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Challenge Dave #8

Noel Blake was a much loved Pompey star of the mid eighties. He always gave 100%, which is probably best typified in the trilogy of League Cup battles with Spurs where Blake scored the only goal to settle the tie eventually with a towering header. It fact in 144 games Noel managed 10 goals at the right end; the problem was Noel had a habit of finding his own net.

Research shows me that Noel's first OG was in his short career at Aston Villa when in May 1980 as an eighteen year old he scored for Liverpool.

Pompey OG #1 Wimbledon (A) 20 October 1984 lost 2-3.
Perhaps the most famous of them all. Let a neutral Palace fan at the game describe it - 'The Dons had scored near the end of the first half and Portsmouth kicked off from the centre circle. The ball was passed to Noel Blake who idly clipped it back to their goalie, Alan Knight. Problem was that Knight had chipped a toenail or something, and was scrutinising his foot on the outside of his area paying no attention whatsoever to the game. The ball went straight past him, not at any great speed, despite the massed Pompey fans at the old Wandle End screaming at him and trickled gently into the corner of the net for 2-0. Sadly this was before every game was videoed, but it was priceless and we were in hysterics'.

Actually there was until recently a home video on youtube of the incident but it is sadly no longer there.

Pompey lost the game 2-3 with Kevin Dillon having a penalty saved by Dave Beasant and a 10 game unbeaten run was gone.

Pompey OG #2 Blackburn (H) 01 December 1984 drew 2-2.
In this game a brace from Blake and Tait gave Blackburn a 2-0 interval lead!! Noel this time diverting a rebound off the post back into his own net. Dillon and Hilaire (on debut) earn Pompey a point.

Brighton (H) 6 April 1985 drew 1-1.
Neil Webb puts Pompey in front but Noel doing a good job on returning hero Alan Biley diverts a Danny Wilson cross into his own net.

That season 1984/85 Pompey conceded only 50 goals and incredible 6 were OG's. Blake (3), Tait, Stanley and Waldron.

Pompey OG #4 Wimbledon (A) 31 January 1987 lost 0-4 FA Cup 4th Round .
Noel's only Cup OG comes again at Plough Lane with a header past Knightsie after 20 minutes. Out of the cup and on for promotion.

Pompey OG #5 Sunderland (H) 28 March 1987 won 3-1.
Pompey were ahead through Hilaire when after nearly two barren years Noel rediscovered the knack and diverts a Mick Kennedy clearance past Alan Knight. However disaster 20 minutes later Noel puts Pompey back in front before Hilaire seals the win.

Five own goals and I saw them all, little Alan Knight could have done about them. Is he the record own goal scorer? I don't know but it is likely.

Written by eastneydave.

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.

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 8 2007

Time: 1:27PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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great stuff as always dave - poor old blake 5 o.g's in 144 games... at least he scored 10 at the right end too! if anyone can better his record during a career i would be amazed...
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08/11/2007 13:29:00

Another good read dave, how do you do it?? Only 5, that surprises me, obviously unfair to remember him just for his own goals then. he was certainally one of the first cult players i remember. Thanks for the effort on answering my challenge dave, dave.
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08/11/2007 20:12:00

good read, i personally never saw him play, but he reminded me of that leicester player a few years back he got own goals all the time! talking of own goal specialist, hypia has strung together a couple in his last few games! rumour was we were after him in the transfer winfow as well!
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08/11/2007 23:08:00

yeh and ive just mentioned him in my getting to know you as one of my faves
plymouth graham
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09/11/2007 00:24:00

where is noel blake these days? he was manager at exeter and did really well for a while, last i heard he was a coach with stoke i think...
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09/11/2007 08:30:00

a nice and interesting article!
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09/11/2007 09:02:00

thats all you get on vital pompey :-) altho in fairness that is all you get on vital football full stop isnt it...
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09/11/2007 11:34:00

Really enjoyed writing this one. Interesting to find other peoples views on OG#1. It was a classic for a neutral and it would be great to lacate the home video which has disappeared off Youtube. Glad you all enjoyed it - up to date on Challenges now!! Keep 'em coming though by emailing Rug.
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09/11/2007 12:16:00

The picture in the masthead is Pompey v Liverpool 28 Feb 1988. Played in front of the only full house that season - 28,200 - Liverpool won 2-0 and ended our 10 match unbeaten run. Players left to right Kevin Dillon, Noel Blake, John Aldridge, Alan Knight and (I think) Paul Hardyman. All from memory that (honest).
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09/11/2007 12:21:00

blake was a great player. I remember when we played Birmingham at home in 1984-85 and the away fans singing 'Blakey come back' to him. he was a brummy who had started his career with Villa and then moved on to Birmingham before joining us. Him and Billy Gilbert were a great double act.
The Rabbi
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09/11/2007 14:31:00

Great article. Your knowledge of all this is amazing!
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09/11/2007 15:01:00

Thanks Dan - some from memory rest by research. I thought he had scored more but he had two 'goalden' patches.
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09/11/2007 16:06:00

Blakey and Gilbert, went together like Dempsey and Makepeace, what a central partnership they were. Blakey was awesome and he did a great job for us, it took a long time to replace him, and when he was missing did we struggle or what?
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09/11/2007 18:36:00

I forgot to add Blakie was fans player of the year in 86 & 87. Searching for his current whereabouts.
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09/11/2007 20:41:00

Found him. On 25 February this year the FA appointed Noel as an assistant national coach to work with the U16 and U18 age group because of his fervour for the development of young players. Nice one Noel!!
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09/11/2007 20:52:00

good work dave finding that out - and he has done well for himself too then!
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09/11/2007 23:11:00

Dave... Brilliant as usual mate - I too saw all of Blakey's own goals and if you remember there was a period that as good a defender as he was we were getting frustrated with the situation... I'm just thankful Billy Gilbert was next to him to make him concentrate and sweep up the odd mishap here and there .... I remember the first one really well and it is well describe by the Palace fan... although I actually thought that Alan Knight was doing his bootlace back up... still have vision of him (on one knee) helplessly watching the ball roll by.... We were stunned into silence... couldn't believe it.. still can't to be honest !
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10/11/2007 06:24:00

chix my dad claims to have seen all 5! so techinically so have I....
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10/11/2007 08:00:00

i reckon my mum would have seen a few, as she used to go to fratton - but that might have been before i was born...
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10/11/2007 10:06:00

thats my mission next to get my mum and dad to a pompey game with me!
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10/11/2007 10:07:00

Chix - of all my years watching football the OG at Plough Lane was the most farsical moment. After the Dons first goal Knoightsie was feeling sorry for himself and rubbing his leg/foot when the ball rolled passed him. I was looking to see if a video existed when I stumbled across the Palace fans description which I thought was pretty spot on.
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10/11/2007 16:45:00


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