What does Pompey mean to pompeyrug?
About a month ago I asked what it meant to you to be a Pompey Fan. Many thanks to those who took part in replying and apologies that it took so long for me to put this article together, but here it is.
Portsmouth, like most clubs, pride themselves on having a loyal, passionate fanbase the truly encapsulates what it means to share this fanatical obsession with hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Of those who took part in this study, responses came from New Zealand, Lithuania, West Africa and even Devon, as well as few from Pompey.
The stories of how they first came about supporting the club vary accordingly, from the common "taken to a game when I was only knee high", to "falling out of love with football (before visiting Fratton Park and becoming 'hooked')". One of the most interesting stories is about a fan who stumbled across Portsmouth on a computer game, and subsequently watching a Portsmouth game on TV (v Spurs) in doing so finding a new passion which has stuck with him.
With such a widespread set of fans, it would be easy to lose sight or stop caring, especially given the courage it has taken to keep following the club over the last few years. But not with our fans, who all state the need find a way of listening to the match every Saturday, regardless of where they are in the world, and what the time is locally. Fratton Park often sees crowds in excess of 16,000, but that can be multiplied to account for those who are listening at home and are there 'in spirit'.
Even those who can get to the matches on a regular basis have to pull out all the stops to make it, with some spending most their time and money travelling to the match just to spend 2 hours watching a game of football, which often ends up in disappointment. But ask any one of them, and I'm relatively certain they wouldn't want it any other way.
As for the future, there is a clearly an overwhelming urge to pass on this legacy, many have memories of being taken to Fratton Park with their Dads, and to re-live that from the opposite perspective will be equally, if not more rewarding for the Fathers (& Mothers) in question. In one sense, going to the football is a family event, extended by those who consider the fans to be one big (very noisy) family.
So sit back and enjoy the accounts of those who contributed over the next few days (they will be added one at a time), and thank you very much for sharing your stories/memories/emotions...Written by PompeyFrippy
What does Pompey mean to you, well to me?
PFC means the world to me, on a par with my family and friends with how important it is, sometimes viewed by some as being 'too important' to be honest!
It would have been easy to take the Liverpool or Arsenal, to a lesser extent Manyoo route, as a kid to support with these being 'the big boys' at the time but why would I have done this? You might flirt with this as a very, very young child but the vast majority always know where their heart and soul really is, right?
For me I am a believer of the 'you do not pick your club, your club picks you' way of thinking.
I was born in Pompey so I support Pompey, pretty easy really.
PFC is in my blood through birth and I would not want it any other way because there really is something quite special about this football club, whatever happens and whatever is thrown our way you always know that we will come out fighting and triumph.
Through the good and bad the support that this club has sees that same support, in the main, remain. Very few, if any, would see such support given similar circumstances. I suspect that all fans think this but I genuinely do think that PFC has the best hard-core set of supporters that any club has - to be a part of this makes me immensely proud. The number of people that comment on how good our support is, from other clubs, cannot be wrong can they...
In spite of my 'in the blood' thoughts of course some support Pompey because it is in the family, you follow on the traditions of your family before you, again luckily though my family (well bar my mum) are all Pompey born and bred anyway so that was a decision easily made for me, there was none!
As is clear I am a believer of 'following the club of the area you are born into', having lived in Devon for 20-years plus it is highly likely I will stay in Devon for the rest of my days, when my kids come along it will be interesting what my thoughts on who they follow will be! They will have the option, with gentle persuasion I am sure, of following in the family tradition of being a Pompey fan but I would also encourage them, if not following their old man, to follow their hometown side, which would most likely be Exeter I would think.
All of the above said not all are privileged enough to have been born into the Pompey family, it might not be in their blood but it soon gets into their system - the special nature of this football club is what draws people in, and with fans always needed you cannot turn them away. They soon become your own and you soon know who are the genuine long-term stayers or short-term bandwagon jumpers.
Whilst I confess I have found the past couple of years 'challenging' and I sometimes questioned 'why I bothered' these thoughts did not last for long and I still get the same buzz I always have from walking into Fratton, hearing the chimes and being a part of the support of this fantastic football club. The away days that I do, which are becoming fewer due to finances and will be even fewer again in the coming season due to a wedding to plan/pay for in a couple of years, I still get the same excitement about the whole crack of the away jaunt as I always have, even if I have been there and done it before.
Even given all the grief, heartache and disappointment this club has sometimes brought me over the years - not forgetting the trouble it can get me into given some tough decisions I need to make regarding it, and will again I can be sure of - putting aside the money it has cost me, the good times will always outweigh the bad and it is always worth it as I would not want to have it any other way...
PLAY UP POMPEY!Written by pompeyrug
The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.