Date: 23rd May 2009 at 9:03pm
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We all enjoyed the second half on Monday night and it meant the season signed off with smiles on the faces of most fans after a traumatic nine months.

Strange trip to a game #2

Thanks go to tracyc for allowing us to share this story which she wrote last year before the semi final with West Brom.

It was towards the end of the 1987-88 season. Alan Ball’s Pompey were pushing for promotion to Division 1. I was a modern languages student on my ‘sandwich’ year, and was staying in Mainz, Germany. But through the ancient technology of the day, i.e. the BBC world service and the availability of English newspapers, I was still in touch with all things Pompey.

I can’t tell you the exact date now, I think it was a mid-week game but I’m not even sure of that now. But what I do know is that if Pompey won their match at West Brom and another result or 2 went their way, they’d be promoted.

I couldn’t bear to miss it. Missing it was not an option. I had to go. So I got the train to Frankfurt airport. I paid a small fortune (especially for a student) for an air ticket to Heathrow. (I think it was about £300). Then I got on a train to Birmingham.

I had no real idea exactly where West Brom’s ground was in relation to central Birmingham. I bought a cup of tea and some chips in the main shopping centre, the Bull Ring, then asked directions to the bus station. When I got to the bus station, I asked again. It seems I was in the wrong bus station, for the wrong bus company. I will never forget the kindness of the man who walked with me to the correct bus station, and due to him, I managed to catch a bus out into the suburbs to the Hawthorns.

Amazingly, as I approached the away end and the turnstiles (very few matches were all ticket in those days) I saw one of my friends just going through, they’d just got off the supporter’s coach. I hadn’t actually told anybody, my friends, my parents, anybody that I was going. So they were a little surprised to see me, to say the least.

Of course, typical Pompey (of back then, anyway) they lost the match and didn’t go up that day. They did go up later that season and it happened when Shrewsbury won a midweek game, when we weren’t playing, meaning their opponents (Oldham) couldn’t catch us.

I was able to get a seat on a supporters coach back to Pompey and then rang my Mum when I got to Cosham, to say ‘guess where I am’.

So now you all know how completely barking mad I am.

Thanks Tracy for allowing us to share your story. The date was actually 29th April 1987 and Pompey were awful that day (was it worth the trip?) as they were the next week at Crystal Palace when a massive Bank Holiday following travelled up the A3.

I was at the Hawthorns that night Tracy, don`t remember seeing you!! I also remember we travelled through an enormous hail storm on the M6 around Birmingham.

Gandor tried to explain her trip to Cardiff which she mentioned in the comments recently. Sadly her memory of events is only sketchy so plans to publish have had to be scrapped.

Al Fresco

Well encouraged by the sign in a Chichester shop window ‘GO AL FRESCO` our summer time reporter has been woken from his winter slumbers and is ready to take Toast through the long hot summer months. At the moment it looks like Toast will appear once a fortnight with all the regular features and hopefully some input from you the members.

Anyone who fancies having a go at writing Toast for a week is more than welcome we will of course do all we can to help but perhaps not quite as far as sneakay who said ‘you tell me what to write and I will write it`. Chris when you have finished your studies give it a go, it is easy you know. Just 1500 words a week and ?. Well whatever you like really.

We would like to hear your worst Pompey XI or perhaps your first game even maybe an unusual or eventful trip to a game. We hope to pick up more news from pentonpompey on the adoption of Fort William FC – incidentally their season has just finished and they only managed one draw all season losing the other twenty seven games.

Tickets for their annual dinner dance at the Alexandra Hotel are on sale price £25. The date of course bearing in mind the possible American link is July 4th.

North Stand

The North Stand will be shut on Monday at the Kanu game for ‘refurbishment work’ on the stand. Well the Toast team wondered what that meant and we have discovered that the major improvement that will be noticed by fans is more seats.

Those who use the old North Stand will know that there are a number double gangways which have been formed after previous alterations. These will be narrowed to the normal width and extra seats added. In addition some other old exits will be removed also to allow additional seating. All in all about 150 extra seats will be installed and of course all safety rules will be followed.

Paint dry?

As I passed the queue outside the Ladies Toilet under the North Stand at half time on Monday night I heard a voice say ‘that was like watching paint dry, hope it gets better`. Then to my surprise I read the next day that Paul Hart said ‘I thought the first half was poor. It was like watching paint dry to be honest.`

Paul certainly gets his quotes from unusual places!


24th May

Lucien Aubey is 25 and playing for Rennes in France.

Martyn Busby is 56 Read Chix`s biography of Martyn here

25th May

Ron Davies will be 67

Lindy Delaphena will be 82. He was the first Jamaican to play professional football in England. Until recently Lindy was still broadcasting on Jamaican radio.

27th May

Lee Sharpe will be 38

30th May

Konstantinos Chalkias will be 35. Kostas has recently taken over as Greece’s number one keeper.

Jim Standen will be 74 another goalkeeper who won a championship medal in County Cricket.


The name of Linvoy Primus has been on the lips of every Pompey fan all week after his cameo appearance against Sunderland on Monday. It bought tears to the eyes of even the hardiest fan with reception he got and the humility of the man.

Hammersmithblue has suggested that fans should support him in his move to get an honour (MBE etc) for Linvoy for his services to the community and needs letters of support to back his nomination. The Toast team gives you a few pointers that may help you with those letters.

Linvoy has a charity Faith and Football that s based in Portsmouth which gives children in poorer areas the chance to play football. It’s a Christian charity, but the aim is not to preach. Linvoy, who found his own faith as an adult, is keen to use his footballing skills to help young people.

Linvoy himself has taken a great deal of time to raise monies for the charity by walking the Great Wall of China and would have joined other missions had it not been for his recent injury problems. He has also visited other countries to spread his message including a trip to Nigeria.

There is now a football team called Heartlands FC formed of boys from Landport and Buckland as a result of the project. Linvoy purchased the kit for the team personally.

If you want to help Hammersmithblue send him a PM in the forum. As one paper wrote in the week ‘Every Linvoy Primus touch is being cheered louder than anything they’ll have heard at Portsmouth all season long. Cult hero doesn’t even begin to do this justice`.


Congratulations to Gillingham boss Mark Stimson on winning the Division two play off final at Wembley. He has had great success in non league games at the National Stadium and repays the faith in the club for sticking with him after relegation last year.

So the success of ex Pompey players managing at Wembley continues.

See you next week with the Toast awards special.


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