Sunday Toast Season 2 # 20 - Golden Toast
Well having started life back in January as a mad idea today Toast reaches edition number fifty. I wrote it originally to fit with the Vital Football logo 'For the fans, by the fans' and I hope some of you have enjoyed it.
It has been a slog but an enjoyable one. A lot of research to do the birthdays and other pieces is involved. I have a good memory but I can`t remember things I don`t know. I think I have written over 60,000 words during the year - new laptop required Santa.
As I was saying to Pat Neil recently the aim is to get some information onto the Internet on players from the past that fans can find using their search engines such as Google. Try putting in a few names and you will normally find a Vital Pompey reference on the first page. So mission accomplished.
What does next year hold then? Well, not sure really more of the same and hopefully what you the readers want. I do get questions from time to time and had this one from UKTony last month.
"When we kicked off on Saturday (this was sometime ago), we attacked the Fratton End first half. I always get a bit down as I much prefer to head towards the Milton End first. The question is this...
Is there any discernible difference in our results according to which way we play? I think we are better off attacking the home end in the second half but perhaps it's just an urban myth."
Does anyone out there keep the stats of which end Pompey attacked against the result?
Well it has been quite a year and is it draws to a close the media publish their lists of great and farcical moments. Well I have just received Sky Sports top ten football moments of the year by email and it makes good reading for those in South East Hampshire.
Of course 17th May at Wembley takes pride of place because the final 'bucked the trend' of recent big four clashes and it meant something to the fans present as it just does not happen everyday.
The other is the performance by Havant and Waterlooville at Anfield in the FA Cup 4th round. Having the audacity to visit the mighty Liverpool and twice take the lead was true FA Cup magic.
21st December Robert Wolleaston is 29 - midfielder came on loan from Chelsea in 2001 and played just six games. Bob is currently at Rushden and Diamonds.
22nd December Paul Musselwhite 40 - Pompey born goalkeeper never made the first team but became a very reliable stopper in the lower leagues. Paul had long spells at Port Vale, Scunthorpe (twice) and Hull City. Still playing in the Conference North with Gateshead.
Jason Rees 39 - Jim Smith brought left sided Welshman Rees to Fratton Park from Luton in 1995. Jason played 43 games netting just three goals and after a loan at Exeter moved to Cambridge United.
Luke Nightingale 28 - Eastney boy Luke will always remember his league debut. Coming on as a first half substitute for John Aloisi, he scored twice as Pompey came from behind to beat WBA at Fratton Park in November 1998 (was it really ten years ago?). Luke was to make 45 appearances in total but could add only two more goals before going on loan to Swindon and then signing for Southend.
He made a name for himself scoring goals at Conference South side Bognor Regis and is now at Havant and Waterlooville.
23rd December Matt Robinson 34 - loved to be called Scummer Matt because of his former club and won over quite a few fans during his stay. Matt a full back played 69 time and scored once - against Bury at home in February 1999. Moved on to Reading and is now playing Conference football at Salisbury City.
Matt writes a column for the BBC on their Wiltshire site for those who are interested. Noticed while trawling the site that Richard Money is favourite for the vacant Swindon job.
24th December Kenneth Hall 78- Ken was a full back who rose through the juniors and played ten games in 1952-54. Moved on to Reading for one season and then slipped into non-league football with Hastings.
Neil Barrett 27 - midfielder who Pompey signed from Chelsea as a youngster in 2001. Showed great promise but never really made the grade and after twenty six games and two goals moved to Dundee (following a loan spell). Neil also played for Livingstone in Scotland and is now at Ebbsfleet - with Liam Daish.
Christmas Day Chris Kamara - 51 Now hands up all those who felt that the scrawny young Yorkshireman who made his Pompey debut under manager Ian St John would go on to such fame (and fortune). Chris was just seventeen when he pulled on the famous blue shirt for the first time in September 1975 when Luton Town visited Fratton Park. I was there but cannot remember the game - a 2-0 defeat in front of just under 10,000 people. Chris was an enjoyable player to watch always giving plenty and that was the first of nearly 650 league games at numerous clubs.
After retiring Chris entered management first at Bradford City and then Stoke before he made the move into the media with Sky Sports. What has followed from there is of course 'Unbelievable Jeff! '
Boxing Day - Billy Hindmarsh was born in Crook in 1919. A regular member of the Championship side at Right Back playing forty four games over the two seasons. After five seasons at the club he moved to Swindon in 1951
Alexsander Rodic 29 signed on loan from Slovenian club Gorica in January 2005 and an excited Milan Mandaric told the BBC 'He is going to be an exciting asset for Portsmouth and we have every belief he will carry on at Fratton Park where he left off in Slovenia.' Sadly Milan was wrong and after just four games he moved on to Bulgaria and joined Liteks Lovech. To be honest he was just not good enough for the English Premier League.
James Keene 23 - Somerset born youngster who made just two appearances for Pompey and after loan spells at Kidderminster, Bournemouth and Boston was allowed to move to IF Elfsborg in Sweden. Many fans felt he warranted more of a chance. At Elfsborg, James has experienced Champions League football and this season has started well in the Swedish league scoring every other game.
27th December Derek Weddle 73 - Derek was a Newcastle born Centre Forward who was signed by Eddie Lever in 1956 from Sunderland. He played twenty four games for Pompey and scored eight goals over three seasons and when relegation followed moved on to Cambridge City.
Bobby Doyle 55 - Right sided midfield player who signed from Blackpool in 1980 during Pompey`s first season back in Division Three. Bob was a regular in the side for four and a half season before moving to Hull City. Popular with the fans - Owenspompey told me some time ago he was one of his favourite players - Bob was an ungainly yet effective operator. He played 177 games and scored sixteen goals.
Mark Stimson 41 - full back signed from Newcastle for £100,000 in 1993 after a successful loan spell. Mark played over fifty games for Pompey over the next couple of seasons. He is however better known now for his managerial achievements both in non league and league football.
When at Grays Athletic he took them to the Conference and won the FA Trophy twice and then after moving to Stevenage Borough he won the FA Trophy was an incredible third successive season. With Liam Daish taking Ebbsfleet to this years Trophy, the last four have been won by ex-Pompey players - and both since the final returned to Wembley.
UEFA Coverage what happened?
What happened to Channel Five's blanket coverage of this year`s UEFA Cup? After starting with three games in one long session forcing the Vitoria games to have such unsocial kick off times we have recently been starved of coverage. Only one of Pompey`s group games was shown live - not a surprise the one they chose was Milan - leaving fans to trawl the Internet for reliable links to watch the games rather than via a reputable TV Channel.
Now I am sat typing this article and wife is out babysitting and I think I can have the City or Spurs game on. But hang on I can`t find either of them; have we gone from saturation to a drought?
Back in edition Season 2 # 13 we wrote about Harry Harris and FP Dec 16th 1972 thought that Harry had died some years back. Well I checked this with Pat and discovered that Harry had moved north to Leeds a few years ago and sadly passed away in June 2004.
Christmas - bah humbug
Pompey4me is down under and sends you all the following message - 'bloody hot in oz!!! lol Happy Christmas, Si' Thanks Simon enjoy it.
Well that`s it for another Toast. All I need to say is I hope you all have a very Happy Christmas and three points against the Hammers on Boxing Day.
See you next week for edition 51 and if you have any thoughts on 2008 let me have them.