Toast Season 2 # 16 - Milan are coming!
Quick question first. Were the visiting fans yesterday singing 'we are dull'? Sounded like it to me!!
So much going on and so many things to cover and so little time. This is a massive week in the history of Portsmouth Football Club with what could be probably be the biggest game for many a year. The visit of AC Milan will put the club in the world spotlight because believe me Italian football is covered in a way you would not believe.
More of that later lets wish a few ex-players Happy Birthday!!
23rd November Tony Fenton is 29 today. Tony came from Manchester City and made one appearance as a substitute at Ipswich in 2000 before going to Colwyn Bay - may have been on holiday but that is what my records tell me.
24th November Clive Whitehead will be 53 - Clive joined in the summer of 1987 from West Brom. He played in a variety of positions in his two seasons playing 65 games with two goals - one against Southampton at the Fratton End - only the Yak has scored there against them at that end in 30+ years.
Gavin Maguire 41 - Gavin played ninety one games for Pompey after signing from QPR in 1988. He would be best described as a hard man for his uncompromising tackles and fiery nature which certainly left its mark on many an opponent.
25th November Bert Powell was born in 1880. Bert was a journeyman player who visited an amazing sixteen clubs in his career. The only record I can find of him was scoring the winner for Barnsley against Bury in the FA Cup. That was considered a giant killing in those days as was Pompey's replay win at Manchester United a few weeks before when Bill 'Sunny Jim' Kirby and John Hunter scored the goals.
26th November John Ruggiero 54 tall stylish midfield player came on loan from Brighton in 1977 playing six games and scoring once. His goal came in a game packed with Pompey legends as in the 2-2 draw with Cambridge United, Alan Biley scored twice for the visitors and Dave Kemp score the other Pompey goal.
Peter Denyer 51 - youth product played 131 games netting 15 times. Peter was a tall midfield player who was used in defence and once as a striker. Peter in fact featured in the game mentioned above with Cambridge but the game I remember was when he played as a striker.
Rotherham were the visitors to the Park and flying high they were in Division Three. Pompey meanwhile were struggling to avoid the drop and goals had dried up. Manager Ian St John made a strange decision to partner Dave Kemp with Denyer in attack and in the April sunshine the crowd were in for a shock. Denyer scored twice and Kemp netted his only Pompey hat-trick as the Millers were thrashed 5-1. St John was sacked three weeks later and replaced by Jimmy Dickinson. Peter then moved on to Northampton Town.
David Lee 39 - Central defender played five games on loan from Chelsea in 1994/95.
27th November Mark Kelly 39 - was dubbed the new George Best by Alan Ball but it never happened. Made his Pompey debut on the last day of the 1987/88 season at Manchester United as Pompey waved farewell to the top flight after a very short stay. Mark made forty nine appearances for Pompey a lot of these as substitute before a serious knee injury ended his career. Had a trial at Spurs years later to no avail. The nearest he got to being George was his Old Trafford debut.
Matt Taylor 27- modern day hero who still has a place in the heart of all Pompey fans. Signed from Luton in 2002 for £400,000, decided by arbitration, Matt was a key part of the squad that took Pompey to the Premier League and beyond. Now plying his trade at Bolton, if Matt was a more natural defender he would undoubtedly have won England caps to add to his Under 21 haul. Has also become a much respected media man on Setanta Sports and elsewhere. Pompey career of 179 games and 23 memorable goals.
28th November Reg Flewin was born on this day in 1920 and died earlier this year. Because fans were disappointed by the clubs obituary the Toast team have been working on correcting the situation and the full version will appear in a Toast special on Friday morning. We hope you will not be disappointed!!
Mike Channon 60 - Mike of course is best known for his time spent 'up the road' but was popular with the Pompey fans when he moved from Norwich at the end of his career. Alan Ball bought to Fratton Park in 1985 as he sought the missing link in his side that would secure promotion. Mike managed just six goals in that one season playing 34 games. Pompey won every game in which Mike scored.
Trevor Senior 47 - super striker who could not score goals for Pompey but was prolific wherever he went. Trevor signed for Pompey from Dorchester Town in 1981 (his place in the Magpies (Dorchester's nickname) side going to Derek Showers) but his chances were limited to just eleven starts and two goals. Strangely those two goals came in April 1982 as a substitute at Fratton and the visitors were Reading. The next year Reading signed Senior and he became a Royals legend scoring 153 goals in 301 games in two spells at Elm Park.
29th November Sep Rutherford was born in 1907. Sep of course is the only Pompey player to score at Wembley and finish on the losing side, doing so against Manchester City in 1934. The goal came after 28 minutes when City's keeper Frank Swift failed to hold a shot and it squirmed into the net - the game remember was played in a thunderstorm.
Frank Haydock 68 - Frank was a more than useful centre half who signed from Charlton Athletic in 1965. Frank had been a Busby babe but only made six appearances for United before moving to the Valley. In a four year stay at Fratton Park, Frank played 71 games a managed only one goal - against Huddersfield in December 1966. Haydock eventually lost his place to Ron Tindall and drifted on to Southend United.
Mike Trebilcock 64 - What more can I write about Trebs that has not already been said on this site? Chix wrote one of his top articles (in two parts) about the popular Cornishman which can be viewed here. Mike is now based in Australia and has his photo in the albums with pompeygray.
One odd fact about Mike is that he was involved with the first two man penalty. It happened when Plymouth were playing Manchester City and Johnny Newman tapped the ball sideways, enabling Mike to race in and fire home.
Kenny Black 45 - Scot with a sweet left foot came from Hearts in 1989. returned north to Airdrie two years later after playing 62 games scoring three goals. Pompey was his only club south of the border.
Eddie Howe 31 - Eddie's career at Fratton was a sad case of what might have been. Signed from Bournemouth in 2001, Eddie only started two games in his two stay and was injured in both. Eventually returned to Dean Court where he is now coaching.
Milan are coming
And they don't like it. Officials of AC Milan visited Fratton Park recently and are complaining to UEFA about the facilities in the visitors' dressing room. They asked for photos to be provided by Pompey which were carefully taken to avoid the mildew on the ceiling following a leak after heavy rain; sounds as though we have them on the back foot already. (readers we must keep quiet about that).
When they played in Heerenveen the gates were thrown open to allow fans to watch the Rossoneri train the night before the game - over 8,000 turned up!!
This may happen again the night before the big game and the club are preparing to steward the event should it happen.
The press coverage will really put a strain on Pompey's meagre resources. Milan`s own channel wants to carry interviews with presenters all around the ground before, at half-time and after the game. Stewards will escort TV crews around to avoid disruption but the South Stand will definitely be heaving with journalists
Formed in 1899 - a year after Pompey - as a cricket club by two Nottingham men, Alfred Edwards and Herbert Kilpin, the club are still known as Milan and not Milano their Italian name because of their English roots.
Milan's record against English clubs show that in 27 games they have won ten, drawn nine and lost eight. However take note Pompey fans their away record against English sides is less impressive with just one win, four draws and defeats in the remaining seven games. However that win did come under current manager Carlo Ancelotti, when Milan beat Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford in February 2005 with a goal by Hernán Crespo then on loan from Chelsea.
We may not have played Milan before but there will be plenty of friends/ex team mates on the pitch. Kanu was at Inter with Andrea Pirlo, Glen Johnson was with Andriy Shevchenko at Chelsea, and Philippe Senderos and Mathieu Flamini were at Arsenal with Arnand Traore and Lassana Diarra.
ylvan Distin has also played with Ronaldinho at PSG back in 2001/02. Any more you can think of?
Apart from the players mentioned above the Milan squad include goalkeeper Dida, defenders Paolo Maldini, Gianluca Zambrotta, midfielders Emerson, Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf, Massimo Ambrosini and up front Filippo Inzaghi and Kaka. Is there anyone out there not looking forward to this game? Coverage live on Channel 5 - kick off 8.05GMT.
But please remember we CAN win and we play the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal every week and we do not fear them and they hate coming to Fratton Park, so bring it on!!
We told you recently about a serious injury to Palace academy keeper Kieron Thorp in a game versus Pompey. Sadly we now have to report the death of young Reading academy keeper Stewart McEwan who perished in a canoeing accident in North Wales. Stewart was only thirteen and as a mark of respect all Academy players up and down the country wore black arm bands in games this weekend.
The Academy match with Arsenal last week was postponed so the progress report on the club's youngsters will have be held over until after the next game, which is Southampton at home on December 6th.
Finally we told you a few weeks ago that we were planning to put two old friends together after years apart. Well this Wednesday Pat Neil and old school friend John have a lunch date and they will have plenty catch up on after fifty five years!!
Enjoy your re-union chaps and thanks to Simon (pompey4me) for his help in setting it all in motion.
Don't forget Toast special on Friday celebrating the life of Reg Flewin. See ya.