s in the book Pompey’s Gentleman Jim.

Once again many thanks to dedmans for the pictures of Jim and his help in that piece.

Game of three halves

Yes that is what FIFA are contemplating for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022. Three thirty minute periods in an attempt to combat the conditions. Who said it was a silly decision to play it in the Gulf state? Of course they have not thought yet of all the problems this would cause like which way will the teams kick in third half?