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There's only one No.13

You may read in The News later this afternoon that following contact with Portsmouth Football Club the squad number allocated to Anttii Niemi for the forthcoming season is to be changed

This action is a direct result of yesterday's communication between Vital Pompey and Portsmouth Football Club following the announcement on the Official Site that Niemi has been allocated No.13, The shirt reserved following the death of Aaron Flahavan in 2001

Vital Pompey had hoped to publish a tribute to Aaron who died tragically eight years ago last week, before the story broke however given other commitments we were unable to do this

Vital Pompey on behalf of all Pompey fans would like to thank Portsmouth FC for not only correcting their oversight but for acting quickly, sensitively and with respect in this matter and for proving that 'fan power' does work!

A Player Profile detailing Aaron's Pompey career will appear on Vital Pompey and PompeyRama later this week

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Chix Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday August 10 2009

Time: 4:35PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
good ole' pfc
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10/08/2009 16:49:00

Well done, PFC
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10/08/2009 16:56:00

Goof old Pompey might be a better summary!!
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10/08/2009 16:56:00

Did you have to explain to anyone who Aaron was?
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10/08/2009 16:56:00

The club actually reserved the number one shirt for one season following Flahavan's death. Both Zamperini and Diabate have worn the number 13 shirt since he died. The News confirm this in their piece but say the club decided to change Niemi's number because a lot of people were mistakenly thinking that the number 13 shirt had been retired.
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10/08/2009 16:58:00

Thanks pros.. But that is not the response that we got when we contacted the club.. It was the first they heard of it by all accounts and agreed to rectify within five minutes of notification.. have a lookk in the forum.. the email trail is there .. Re Zamperini nad Diabate.. I'm not convinced but I'll look it up tonight .. happily be wrong but the point is that for the past 13 years at least no13 has not been 'allocated' within the Pompey squad .. I checked before we contacted the club!
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10/08/2009 17:11:00

Sorry got too many No13's in there .. should be past seven years !
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10/08/2009 17:12:00

I think someone at the club is confused then. Diabate definitely wore 13 - I've got a picture of him wearing that shirt! I know that Zamperini did as well. Both players played after Flahavan had died. It was definitely the number 1 shirt that was retired for one season only. That was the number he had just been handed after taking over as first-choice keeper.
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10/08/2009 17:23:00

Well done Vital Pompey and PCFC!
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10/08/2009 18:09:00

well done Pompey, when i read the other day that he was given the no.13 shirt i wasnt please, but well done Pompey for changing it.
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10/08/2009 18:17:00

Sorry guys but i think this one of those instances when someone has remembered something slightly wrong and everyone has jumped on the bandwagon with it. 13 shirt was definitely not retired for Flahavan
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10/08/2009 18:37:00

Yh but we like to think it was.
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10/08/2009 18:53:00

No one kicked up a fuss when Zamperini or Diabate wore it - maybe because they weren't ex-Scummers?
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10/08/2009 18:56:00

Pros7.. Well we know somebody at the club got confused as they allocated 13 to Neimi ;).. Anyway, you (The News) are correct about Diabate as he was allocated 13 the season AFTER the No1 was retired.. however I have found reference in my files to no 13 being 'reserved' as a mark of respect for Flahaven and certainly nobody has worn 13 since 2002 .. Why the gap for a season and why 'reserved' and not 'retired' I don't know .. Do you ? and come to think of it what's the difference between 'reserved' and 'retired' anyway? I guess the key point here is that if 'people' think it is retired or is a mark of respect or a tradition then it should remain so and be upheld... afterall what harm does it do ? My main issue was the fact that is was being used without acknowledgement to the fact that it had previously not been ..because of Aaron's death, rather than the fact that it was being used at all. Ironically (refering to your ex-Scummer point) if it had have been allocated to Niemi and consideration given to the 'reserved/retired' aspect of the number then I think there's no more fitting player to wear the shirt .. A saints legend who although not there when Aaron died a keeper I'm sure he would have respected. As I'm certain you are aware Aaron was born in Southampton..
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10/08/2009 20:41:00

Flahavan died in August 2001. Zamperini wore it for the 2001/2 season Diabate then wore it for the following 2002/3 season, so you are wrong when you say it wasn't issued after 2003. You're right when you say it doesn't matter, I just thought i'd stand up for the club after several on the forums criticised them for issuing the no.13 shirt. It was always the number one shirt that had been rested for a year because that what was the shirt he had been given shortly before his death. I know it's not the most reliable source but Aaron's wikipedia page backs this up. Oh, and btw not the snooze - can't believe they ran this story in the first place.
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10/08/2009 21:38:00

oops meant to say you were wrong about it not being issued after 2002 and not 2003. The irony!
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10/08/2009 21:41:00

I meant 2002 season .. Pros7.. but yes you are correct and thanks for your input.. still remains a 'mystery' then why 13 hasn't been allocated since .. still I guess that's for another day eh!.. Anyway to further the irony .. It is normally me that gets stick for standing up for the club and in this instance when I don't I am wrong... hey ho .. . Is your expertise specifically Aaron or Pompey in general.. (sorry that's not meant as it sounds) .. Just that had you had entered the Vital Quiz last month the question of the No13 would have been a sure way to have gained you some extra points !!.. Keep up the postings the more debate and discussion we have on here Vital the better....
Report Abuse
10/08/2009 23:15:00

Guys, for what its worth, I looked at this one recently while checking squad numbers for pompeyrama. Only three pompey players have worn the no.13, as Pros7 says: A Flahavan in 1999/00 and 2000/01 A Zamperini in 2001/02 and L Diabate in 2002/03 Incidently, the no.1 shirt for 1999/00 was Andy Petterson's and 2000/01 was Russell Hoult ...
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11/08/2009 07:30:00

well done pompey FC...
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11/08/2009 09:49:00

Well done Chix & Rug
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11/08/2009 10:24:00

Well done Chix & Rug
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11/08/2009 10:24:00

Well done to all concerned.
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11/08/2009 10:38:00

No problem Chix - maybe I should get a job as researcher for the Snooze. I think a lot of club's don't have a number 13 just because it's viewed as bad luck! Good on the club for changing the number anyway - nice to see them listening to the fans. P.S. wish I had entered the quiz now!
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11/08/2009 13:23:00


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