Toast Season 5 #14 - Appy times ahead!
Welcome to Appy
That what we will call him - Appy - you can call him what you want; but a big Toast welcome to Michael Appleton and of course all the very best of luck. One word of advice, Appy would be that there are only two games you have to win this season and then they will erect a statue of you outside the stadium!
Appy is a father of two who had to retire early because of a serious knee injury he then turned to coaching and worked his way through the ranks at West Bromwich Albion.
His playing career started at Manchester United where he wore no 29 although he never played a league game for the Red Devils. When he eventually signed for Preston he was their then record signing. He becomes the 21st player managed by Alex Ferguson at Manchester United to move into management.
Word from a Baggies fan in Kidderminster known to me is that he has been managing the reserves this season and they have been disastrous but I have checked the records and I am afraid to say that statement is totally incorrect - the Baggies stiffs have lost just one game all season.
Is the appointment of Appy taking a chance? This is where opinions are mixed but obviously the board were impressed by the man and his ambition. On the plus side he has plenty of experience with the Academy and producing young talent which is without doubt the route that the current Pompey ownership wants to follow. Certainly the football world believes it is an excellent appointment
On the obverse of the discussion is of course the fact that Appy has yet to sign a player in the transfer market or of course manage a side in the Championship but the fans and the board are right behind you and will give you the chance.
Some locals were bemused about the announcement and I heard to elderly women in a local supermarket who clearly thought that Michael Aspel was the new manager.
Lesley Charles Albert (Charlie) Dore 1931-2011
Charlie was a great servant of the club and a top bloke so I am told by those who knew him. I did see him play for the Championship side but only in charity games in the sixties.
Charlie played just eighteen times for Pompey between March 1952 and April 1954 but he had some great competition for the number one shirt (well keepers did not wear a number in those days actually) such as Ernie Butler, Ron Humpston, Maurice Leather and Norman Uprichard - real quality all of them.
Locally born in Gosport he signed for Pompey from Fleetlands he spent all his life living in the area working after retiring at Metal Box and running a sports shop in Waterlooville. You will remember Toasters that earlier this year I wrote the following story -
Walked into the Eastney Tavern on Friday and I was introduced to someone as Mr Pompey, the man who knows everything about the club!! Not quite true but the chap asked 'do you remember a goalkeeper in the 50s called Dore?' I replied it was of course Charlie Dore who played few games in the years just after the Championship was won. Turned out he knew Charlie's son and the family all live locally.
Well got home and looked him up and he played just eighteen times between 1951 and 1954 but of more interest Charlie was eighty yesterday. Caught up the questioner before the game and he sent Charlie a happy birthday message via his son who wondered 'who told you that?'
The sad thing about that story was I had to break the news of Charlie`s death to the same questioner the other night. All at Vital Pompey send their condolences to Charlie`s family and friends.
What`s in a name?
The Toon are apparently very unhappy about the Club renaming St James` Park as the something or other Arena. Does it really matter though what the ground is called? It is still after all the same stadium and fans can still call it what they like.
I remember years ago fans complaining about sponsorship on shirts and how they hated it - these days those same fans or perhaps their offspring would notice a club that had no name on the front, back, sleeves, shouts, socks etc.etc. It is all a matter of making as much cash as you can to aid the running of the football club and to pay the players exorbitant salaries.
You will remember I introduced you to Eddie a couple of weeks ago and promised some of his stories well here is number one.
He took me right back to 1957 and an FA Cup third round tie at Gigg Lane, Bury. The trip as there were no motorways started on Friday at 11pm on Fratton Station and an overnight train to Lancashire. After an interesting night the train arrived at Bury Station at 6am!!! Just nine hours to kill before kick off. After finding some breakfast the throng of many hundred fans just wandered around the town centre waving their scarves and rattles.
In and out of the shops (Eddie mentioned the Co-op was visited three times) waving their scarves and rattles and eventually in and out of pubs waving their scarves and rattles. The locals just giving them strange looks and wondering quite what had invaded their quiet corner of the North West.
After a long wait the game started and Pompey ran out 3-1 winners in front of a huge Shakers crowd of nearly 14,000 - Peter Harris with two and Sid Clelland with the goals.
Now Eddie thinks that is where the name of the 657 crew came from; his reasons are as follows - the train arrived a six and the year was (nineteen) fifty seven. He took some convincing believe me to change his opinion but still a coincidence eh?
The next year the cup took Eddie to Wolves again overnight but the result was a 5-1 thrashing so I just might bin that story. More from Eddie another week and believe me he is keen to tell his story.
Ran into Fred Dineage on the London train yesterday and I asked him one simple question - 'do like Toast on Sunday mornings? He replied I like Toast every morning! Now was that some kind of back handed compliment?
Good to see Erik notch a goal for Norway yesterday although this was no wonder effort with a tap in from three yards out.
See ya next week.