Vital Football

The Day I Met Milan

The Day I Met Milan

8 O'clock= The Day I Met Milan

Having arrived at Pompey in late 1998, saving the club when it looked as though we could very well go out of existence all together I'll never forget the day I met Milan…

I have to be honest, as I'm the type of guy who would rather stand back and listen rather than be listened too the thought of meeting Milan appealed to me merely from the point of view of hearing what he had to say, I never had any intentions of asking him any questions at all, I thought I'll leave that to others.

On Saturday 20th February 1999 I, along with a many other Portsmouth Football Club South West Supporters Club members convened upon Swindon, meeting up in a hotel in Swindon, I forget the name, but it would be the hotel the players had stayed at so I would also get to see the guys strolling around, prior to the Old Division One clash with Swindon Town.

We hadn't gate crashed the hotel, it had been a previously arranged visit to enable us to meet Milan Mandaric, the Serb-American who had brought us out of administration to find out what his future plans were to be for our struggling Division One side finding it hard to move out of the murky waters it had been in for as long as I'd known.

I remember seeing the then Directors Terry Brady and the legend that is Fred "that's how for now" Dinenage sitting alongside Milan. I have to admit I was petrified, terrified that I would be picked on to ask a question, as I'd not have had a clue what to say, I think I would have frozen… I took in all of what Milan said whilst sitting there in a trance of disbelieve at what he was proposing!

As I look back on it now Milan has delivered almost everything (with the exception of a new ground, this project still to this day has eluded him and Portsmouth Football Club which is my saddest regret of his reign, that he couldn't have achieved one of his biggest aims) and more that he promised on the Saturday morning some seven and a half years ago. When he spoke of top flight football, as good as it sounded I didn't think it would happen, I'd almost resigned myself to the fact that just having a club at all would do me, and I'd settle for second tier football but that wouldn't do for him and boy am I glad.

After the meeting, following his grilling by the fans, to which he would have answers for everything, that would satisfy the expectant, if maybe slightly (like myself at the time) maybe sceptical onlookers he would take time to shake each and everyone's hand with a word for us all, of course Mr Dinenage would do so likewise, if only I'd had the brass monkeys to say "Mr Dinenage, that's how for now!"

We spoke of Milan and his thoughts as we took in a swift half, or two, OK then maybe three before we went on to watch Pompey in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Swindon. We took so many fans that we were given the ends behind each goal as there would be so few Swindon fans. What a game that was, had everything goals, a red card, injury to the late Aaron Flahavan seeing Russell Perrett come on to go in goal and a fantastic Pompey recovery from 3-1 down with an outfield player in goal to 3-3. Maybe one of the shortest journey's I've made to watch Pompey (from my Plymouth base) but certainly one of the best all-round days.

God bless you Milan, without you Pompey probably wouldn't be here at all, let alone in the Premiership, they certainly wouldn't currently be challenging for the Title, sure it won't last forever, not this season anyway...

Milan, there's only one Milan, there's only one Milan, there's only one Milan, Milan…

By Rug


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

Writer:
Date:Monday September 25 2006
Time: 7:57AM

Comments

0
The man's a veritable legend.
Tantona
25/09/2006 08:53:00
0
good article, i have never met him
lmatthews
25/09/2006 12:09:00
0
Thanks Les, a day I'll never forget...
pompeyrug
27/09/2006 00:49:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Portsmouth Articles

Pompey couldn't... could we? Part 2

Well, it's still on after the Cambridge win. Pompey CAN win league two ahead of Doncaster & Plymouth... will these chances die at Mansfield or can the battle go on?

Championship Free Agents 2017

As the summer nears and contracts come to an end, should the club have an interest in any of the following free transfers from Championship oppositions?

51 Clubs Receive EFL Family Excellence Award - 2016/17

The Football League have recognised a record 51 clubs in the 2016/17 Family Excellence Awards.

Pompey Predictions League - update no.44

The Pompey Predictions League is part of this site now isn't it - would it be the same without it? This continued with a win from the visit of Cambridge - a trip to Mansfield is next.

Archived Vital Pompey Articles

Vital Pompey articles from

Site Journalists

pompeyrug
Editor email
Profile
eastneydave
Editor email
Profile
paultsmouth
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Mansfield v Pompey?
Suggested By:
Pompey win38%
Draw12%
Mansfield win50%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Doncaster 44 25 10 9 85 33
P Plymouth 44 25 8 11 83 24
P Portsmouth 44 24 9 11 81 33
4 Luton 44 18 17 9 71 22
5 Exeter 44 20 8 16 68 18
6 Blackpool 44 17 16 11 67 22
7 Stevenage 44 20 6 18 66 7
8 Mansfield 44 17 14 13 65 5
9 Wycombe 44 18 11 15 65 4
10 Carlisle 44 16 17 11 65 -1
11 Cambridge 44 18 9 17 63 7
12 Colchester 44 17 12 15 63 6
13 Accrington 44 16 14 14 62 3
14 Grimsby 44 17 10 17 61 -2
15 Barnet 44 13 15 16 54 -6
16 Notts County 44 15 8 21 53 -22
17 Crewe 44 13 13 18 52 -11
18 Morecambe 44 14 9 21 51 -18
19 Crawley 44 13 11 20 50 -16
20 Yeovil 44 11 16 17 49 -13
21 Cheltenham 44 11 14 19 47 -16
22 Newport 44 11 12 21 45 -22
23 Hartlepool 44 10 13 21 43 -21
R Leyton Orient 44 10 6 28 36 -36
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Portsmouth Results (view all)

Portsmouth Fixtures (view all)

Apr 29 2017 3:00PM : Mansfield Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
May 6 2017 5:30PM : Cheltenham Town (H)
Sky Bet League Two

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.pompeyrug103
2.PompeyFrippy40
3.storagematt36
4.eastneydave32
5.Copnor4326
6.stubbsy00720
7.FrattonBlue19
8.uspompeyfan17
9.pompeyweller15
10.Jimsmithswig10
Vital Football Comment