Toast Season 2 #13 - A Tale of Two Harrys
That was the week that was!! With apologies to David Frost but that certainly describes the last seven days in Pompey history.
So we have a new manager in the strangest and saddest circumstances. Most fans agreed that Tony Adams had to be given the task to continue what he had been part of rather than face the upheaval that bringing in a new man would have caused.
Tony needs to get luck on his side because his first two games that could have provided four points ended up with none. I was impressed by Tony`s reaction to the Liverpool defeat when he said 'I don't blame Bouba for the penalty but I will work with him on what de did wrong defensively'. And Tony has always told us he had not been coaching the defence!!
And again after yesterday's defeat to Wigan Tony admitted to being angry with his side but feels they may have been trying too hard to impress him. Managing in the Premier League is no cakewalk but I believe Tony will turn it round real soon.
2nd November Harry Harris is 75 today. Welshman Harry was a 100% player who would always roll up his sleeves for the cause, even though he favoured a short sleeve shirt. Harry played for Pompey in three decades making his debut 1958 and playing thirty nine games in Pompey`s relegation season scoring a creditable thirteen goals the same as namesake Peter.
Harry was to go on to become the number five on Pompey's all time appearance list with 380 games and 48 goals and played in a variety of rolls ending his career at Centre Back. I best remember Harry for his attitude and leadership best represented by Pompey`s first home game after the 1966 World Cup win. Birmingham were the visitors under the Fratton lights and they strolled into a 5-2 lead with only a few minutes remaining. Harry decided to desert his defensive post and add his weight to the attack. Mayhem ensued in the City defence allowing Tony Barton and Albie McCann to pull two goals back, then with the final kick of the match, Harry hit the bar.
Harry was granted a testimonial with Southampton in 1970 a game that was unusually played on a Saturday as both sides were out of the FA Cup. An exciting game finished in a 2-2 draw, Harry was on the scoresheet for Pompey with a belter at the Fratton End. Harry played his final game in May 1971 against Leicester City before retiring. As 007 will no doubt remind us Harry was a fair cricketer.
Steve Piper is 55 - Steve famous for replacing namesake Norman at Lincoln in 1978. Steve was a cultured centre back cum midfield player who made his name at neighbouring Brighton. He played thirty games for Pompey and managed two goals, one of them coming in what I believe was the worst ever Pompey performance, a 5-1 home defeat by Plymouth.
3rd November Andy Myers 35 - Andy a played eight games on loan from Bradford City and the end of the 1999-00 season and became Pompey's 41st player used that season.
Pompeyrug - Most importantly our erstwhile Landlord reaches the age of 29. Happy birthday from all the Vital Pompey members.
4th November Roy Lunniss 69 - the muscular left back who came from Crystal Palace in 1963 along with Brian Lewis. A hulk of a man he was popular with fans because of his monumental tackles on Southampton winger Terry Paine which ended with Paine appearing to be scared of Roy. On the downside he did once have rings run round by Stanley Matthews - but that is no disgrace.
Roy held the record for his long throw-ins which was remarkable because he took no run up, simply bent his back and threw it. I remember one incident at the Fratton End where his throw hit the far post and Cliff Portwood netted the rebound. Roy played 69 games and managed just one goal, in 4-0 win at Plymouth in November 1963.
5th November Jack Weddle was born on this day in 1905. Harry Harris was number five on the appearance list and Jack Weddle is number six with 369 games and 173 goals, which also make him the second on the list of goal scorers behind Peter Harris.
There was a story that Weddle had come straight from the pits to the FA Cup Final in 1929, well it is not quite true but he led the attack against Bolton at Wembley. Once scored four against Southampton in the Hants Cup and hat trick in 1934 semi final against Leicester City. Jack sadly passed away in 1979.
6th November Ron Saunders 76 - a big favourite of fans in the late fifties and early sixties for his goal scoring exploits. Ron scored an amazing 145 goals in just 236 games for Pompey and is third on the all time scoring list. After retiring Saunders went on to have great career in management at Norwich, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Birmingham and West Bromwich Albion.
The won silverware galore and was in reach of the greatest ever prize the European Cup with Villa when he fell out with the board and resigned. Another Pompey legend, Tony Barton, took over and completed the task.
7th November Ken Foggo 65 - Scottish winger who came from Norwich City in 1972 after twice being voted the Canaries player of the year in the previous three seasons. He stayed three years playing 60 games scoring just three goals. He was highly regarded by then manager Ian St John
Mark Hateley 47 - a contender for most fans greatest ever eleven is going to be subject to a special Chix article for the AC Milan game in three weeks time so fans will have to wait a little to read more of our one season legend.
8th November Andy Gosney 45 - long time back up to the legend that was Alan Knight was at Pompey for 11 years and played just 48 games before moving on to Birmingham City.
And happy birthday to my daughter Amy!!
Last Sunday Toast was published before the events of the night unfolded and in the furore many of you would have missed it to catch up last week`s edition click here.
Hero to villain to hero to villain?
Well we have all been talking about only one thing this last week and now things have settled down let us close the HR book with one final chapter.
Pompey4me posted his thoughts in a thread during the week and with his agreement we use it here.
'Time is a good healer, and I'm feeling brighter and more optimistic for the future.
I'd like to go on record and thank Harry for what he did here. I've got over feeling like a jilted boyfriend now, because I've got a new man at the helm to look up to!
I had my 3 best football days ever with Harry in charge, The FA Cup Final, The first European game in Guimaraes, and the best one, the FA Cup Quarter final win at Old Trafford.
On top of that Harry, you have transformed us into an established premier league team, one which (I believe) no other Premier League team looks forward to playing. I hope Harry that you have instilled all your very best traits - Man management, motivation, tactics, eye for a player into our new boss Tony.
I don't now, or ever will like the way that you left, who you left us for, or some of the self admiring comments you have made since you went but time is a healer, and already (because I'm comfortable with where we are now) I can look back and say THANKS FOR WHAT YOU DID HERE HARRY, AT TIMES IT WAS NOTHING SHORT OF A MIRACLE!!!
You should not, and will not (given time) be forgotten, and in years to come you will certainly be a contender for greatest Pompey manager ever. I hope though that you give us the respect of staying away from our brightest stars that you brought here.
Thanks Simon, not views everybody shares but I felt they should make the front page for a wider audience partly because I agree with you. Harry had most things going for him but no sense of timing and a bad memory when it came to things he had said in the last few days, weeks etc.
Toast has always tried to prove to fans that there was life before Harry and there will certainly be life after him.
Punch and Judy Show
Well what do fans think of Fratton Park's version of the Sea-side entertainment booth? To me and others John Westwood and his pals look like they are about to receive a visit from a dog with sausages or the policeman rather than act as the fans cheerleaders.
Whose idea was it anyway?
See you next week and wait for news of the return of Challenge Dave - but in a new format