Toast Season 2 # 36 - The Fort!!
Several of Pompey`s young players live in the Eastney area and we hear that they are letting it be known their relief at having Paul Hart not in charge of the Academy. They comment that he is a strict disciplinarian and allows them little or no freedom. Make of that what you want.
27th April - Rob Hindmarch Born 1961
Rob Hindmarch born in Morpeth, Rob, a commanding centre back, made his debut for Sunderland at Orient on 14th January 1978 at the age of sixteen and went on to play 115 league games scoring two goals in six years. Strangely the two goals came in consecutive home games against Notts Forest and West Brom in November 1978. He joined Pompey on loan in December 1983 and played only two games - Home to Derby and away to Swansea - both games won by Pompey.
It was Derby that Rob was to spend the next six seasons at after being released by the Black Cats and there he has to have great success. The Rams were struggling at time having just been relegated to the Third Division and manager Arthur Cox was given funds by Robert Maxwell to rebuild the team. It worked following successive promotions returned to the big time of the First Division. Rob was a key member of the team and made 190 appearance scoring nine goals in the process and it was a surprise when in 1990 he was allowed to move to Wolves for a fee in the region of £350,000.
Rob spent just one season at Molyneux playing forty times and his two goals included a dramatic equaliser in the derby match with West Brom. He then moved into coaching firstly at Telford United and then Cork City.
He died on 5 November 2002 after a battle with Motor neurone disease. He was working in New Jersey at the time at a coaching school.
29th April - Dave Munks 62
1st May - Alexei Smertin 34 - Alexei retired at the end of last season when he was at Fulham. The Vital Pompey member writing Smertin`s biography will enjoy listing his previous clubs such as FC Zarya Leninsk-Kuznetsky - good luck! Back home Alexei has now turned to politics as his new career.
2nd May - David Nugent 24
Tony Dobson 40 - England Under 21 international is now in his second spell managing Rugby - that is the Rugby football team - I`m confusing myself now.
Micky Quinn 47 - the mighty Quinn played over 50 games for six clubs. Has had a chequered career but now trains horses at Newmarket and works for TalkSPORT.
As promised a list of all Pompey players who won England B caps
Jimmy Dickinson - Three
5/05/1949, Helsinki, Finland Won 4-0
8/01/1950, Sheffield, Hillsborough, Switzerland Won 5-0 Captain
2/02/1950, Newcastle, St James Park, Netherlands Won 1-0 Captain
Jack Mansell - Two
6/05/1954, Ljubjana, Yugoslavia Lost 2-1
1/03/1956, Southampton, The Dell, Switzerland Won 4-1
Phil Gunter - One
2/05/1952, Le Harve, France Espoirs Lost 7-1 (Espoirs means Hopefuls)
Tommy McGhee - One
9/10/1955, Manchester, Maine Road, Yugoslavia Won 5-1
Fort William FC
The Fort as they are known are the most southerly of the fifteen clubs in the Highland League and have become Vital Pompey's adopted team. Why? because they are like Pompey always used to be - losing every week. Cruel more because pompeygray started a thread in the forum and pentonpompey has taken up the challenge and contacted the club.
Fort William have lost all but one game this season and they only drew that one with Wick Academy - they have only scored thirteen goals all season and conceded a massive 109 and goal difference of minus 96!!.
The Highland League was formed in 1893 and is one of three leagues forming the equivalent of the Conference for teams in Northern Scotland. It has fifteen members (eighteen next season 2009/10) and in the past has provided the league with sides such as Inverness (although Caledonian and Thistle were separate teams at the time), Ross County and Elgin City.
Last week we talked about Pompey`s record defeat 10-0 at Leicester. Well Fort William have had two of those this season at Deverondale in the League and Banks O`Dee in the Scottish Cup. Banks O`Dee are a junior club who have just had their application to join the Higland League rejected.
The Fort play in gold and black hoops but sadly no replica strip is available; you can however purchase T shirts. Their home ground in Claggan Park which has a capacity of 4,000 - looking at pictures of the stadium most of them would be on the hill overlooking the pitch. Record gate is 1,500 back in 1986.
The Fort is hardly a fortress! They joined Highland League back in 1985 and have never finished in the top ten.
The cavalry is coming!
Last Sunday the Independent ran the following story which will certainly bring cheer to Fort fans everywhere - Up in Scotland it has been another testing campaign for football fans in the shinty stronghold of Fort William. In the past four seasons, the team from the Ben Nevis foothills have lost 99 Highland League games out of 107, winning precisely five. This season has brought one point out of a possible 66 and Fort William are destined to finish bottom for the sixth time in seven years (fortunately there is no relegation). But help, of a sort, is at hand. An American media producer, Paul McDonald, is promising to bring over up to 10 players from the United States next season and make a reality TV show with the motto 'From Worst to First', building on the Ebbsfleet United model of allowing fans to vote online. A hilarious trailer is available on YouTube (search for America's Team FC).
The result is we will be able to watch all of the Fort games on TV!! John Watssman of The Fort tells us 'We are currently waiting for the Americas team project to get the green light from the UK broadcasters. Hopefully we will know within the next 30 days how many US players will be joining up next season for the first year of the three year venture.'
And the support of VP has already had its effect this week they, according to reports, played a lot better and were only beaten 2-1 by Clachnacuddin on Wednesday night. Sadly yesterday they slipped to a 5-0 home defeat to mid table Keith.
From time to time you will read more of the Fort either through Toast or in the forums. We are planning the possibility of some form of matchday sponsorship
What a list!
10. Ike Clarke
9. Ernie Butler
8. Reg Flewin
7. Len Phillips
6. Jack Froggatt
5. Jimmy Scoular
4. Duggie Reid
3. Alan Knight
2. Peter Harris
1. Jimmy Dickinson
Quite a list! Well it is the top ten Pompey players of all time according to an new item on the Times website. The article by Calvin Shulmann is well worth a read and it contains an album of photos a number of which I had not seen before. But things get better because the list is not the top ten but the top FIFTY!!
The list includes players from all eras of the club`s history and gets the Toast seal of approval. Want to see it click here.
Gooners in Town
So the 'In it to win it' competition is over and the winner will be announced shortly. Toast thought as an appetiser for the lucky winner let us have a quick look back at games with Woolwich Arsenal.
We all know we have not beaten the Gooners since March 1958 when a Fratton Park thriller ended 5-4 with Johnny Gordon (2), Mike Barnard, Derek Dougan and Peter Harris scored the goals. Since Pompey joined the Premier League Arsenal have visited us five times and four of those games have ended in the draws. The only player to have scored a winning goal is Sol Campbell in December 2004 - trouble is he was playing for Arsenal then!!
All of the home games curiously have been played at Christmas or the end of the season - but here is a strange fact. Pompey prevented Arsenal scoring in May 2007 (that was the game where Graham Poll prevented us from qualifying for the UEFA Cup by disallowing Niko's goal). The next time Arsenal failed to score in a league game was at Fratton Park the following December!!
We feel we must join in the congratulations to Leicester City on their promotion back to the Championship. Not necessarily for the fine job done by manager Nigel Pearson but of course for the continued success of Foxes owner Milan Mandaric. Milan who should use Frank Sinatra's 'My Way' as his theme song like to buy a club sack manager after manager until he finds one he likes and then success follows. A man who working hard to make his fortune and now spends it on his love of football and Pompey fans owe him so much.
Toast got involved with the studies of the University of Portsmouth last week after two students had asked for help. They were planning an oral presentation on the importance to the city of the club during the 1970's and 80's. Well Dave spent 35 minutes being interviewed about the history of the club over the twenty years but of course he only managed one year in that time before the two unfortunate students ran down Eastney beach and disappeared beneath the waves!!
Well that's another week gone - with Hull and Sunderland losing yesterday Pompey's survival chances improve all the time and one more win should suffice. See you next week.