Toast season 2 # 39 Happy Anniversary
Well we are all in seventh heaven this morning after ex blue Diomansy Kamara consigned Newcastle to a defeat as predicted by eastneydave in the forum yesterday!! Seventh heaven because we will now play for the seventh consecutive year in the Premier League; now would have dreamt that ten years ago?
Tomorrow nights game with Sunderland should be a celebration but the visitors are far from safe and with only a home game against Chelsea to come. Their salvation could be that Hull`s last game is at home to the Champions Man united.
One year on
It is May 17th a date that will always be remembered by all Pompey fans.
It is not everyday that I can ask what were you doing a year ago today knowing that every reader would be able to answer. Great memories but it seems such a long time ago now after such a traumatic season. But just think back to where you were at this very moment in time twelve months ago.
Park the Bus
We have been asked by several readers if we can help explain some of the strange football terminology that has been creeping into the game recently. We start the series with the term 'Park the Bus`.
The derivation of this term is somewhat unclear but it certainly dates back to when clubs had their grounds situated in narrow city streets. The visiting team would arrive in their luxury charabanc and the driver would have the problem of meandering through the roads around the ground and then reversing through a narrow gate to drop off the players and the hamper contained boots and freshly washed shirts and shorts etc. Not an enviable task we would have thought.
It would seem to make sense then that a manager, possibly in the Brian Clough mould, would threaten players who had performed badly in the previous game that if they did not improve they would be made to 'Park the Bus` on the next away trip.
Next time we look at 'Head over the ball`
Moment of the season
We have to go along with this heartfelt comment from HammersmithBlue
I was in south stand for the Arsenal game when Linvoy was warming up and it brought tears to the eyes to see the look of absolute JOY on that man's face to get that reception. We were standing to applaud him and he kept giving us the thumbs up and had a smile so broad, I could have fallen in. That may be my moment of the whole season as I will never forget his face. When you think of all the dregs of humanity playing football (e.g. one little cherub sent off for the Barcodes Joey Barton and earning a fortune, it's good to see that the really great men are those whose reward can't be measured because you can't measure respect and, goddamit, LOVE.
Remember the link to Pompeyrama stats - just click on the player`s name.
18th May - Gary O'Neil is 26
Barry Horne is 47 - Barry`s claim to fame was he scored in all of Pompey`s three away wins in the first division in 1987/88 - including one at the Dell.
Dennis Davidson is 72 - one appearance - a 6-1 defeat at Charlton in 1960!
Ray Drinkwater is 78 - goalkeeper played just six games in 1956/57.
20th May - Gordon Dale born 1928 died 1996.
Sometime ago Gandor asked Chix and me to write a biography for her to share with Gordon`s widow as they both new little of his career. Well here it is - Gordon Dale was born in Worksop on 20th May 1928 and on leaving school joined his local club Worksop Town. It was there that he was spotted by Chesterfield just fifteen miles away and signed for £500 in February 1948.
After time in the Spireites` reserves Gordon made his league debut at Fulham on 12th March 1949- for the record Fulham won 2-1. He soon became a fixture in their side and in three seasons played 92 games with just three goals. During this time clubs were all lining up to watch Dale who had earned a reputation as a confident and attractive winger and Chesterfield had to fight off a number of offers.
However at the end of the 1950/51 season Chesterfield were relegated from Division Two to Division Three North and sales of their best players was inevitable. It was on 27th June 1951 - when I was only two days old - that Pompey splashed a club record fee on Dale. Chesterfield received £20,000 (a record for them too) for the popular player (the English record at the time was only £35,000) and he moved south to join the Pompey side packed with many internationals. In fact the fee paid for Dale was to stand for nearly sixteen years before another popular left winger - Nicky Jennings - would up the figure to a huge £25,000.
Considered one of the most skilful but inconsistent players ever to have played for Pompey which meant he was either loved or hated by the Fratton faithful as he either gave pleasure or frustration with his appearances. His 'trick` (some called it his 'secret weapon`) was to adopt a deliberate lazy attitude then when the full back had 'switched off` he would spring into action and with the ball controlled neatly at his feet body serve this way and that then deliver an accurate cross into the box.
He only played 8 games in his first season due to a spate of little injuries and it wasn`t until 1954/55 season that he played in more than half of Pompey`s league fixtures. Some reckoned that 'On his day` he was as good as Sir Stanley Matthews but as he couldn`t always produce it he spent a lot of time in the reserves - And it`s suggested that his presence would swell the gate by a few hundred every time he played for them.
After 120 games and 18 goals Gordon moved on to Exeter on 25th October 1957 with the club beginning the slide from the pinnacle of English soccer.
He played another 124 league games for Exeter City before leaving the professional game and joined Chelmsford City. He returned to live in Portsmouth later and ran a newsagent`s shop. He sadly passed away on 14th March 1996 in Pompey at his home in Anchorage Park.
There is an interesting snippet in Gordon`s Pompey career and and that is that he scored Pompey`s goal in the last match to be abandoned at Fratton Park. It came on 15th January 1955 against Aston Villa, Gordon put Pompey one up in the first half but Villa pulled back in the second half and then took the lead but with thick fog coming down the game was abandoned with just 11 minutes to go. Tough on Villa when the game was played again at the end of the season it finished 2-2.
The original game was also watched by Pompey`s smallest gate at Fratton since the war just 14,587.
There is also a Plum cartoon of Dale drawn in November 1956 and entitled 'The Mysterious Unfathomable Gordon Dale`. It shows him dressed as a magician and shows him pulling a rabbit, with the word 'points` written on it, out of a hat. The cartoon also states that he was the only player who could beat Stanley Matthews at his own game!
Fred Evans born 1923 - Fred was born in Petersfield and played for Pompey during WWII. A centre forward he made nine appearances in 1946/47.
Harry Ferrier born 1920 Championship left back missing just two games in those two memorable seasons. Was number fourteen in the recent Times article of the top fifty Pompey players of all time.
Harry Walker born 1916 - goalkeeper played in the 1939 cup final team and also made eleven appearances after the war.
21st May Lauren Robert 34 - looks older! Still playing in Greece for Larissa.
22nd May Paul Moran 41 - played three time on loan from Spurs in 1989.
Paul Mariner 56 - was one of the final pieces of Alan Ball`s promotion jigsaw. The England International Centre forward also scored Pompey`s first goal back in the top division after twenty eight years playing as centre half in the absence of Noel Blake.
23rd May Theofanis Gekas 29 - Unknown,certainly to the current management at the club.
Aidan Newhouse 37 England Youth International who played six games on loan from Wimbledon in December 1994 - even managed a goal in a 3-0 Fratton Park win over Barnsley.
Goal of the season
Well we really started something last Sunday with our Goal of the Season nomination of Lassana Diarra against Vitoria Guimaraes. This site has now publicised the club own phone in but we stick with Lassie and ask you to vote early and vote often!!
Next week tracyc takes us to West Brom via …well you will have to wait and see and we gather that our summertime reporter Al Fresco is also about to reappear. He is a popular man as I saw in a restaurant window today a sign saying 'GO AL FRESCO'.
See some of you on Monday and rest next week.