Dave's Sunday Toast - #7 Bobby Kellard
Let's be honest this best XI is all a bit serious.
Last weeks Competition
We have a winner to last week's competition even though he first answered the wrong question correctly and then the correct question wrongly. The answer to 'who scored the fourth goal against Sheffield United in August 1983' was Mick 'Yosser' Tait. The name of the winner is being withheld to avoid any embarrassment.
Pompey March ON!!
A headline we all like to see and in March 1993 it was certainly true. The season 1992/93 had been a patchy one punctuated by the goals of Guy Whittingham (29 so far) and the performances of Paul Walsh but by February the season appeared to be petering out.
Out of the League Cup at the hands of Ipswich and the FA Cup adventure ended at the first hurdle by neighbours Brighton. The Anglo Italian Cup adventure had also finished although those who went to Bari and Ascoli will long tell the stories.
February had offered some hope with the defeat of Newcastle but only four points had been gleaned from the other four games so there appeared to be nothing much to play for except a play off place. To win automatic promotion Pompey would need to win all of their remaining fourteen games, which was impossible.
March opened with a home game against Luton Town, which did not start well when the sought after Phil Gray gave the Hatters an early lead. Along game Guy with the equaliser and in the second half a Warren Aspinall penalty sealed the points. That was Warren's last goal for Pompey although he was at the club for a further year, including loan spells at Swansea and Bournemouth.
The next Tuesday, Watford came to the Park and were beaten by a Mark Chamberlain goal, which set Pompey up nicely for a visit to struggling Cambridge United. Pompey's away form had not been good for a team in the top half of the table and they had won on the road on only three occasions but a Gary Clayton own goal was enough to give the visitors the three points.
That game gave a debut to a sort of Pompey legend, George Lawrence. Signed from Weymouth on a non contract basis Chicken George was used by boss Jim Smith as a late substitute to run into the corner and waste time. Other deadline signings were Benny Kristensen and Paul Hall who cost £100,000 from Torquay.
Three more wins followed, Charlton were beaten 1-0 at the Park, Tranmere Rovers 2-0 on Merseyside and Oxford were not allowed to repeat their crazy comeback the previous November from 5-2 to 5-5 and despatched 3-0. Four more Whittingham goals in that run too. March started with Pompey in 5th and after six straight wins were up to second and in the automatic promotion places. Pompey certainly did March on!!
April saw a draw at Millwall and five more wins before that fateful day at Roker Park when the wheels came off as Walsh and Butters saw red in a 4-1 catastrophe. Pompey failed in the play offs against Leicester and for the second season running Pompey fans were left with that empty feeling.
The question that is still asked is should the £100,000 spent on Hall have been better used on an established striker? We will never know.
This week's birthdays are
March 1st - Bobby Kellard who will be 85, Tom Curtis 35,
March 2nd - Giannis Skopelitis 30,
March 3rd - Darren Anderton 36, Robbie Simpson 32,
March 4th - Gary Stanley 54,
March 5th - John McClelland 73
March 6th - John Kerr, Jr 43,
March 7th - Ian Purdie 55, Andy Griffin 29,
March 8th - Kit Symons 37
Some familiar names there - John Kerr who in 1987 became the first league substitute to be himself replaced. Ian Purdie, who scored one of the goals at Northampton the day we escaped from Division Four in 1980. The Toast today though looks at the Pompey career of ……..
Yesterday was the 65th birthday of a forgotten hero from days gone by Bobby Kellard. In two spells the popular Londoner was the rock in Pompey midfield and took no prisoners in the process.
Signed from Ipswich in March 1966, boss George Smith needed to stiffen a team that after a reasonable start had only won three of the previous twenty games. It took Kellard a couple of games to have an effect before Pompey finished with six wins in the final nine games. Bobby's first goal came in the 2-0 win over Wolves, which was cherished by the fans as the return fixture had been the infamous 8-2 defeat. That Pompey win also ended Wolves promotion chances.
In that run another of this week birthday boys, John McClelland, had helped himself to four goals. Kellard had settled into the Pompey midfield alongside Brian Lewis and Johnny Gordon.
The next season 1966/67 was another mediocre one for Pompey but a good run before Christmas sparked hope of a good finish but they tailed off winning only three games after the festive season. Bobby only missed two games all season and chipped in with five goals. In the summer George Smith went to Barrow and bought George Smith for £20,000. The blond midfielder was the perfect foil for Kellard and the two proved to be a great partnership in the blues engine room.
1967/68 was Pompey's best for some time and if the away form had been better promotion could have been achieved. Kellard played every game that year and Smith missed only one, which was vital to boss Smith's ethos of a one team system. However in July 1968 Bobby was sold to Bristol City for £30,000 and was not replaced until Brain Bromley arrived from Bolton in November.
However after spells at Ashton Gate, Leicester City and Crystal Palace (for the second time) out of the blue he was back in December 1972. It was like a throwback of six years as then boss Ron Tindall had also returned Brian Lewis to the nest restoring the partnership of six years before. It would not work in arresting the gradual Pompey slide but it had its highlights.
In the FA Cup run of 1973/74 Bobby's Pompey career had a swansong. In the third round game against Swindon at the Park a last minute Kellard penalty earned a replay as Pompey came back from 3-1 down. Then at the County Ground, on a mud heap, Bobby scored the only goal. Into round four and Orient visited Fratton for a Sunday fixture. The game ended goalless but Kellard earned the dubious honour of being the first player sent off on the Sabbath. That tie was settled in a second replay when Bobby netted the vital first, a left foot rocket, in a 2-0 win in the rain at Selhurst Park.
Bobby Kellard was depicted by cartoonist Plum as a stocky bearded man with two tree trunk legs and that just about fits the bill for me.
See you all next week and get thinking on those alternative XI's. PUP.
Written by eastneydave.
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