Portsmouth - Blast form the past - Nightingale
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Blast form the past - Nightingale

There I was this afternoon taking a short break from my 'day job' when I stumbled across an article on a blast from Pompey's past Luke Nightingale.

Now with Bognor Regis, Nightingale - who is recovering from his latest injury set back - was telling the Bognor Regis Observer that he was looking forward to the new season and was hoping to help them to a top 8 finish in the Blue Square South Division.

I still remember the day I saw Nightingale make his Pompey bow. He had been scoring goals galore for the reserves - along with Robbie Simpson - but it was 18-year old Nightingale that got the nod for a place on the bench for a match against West Brom.

He got his chance as John Aloisi picked up an injury. He came on for him and took it by scoring two goals in a dream debut as we won 2-1.

Travelling up to that match at Fratton with some of my fellow south west supporters club members, we had been speaking about Nightingale and Simpson - saying how we hoped to see them given a chance. Nightingale was the talk on the way home too!

Sadly things did not work out for Nightingale and around a few year period where pretty much every striker we touched was jinxed - we had the likes of Rory Allen, Lee Mills and Mark Burchill - he suffered terribly with injuries and form, going on to score only a few more goals in the rest of his Pompey career.

Spell after spell out on loan eventually saw him leave for Swindon; journeys took him to other league sides but things just did not break for him and injuries took their toll more and more. Stevie Claridge even had him with him at Weymouth for a time.

7 cartilage operations since the age of 17 show just how injuries affected his career.

Still only 26 - and now a plumber - he is scoring goals for Bognor Regis even with injury problems, but a knee problem is looking like it will eventually see him undergo yet more surgery. Steroid injections have kept him going but only three more have been advised by doctors for the rest of his career.

Good luck to Nightingale - if only things could have been different for him here.


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

The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday June 28 2007

Time: 3:14PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
You are quite right, Luke was really unlucky with injuries and deserved the chance to make it big. I remember it was him mum who got him the chance of a trial at Pompey and he never quite lived that down !! I hope that he has a good time at his new club he deserves some luck as he was a good young prospect who gave the club 100%
Report Abuse
28/06/2007 15:27:00

We were all desperate for him to succeed but it just never happened
Report Abuse
28/06/2007 15:35:00

He was a quality player and I remember growing up along side him in the football scene. He played for Fleur de ly's and thenmoved on to one of the dockyard teams. He was always a cracking player and I never used to look forward to him playing us, especially as I was a defender. I always knew he would make it big but this injury history for him has been very unfortunate. I wish him the best and Play up Pompey!
Report Abuse
28/06/2007 16:47:00

If ever there was a player who showed so much promise but was severely let down by injury, Luke is that player. Always gave his all and worked hard, feel sorry for the guy but why a plumber? All that kneeling down will only cause him more cartilage problems!

Seeing the shirt he's wearing in the above image, has anyone seen what appears is going to be the new kit? Due to copyright issues, we are unable to place the image on here, but it can be viewed at this URL - http://playuppompey.org.uk/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=2180
Report Abuse
28/06/2007 17:59:00

I remember being at the game when he scored both goals, was it against Stockport? Or another of the glamour teams we used to play in those dark days. For all the downsides at least he lived the dream, be it for a short time.
Report Abuse
28/06/2007 20:25:00

He maybe the last Pompey born player we see for years
Report Abuse
28/06/2007 22:01:00

clearly we want all of our players to be successful, but there are some players you want to make it more than others - nightingale was a player i was desperate to make it... we dont have too many of our own coming through, so for him to have done it would have been amazing - injuries can be so cruel... the debut goals storagematt came against west brom. i have memories - not always good tho - from most games i go too but this game sticks in my mind for nightingale... it was a huge shame things didn't work out for the fella altho as you say mate at least he did live the dream...
Report Abuse
29/06/2007 00:55:00

Another in a long line of Pompey youth players who promised much but did very little in the long run. Gary O'Neil being the exception. What ever happened to Rowan Vine and Lewis Buxton? (i'm being sarcastic)
The Rabbi
Report Abuse
29/06/2007 17:02:00

in fairness to nightingale tho mate injuries cannot be helped can they - these robbed him of a career... letting vine go was a mistake. he might not have been the answer, but we should have given him a chance before he was shown the door, same went for James Keene arguably buxton also...
Report Abuse
30/06/2007 00:31:00


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