Date:Sunday September 14 2008
The Toast team were planning this week's edition when someone asked; if it were not for the War would Pompey have dominated football for longer? Let us start the great debate for the older fans running by making the point that Pompey won the cup in 1939 and by the time the league was won in 1949 and 1950 most of the team were over the hill and retired soon after. For example Len Phillips took part in the D Day landings; would he have been better storming Old Trafford for Pompey?
As with all Toast subjects let us know your views and we will publish them.
A lot of balls
Officials of Vitoria SC visited FP recently to take a look at facilities and plan their stay. UEFA regulations require these visits to exchange information, discuss arrangement and agree details about ticketing.
Needless to say our Portuguese visitors were not over impressed with stadium and its facilities. They have decided after touring the area that they will stay at either Langstone or the Marriot hotels. Their fans will be housed in one of the City's cheaper hotels. Asked for 700 tickets but will bring only 100 on the official trip but expect other fans to come under their own steam and they believe they have a number of fans living in this country.
For the game to be played in Guimaraes they have stated categorically that they will only sell tickets to those who live in Portugal and not from UK addresses. They expect Pompey to sell only to Season Ticket Holders and members although this will become clearer when details are announced.
The reciprocal visit by Pompey officials took place last week and we are attempting to get hold of any details.
The strangest request however was for 26 balls. No, Vitoria are not broke but apparently unlike the Champions League the UEFA cup is played with the home nations balls and Vitoria were keen to have some at home to practice with. No doubt after the game Pompey will be asking - can we have our balls back?
Sir Stanley Matthews
Many, many years ago we were asked whether Stanley Matthews had ever played at Fratton Park. Well we have had the answer for almost as long but for some reason we have never published the information.
A raw 19 year old Matthews first appeared for Stoke at Pompey in January 1934. He even scored a rare goal but the Potters slipped a 3-1 defeat. That was the first fourteen times that Sir Stan would play on the hallowed turf; Seven times for Blackpool and seven times for Stoke.
His final appearance came over twenty nine years after his first when at the age of 48 he was back at Stoke and heading for promotion when a 3-0 win was secured at Fratton. I was there but remember little other than a balding man with long baggy shorts running around with the ball tied to his feet. Little did he know he was watching an absolute legend. Jimmy Dickinson then a mere 38 was playing game number 670 for Pompey. Stan then played ten more games back in the top division before retiring at the age of 50.
One memory of Stanley at Fratton Park comes from a fan at the Pompey Blackpool game in 1955 when photographers insisted on getting together Stan - the oldest player in the First Division and Pat Neil - the youngest for a shot for the Sunday papers. For the record Neil scored in a 3-3 draw.
There is without doubt one record that Stanley holds in Pompey history that will never be broken. That is that no other player has longer between his first and last game at Fratton Park - 29 years 3 months and 16 days.
Birthdays is kindly sponsored by Chix T Shirts Inc.
12th September Bob Widdowson was 67, Paul Smith 55 and David Thompson 31.
Bob Widdowson was one of the many goalkeepers signed as backup when the club ran just one side. Bob came on loan from York City and played just four games in November 1969.
Paul Smith was a midfield player who made only one appearance as a sub at Swindon in 1973. Pompey won 2-1 and Peter Marinello scored the winner (one for Chix that).
David Thompson the busy midfield star of the two seasons ago moved to Bolton but has had to retire following a chronic cartilage injury that he had carried for many years. A sad end to a career that had promised so much when Sven called him into the England squad in 2002.
13th September Gary Silk 24.- Gary is now at Mansfield Town in the Blue Square premier league and has settled well into a new back four as the Stags have made a good start to the season.
14th September George Lawrence 46, Linvoy Primus 35.- Lawrence was the subject of one of Chix's recent competitions in the forum. He never started a regular league game and was use by boss Alan Ball as an impact substitute in the run to the play off in 1993. When Toast says impact it means run into the corner to waste time and fight off anyone who attempts to take the ball off you. It worked in George`s fourteen appearances as sub Pompey won twelve and drew one!!
Linvoy Primus - what can we write about Optimus as he was called on this site until recently? The Latin translation of Primus is of course the First or the Best and that says it all. The biggest roar at the cup final was when Linvoy lifted the cup and the greatest disappointment was him not being fit to make a brief appearance in the Community Shield.
Linvoy is of course currently playing happy Valleys with Martin Cranie in an attempt to get fit and should return by Christmas. Every Pompey fan wants just one real Xmas present and that is to see Linvoy make (at least) one more appearance in the famous Royal Blue shirt.
15th September John Fraser 70 - Chix set me a task when he dug up this name!! John Fraser was winger who came from Sunderland in 1960. He only played once for Pompey in a 5-1 defeat at the Dell and then he went to Margate. Not sure if it was to play football or for a holiday!!
17th September Kenneth Ames 75, Dave Taylor 68, Mike Fillery 48
Ken Ames was a centre forward who played only two games back in April 1954 before moving to Poole Town.
Dave Taylor (repeating last week`s message - no relation and not the Gen Sec of UEFA either!!) also played just two games in 1959. The Toast team we believe he may be featured in a Pompey cricket photograph taken at the time which VP member 007 has in his possession.
Mike Fillery was one of those stylish midfield players that were lovely to watch but infuriating to play with because he lacked effort. Played his last game at Oldham in September 1990 and then signed for Oldham!! Must have played well!
18th September Sol Campbell 34 - How apt is it that on the day Pompey enter European competition for the very first time our captain celebrates his birthday.
19th September Ognjen Koroman 30, Chris Tardif 29. Koroman spent two spells on loan from Russian Club Terek Grosny without winning a contract. He is best remembered for scoring the final goal of the 'Great Escape' season against Liverpool.
Channel Islander Tardif is currently standing between the sticks at Nyewood Lane; home of Conference South side Bognor Regis Town.
20th September Billy Eames 51, Michalis Vlachos 41, Roy Pack 62, Stefani Miglioranzi 31 and Sean Davis 29.
Eames a Leigh Park teenager once scored the first goal at Fratton Park for three months with a fluke of a winner against Carlisle in January 1976. It came after 505 barren minutes a record that stood until last season. It was Eames' only league for Pompey.
Greek defender Michalis Vlachos is now managing in Greek football.
Roy Pack fullback of the 60's surfaced in 1997 as a director at Bournemouth.
Stefani Miglioranzi after a short career with Pompey moved to Swindon and spent four successful seasons there. The Brazilian born American then returned home and joined LA Galaxy before being traded to Columbus Crew where we believe he still is. Checking Pompey links with the Crew we discover that Youth Coach Ian Woan was there in 2001.
Date 5th July 2008; Venue Houston Reliant Stadium; now we hear you ask what has that to do with Pompey?
Well in the height of the English summer we find a famous Pompey player taking part in a rather strange competition - the Free-Kick Masters. It is England goalkeeper David James and he took an untypical summer break in the USA. The competition was planned to feature some the world`s great players and has a prize for $1,000,000 for the best player and a $500,000 prize as the best goalkeeper.
The players include Ronaldinho, Julio Baptista, Robert Pires and our very own Sulley Muntari, Francesco Toldo joins Jamo amongst the Aunt Sallys. There were a number of last minute withdrawals that rather undervalued the event including Messi, Torres, Deco and Podolski. Unfortunately Toast's research was hampered by the fact that the event was only covered on pay TV but one thing we do know was Jamo walked off with the cash after keeping out all of Ronaldinho`s shots!!
The main prize was scooped by Rafael Marquez of Barcelona.
Well that is another Toast done. Time to start getting ready for the big one on Thursday. Please write me with idea either PM or ask for my email address.
Date:Sunday September 14 2008
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