Toast Season 4 # 32 - May Day
So all is settled in the Championship relegation zone with Sheffield United and Scunthorpe United joining Preston in league One next season. this will make Pompey's trip to Glanford Park next Saturday lunchtime a rather sad affair.
Now all eyes turn to Monday`s games with Cardiff entertaining Middlesbrough and Pompey welcoming Norwich immediately afterwards. With one point separating the Canaries from the Welshmen and goal difference almost identical they know two wins will be enough to gain promotion.
Norwich can only be promoted on Monday night if Cardiff lose. Will be a lively occasion in front of the Sky cameras especially if Cardiff slip up.
A final reminder that tomorrow afternoon before the Norwich game is the Fans Day festival in the West Stand car park.
It features live music from local bands, children's rides, free access to the Victory Bar (members will get a special offer), a chance to drop Chief Executive David Lampitt and other staff members into a dunking tank and lots, lots, more.
A five a side football tournament, face painting, a chance to see Ash Randall the football tricks wonderkid. Plenty of food stalls, Ice creams, cakes, bungee racing, surf rides and too much more to list. Jousting, rodeo rides, inflatable table football…..
On top of that there is a bumper raffle with the top prize of two season tickets and dozens of top prizes. At then at the game the tifo which will spell 1898 in blue and white across the Fratton End. It will be displayed during the team huddle prior to kick-off.
Please give this event your full support and help it become an annual event.
History Lesson - The Fratton End
This week marks twenty five years since the death of the old Fratton End. Let us have a quick look at its history.
The Fratton End stand was opened in the summer of 1957 at a cost of some £40,000. A two tiered structure built entirely of concrete; it contained very few facilities underneath except for toilets two refreshment bars and a first aid room. At the back of the top level were a number of metal doors which mystified fans who wondered 'what are they for?' I fact they were opened to give additional ventilation to the stadium enabling the pitch to receive much needed air. No wonder at the time Duggie Reid`s surface was among the best in the country.
The doors were also used by fans to increase the din made simply by kicking he heels against them. Just about the only memory I have of my first game in 1959 was leaning against a door and joining others in what seemed some sort of ritual.
It was soon to become the popular haunt for the noisy elements among the Fratton faithful. In those days of standing only you had to take up your place earlier than you do currently to ensure your regular spot. In the days of no crowd segregation you might turn up and find a hoard of visiting fans in your spot, what action to take was then your decision! As Chix described it in the week 'my obvious memories are standing anywhere I wanted to and the bearpit which was anywhere behind the goal from what is now row DD back. Funny, that I now have a seat there.
Also no (or very few) girls and certainly no (small) children ever ventured into the 'back of` the Old Fratton End as there were bound to be arrests for something or other and an awful lot of jostling and swearing... Come to think of it, I learned most of the swear words I now know from those old days in the old Fratton End.` So perhaps that was a good reason for its demolition then!
For me it also has great memories as that was where I stood through the era from 1965 to its closure. Chix talked about the crowds however it was not always packed certainly when Fratton Park attendances were no greater than 5,000, you probably had to shout to the fan next to you. I remember I stood close to Magpie TV star, Mick Robertson, for many years and I also remember a German Shalke 04 fan Gunther also was a regular in my vicinity and always had an interesting story to tell. During the busier spells you would often save a space for a latecomer who would duck under the crash barrier to squeeze into the gap.
The structure was in use for twenty nine years and overlooked a really topsy-turvy spell in the clubs history. Pompey were to suffer four relegations during the period with three promotions to offset them. In fact the old structure was still in place when promotion was achieved in 1987 but had been deemed unsafe the previous year and left empty and fenced off until demolition two years later.
During those two seasons it was like an eerie shell overlooking the action. For the Sheffield United game at the end of the 1986/87 season police allowed the crowd to spill onto the closed terrace to prevent a crush on the lower terrace which remained.
For the record the final game on 3rd May 1986 was a 4-0 drubbing of Bradford City. The goals came from Mick Quinn (2), Kevin Dillon pen and Paul Wood.
The original rulebook?
Picked this story up from the BBC the other day which is interesting reading -'A handwritten pamphlet from 1858 on the rules of club football is to be put up for sale by Sheffield FC.
The document is believed to be one of the earliest instructions on the sport, and will be auctioned as part of an archive belonging to the club.
The archive is expected to fetch up to £1.2m when auctioned in July, and was called an important historical document by auctioneers Sotheby's, the FT said. The archive is to be shown around the world in an effort to maximise interest.
Sheffield FC is the world's oldest football club, formed in 1857.
Pompey have just announced another extension to the season ticket early bird scheme!
They have been delighted with the response from supporters and from the feedback received, and are aware it might help some fans if they have an extra couple of days to make their purchase. As a result, existing season ticket holders will be able to renew their seat at the following times:
Monday, May 2: 2pm-6pm
Tuesday, May 3: 9am-2pm
Season tickets can be bought either in person at the Fratton Park ticket office in Frogmore Road or over the phone (there will be no online sales). Tickets can continue to be bought using credit/debit cards, cash or a cheque made payable to 'PFC Realisations Ltd'.
Right it's time to dress up in the old Morris outfit and find myself a Maypole.