Date: 24th August 2008 at 9:51am
Written by:

Last week Toast wrote three memos and only one received any real reaction, so we must respond again on behalf of Vital Pompey members and indeed Pompey fans everywhere.

Memo to the FA #2

We wrote to you last week about the mess the FA was in over the history details of it’s own competitions and we were thinking of offering our help in putting matters right.

However we must thank the FA for acting so quickly to resolve the situation but feel you may have slightly overreacted. The decision to terminate the contract of the Chief Executive Brain Barwick, whilst welcome seems rather extreme. We would have suggested that you simply discipline the FA Historian.

The football press seems to have received the news well but surprisingly we have received no credit for your actions. Perhaps you could put that right in the near future?

Substitutes 0,1,2,3,5,7

Last week the first Premier League teamsheets were handed to referees an hour before kick off and they were longer than ever as clubs can now name SEVEN extra players.

Substitutes were first allowed in England in 1965/66; but only one and players had to be injured to be replaced. Pompey were at home to Plymouth Argyle that day and their first chosen number twelve was Tony Barton, the next week the choice was Bobby Campbell. Strange that both should go on to become famous managers.

Interestingly Plymouth had no sub on the first day because of injury and lost heavily by four goals to one – Brian Lewis having a penalty saved by Argyle keeper Noel Dwyer. Dwyer who sadly died when only 59 in 1993 was making his debut for the Pilgrims. The Plymouth side also included Mike Trebilcock, Nicky Jennings and Norman Piper.

Barton was the first sub to be used when he came on when young centre half Vince Radcliffe broke his leg at the Dell in August 1965. Radcliffe never really recovered from the injury and disappeared from the game two years later. For the record the game finished 2-2.

Also for the records Keith Peacock of Charlton Athletic was the first sub used when he replaced goalkeeper Mike Rose at Burnden Park, Bolton. Diminutive Keith spent his entire career at Charlton and then managed Gillingham and Maidstone before becoming Alan Curbishley’s number two at Charlton and West Ham.

Tactical subs were first allowed in 1967 and then manager George Smith was not a great believer in the system only using five during the whole season. One of those, Mick Travers on for the injured Nicky Jennings became the Pompey sub to score in the 3-1 win over Blackpool.

It was not until 1986 that two subs were allowed and in 1987 John Kerr became the first substitute to be himself subbed at Watford.

The number allowed became three in 1996 and Pompey used all three allowed in a 4-2 win over Southend. The trio were Andy Awford, Deon Burton and Sammy Igoe


Time to look at the second half of August this week and we find –

17th August – Peter Price was 59, Keith James 47
18th August – John Durnin 43, Mark Burchill 28, Phil Figgins 53
20th August – Brett Angell 40, Steve Stone 37
21st August – Hamilton Thorp 35,
22nd August – Jack Mansell 81, Robbie Enes 33
23rd August – Mick Travers 66, Graham Horn 54, Glen Johnson 24
24th August – Kenny Todd 51
26th August – Peter Shearing 70
30th August – Svetoslav Todorov 30

We have already mentioned substitutes so it is fitting that the Pompey player who for a spell was always the man on the bench should be in the list. That man was Mick Travers, a left sided midfield player signed from Reading in 1967. He played 85 times for Pompey scoring 6 goals but that tells only half the story as he had over 50 appearances sat on the subs bench! Fans at the time would jokingly when trying to guess the team start ‘Sub Mickey Travers’. I still remember two of Mickey’s goals one a header from outside the box at Millwall and the other in the top of the table clash with Blackpool in December 1967. That game was watched by the largest league crowd in the last 50 years at Fratton (35,308).

Strangely FP Dec 16th 1972 posted his worst eleven on the comments after last season’s Toast #12. They included Travers, Robbie Enes and Peter Price! Let’s remind you of what he said ‘CM Mick Travers – 70’s carthorse of midfielder, LM Robbie Enes – one of Venables Ozzie buys – hopeless, CF Peter Price – couldn’t make jump from Div 4 to Div 2 in early 70’s – big disappointment’

Peter Price, a Welsh U21 International, had come from Peterborough with a big reputation and a big fee but illness and then lack of quality meant he only scored twice in 14 games both away from home. He had been dropped from the side before the calendar clicked to the never to be forgotten December 16th 1972!!

Jack Mansell was probably better remembered as a manager than a player. He joined from Cardiff in 1953 and before retiring played 134 games with seven goals – not bad for a left back you might say but four of them were in his final few games at inside forward. Mansell, not to be confused with namesake Barry, also a left back, after he retired coached at Sheffield Wednesday and then managed Rotherham United, Reading, where he brought back the blue and white hoops, Israel and Maccabi Haifa.

It is not widely known but Jack won International honours while at Fratton. He twice played for England ‘B’ at left back; firstly in Ljubljana against Yugoslavia and then at the Dell against Switzerland. A number of Pompey players featured in those games and Toast was planning a special on England B Internationals in the Fifties’ but then woke up!!

Toast expects members will want to add their own memories of one or two others on the birthday list in the comments below.

Was I Mad?

Date 17th October 1959; I have lived in Portsmouth for just nine months and everyone tells me that the local team Pompey are rubbish and they always lose. So I decide to look at their recent record; it shows me that in the last twenty nine games stretching back to the start of the year, they have won just one, drawn five and lost the other twenty three. In that time they have scored 35 goals but conceded 76. They are right when they say Pompey always lose.

They had gone 16 homes games without a win – the run had stretched for eleven months back to November 1958!! When my father said to me ‘would you like to go and watch Pompey this afternoon?’ I thought what did I do? Quickly I ran and hid, this sounded like the worst possible form of punishment for an eight year old. They had LOST their last NINE games!!

However I was found and dragged screaming to take the ‘C’ bus to St Mary’s Road and then the walk to Fratton Park. We stood at the back of the old Fratton End kicking the metal doors to make a din. The crowd poured in; why I thought would people want to watch a team that never win? The opponents were naval rivals Plymouth Argyle and they had not visited Pompey since 1923 – thirty six years! Over 20,000 were present and Pompey ran out 1-0 winners with Ron Newman scoring the goal.

I remember nothing of the game but looking at the teams I am sorry I missed seeing Peter Harris play, he was injured and would play only two more games before retiring.

Yes I went to Fratton Park and watched Pompey play, was I mad??

Toast wants to make this a regular feature – my First Game. Let me know your first game and memories and Toast will do the rest.


This edition of your favourite Sunday read has been full of coincidences. Firstly we talk about Mickey Travers being the first substitute to score for Pompey and then he turns up in birthdays – a player we have never written about before too. Then eastneydave remembers his first game against Plymouth, which was a rare win; the next win against Argyle at Fratton was, yes you’ve guessed it, the first game with substitutes allowed.

Strange but true and certainly not planned.

Keep those ideas coming. We need some more ‘My Worst XI’s’, ‘Where are they now’s? ‘ and ‘My First game’ so come on lets be having you. See you next week.


Written by eastneydave.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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6 Replies to “Toast Season 2 Number 3”

  • another crackin’ read sunday – a highlight of each sunday… now i must go and have some toast, altho it’ll probably be cereal…

  • Crumbs on my shirt as usual .. A great read as always Dave.. Loved the memo to the FA at the top .. really made me laugh… I would hvae loved to have seen Peter Harris play too.. for me he never really gets the credit as a Pompey Great like he should… forget any of the present bunch (maybe except Linvoy) He really was a great player and Pompey through and through.. Phil Figgins is in the birthday list … I remember having a picture of the three keepers all diving for the same ball (I had it autograph.. It contained Figgins, Horn and Best I think (or did it include a young Alan Knight ?? ) the only one I really remember wa Phil Figgins as I went to school with his nephew David.. Nice bloke lived in Kenyon Road !

  • Is Burchill still only 28? Had high hopes for him, tripped over Prosinecki at Fareham training ground and bust his knee if I remember

  • Great stuff Dave. Some great names on the birthday front from recent years. The likes of Durnin, Toddy & Steve Stone. We wouldn’t be here now without their great efforts.

  • Burchill 28 !.. yeah that’s one I checked twice before giving Dave the list.. it doesn’t seem right does it .. seems an age away when he was playing for us …. Burchill is now playing for Rotherham

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