Date: 14th March 2009 at 5:32pm
Written by:

Well Pompey are home from their holiday in Dubai – sorry warm weather training but that did not leave the habit of conceding last minute goals in the middle east.

We weren`t in Dubai last week, we just turned the central heating up to gain the effect!! Sorry if we fooled a few of you, it was not intentional, we even got an email from a fan in Qatar who said pop in!!

Don`t believe all you read in Toast – we are here to put a smile on your face in whatever way it takes.


15th March Harry Abbot was born in 1895,

Gianluca Festa is 40; Festa was a key member of the promotion side of 2002/03 and he is still playing as far as we know.

He decided against staying for the first campaign in the Premier league and returned to his native Sardinia to play for his old club Cagliari. To complete a unique double in his first season there they claimed promotion to Serie A. Luca again decided to move on and has been doing the rounds of other Sardinian clubs in Serie C and D at Nuorese, where he won two promotion in successive seasons, Tavolara and Sanluri.

Promotion is something all players dream of but at the end of your career to win four promotions in consecutive seasons at three different clubs is quite a feat and shows the mettle of the man who is Gianluca Festa – and those boots!!

Games 27 – Goals 1 (the opener in his farewell game at Bradford City!)

16th March – Frederick Cook Born 1880

17th March – Willie Cooper Born 1890

18th March – Harry Middleton 72; – Birmingham born Harry holds a Pompey record which I bet few of you know. Signed from Scunthorpe United by George Smith in 1961 before the successful Third Division campaign. Harry started in attack with Ron Saunders and scored five goals in the seventeen league games he played.

However it was in the League Cup that Harry has his record. Pompey progressed to the second round with a win over Barrow at Holker Street by 2-0 with goals from Harry and Sammy Chapman. The second round draw pitted Pompey with Derby County at Fratton Park. The game finished 1-1, Johnny Gordon scoring the goals.

The replay at the Baseball Ground was to be a different occasion as Pompey ran out 4-2 winners with Harry Middleton scoring all four goals! He became the first Pompey player to score a hat-trick in the League Cup and only player to score four. In fact in a total of twenty one games for Pompey Harry scored ten goals. He lost his place however to new signing Keith Blackburn and eventually moved on to Shrewsbury Town, Mansfield and eventually Walsall. Harry scored goals wherever he went but never settled at one club for long.

19th March – Roy Summersby 74, Roy was an inside forward signed from Crystal Palace in 1963. He played eleven games that next season covering for either Johnny Gordon or Albie McCann and managed just one goal – in a 2-1 win over Cardiff City at Ninian Park. Roy was to play only one more game the next season – also at Cardiff, only this time Pompey last by the only goal.

Like a number of players at that time he moved on to Chelmsford City who at the time were a leading non league side. Not sure what was the attraction with the Essex club but Mike Barnard, Johnny Gordon and Alex Wilson moved there.

Roy Smith 73, was another player who played for Pompey in the early sixties and he too was after the place in the team held by Ron Saunders.

Roy came from Hereford and played four games in the 1961/62 Third Division championship season including the last two goals of the campaign in a 2-2 draw with Lincoln City at Sincil Bank. The next year he only managed six league games and that included a goal in his final Pompey outing at Sunderland. Roy also managed League Cup goals scoring two in a 5-1 romp at Brighton – not to be outdone, Ron Saunders scored the second Pompey hat-trick in the competition that night. Roy emigrated to Australia soon afterwards.

Smith is of course the most common surname in the country but only four players with that name have played for Pompey since the war. They have amassed only 156 league game scoring just seven goals between them.

Tony Priscott 68, – Tony was yet another early sixties player. He rose through the junior ranks and made his Pompey debut on the right wing in the final game of the 1959/60 season at Charlton. Tony would never remember that debut with relish as Pompey lost 6-1!!

The next season it appeared that young Tony would take over the shirt vacated in 1959 by the great Peter Harris but Pompey were relegated and George Smith rang the changes bringing in new wingers Dave Dodson and Tony Barton. Tony then moved to Aldershot where he made his name with 70 goals in 280 appearances during the sixties. Tony was born in Eastleigh and strangely played all his league football for Hampshire clubs. He had a short spell at Bournemouth in between two spells at Aldershot; yes Bournemouth was in Hampshire in those days!!

Tony managed six goals for Pompey in thirty five starts and managed to score on his return to the Valley against Charlton – problem was Pompey last 7-4 this time. Tony is now a Christian Minister.

Scott Wilson 32 – Defender who came on loan from Glasgow Rangers in Spring 2002. Played just five games and never finished on the winning side

20th March – Harry Lunn 84,

Brian Bromley 63 – Brian arrived from Bolton Wanderers for £25,000 in 1968 by manager George Smith to replace the departed Bobby Kellard. Kellard had left in the summer and Pompey had struggled with utility man Mick Travers playing in the middle. Bromley had played over 160 games for the Trotters and although only twenty two was an experienced campaigner.

Pompey improved with Brian in the team and results began to pick up starting with a debut win over Aston Villa at home. In total he made 89 appearances for Pompey scoring three goals – one in each of his three seasons. Moved on to Brighton in 1972.

Peter Ellis 53, to read a previous item on Peter Click here

Dave Beasant 50 – much travelled goalkeeper who stopped off at Fratton Park for the 2001/02 season. Made 27 appearances before moving along the coast to Brighton. Was 43 when he played his last Pompey game making him of the club oldest players.

Paul Merson 41;

21st March Tom Cope Born 1882

Well Rug and Chix that is a few new biographies written! Probably some you knew nothing about too.

Caption competition

We went to judge the caption competition and found that too few of you have entered to make judging viable. Please let us have your witty remarks about what Paul and Chix are saying to the MOTD2 cameras.

You will find the pictures here

Book club

We at Vital Pompey are embarking on a number of major projects at the present and you will hear more about them in the weeks to come.

In the forums recently a number of members have been trying to locate a DVD of the promotion season back in 2002/03 without much success. Do you know whether one was produced?

The project linking from this is to attempt to try and produce an exhaustive list of all Pompey DVDs and books ever published. We of course need your help to do this. If you as members have any Pompey books or DVDs please let us know especially if they are old ones. Do not worry if they are no longer in print as the list will help other members try and track them down in second hand bookshops etc. around the world.

When supplying information the name and catalogue number of DVDs will be essential. For books the name, author, publisher and ISBN will also help any trace. For the uninitiated the ISBN is the International Standard Book Number and is normally found on the pages inside the front cover. It was a 10 digit number from 1970 until January 2007 and is now 13 digits.

So if you have any Pompey books in the cupboard – they should have pride of place on the bookshelf – or DVDs / Videos stashed away then let us have the details please. The thread to enter them is here.

New Design

One last snippet, we have heard it on the grapevine that the new design for Vital Football is due out very soon. Watch this space!!

See you all next week.


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