Vital Football

They Played For Them Too - Argyle - Goal Scorers

They Played For Them Too - Argyle - Goal Scorers
More so given that so many have passed between the clubs during the years. So with Pompey seeking to sign a goal scorer in the current transfer window I thought I'd look back and focus on just a few players who have hit the back of the net wearing the Pilgrims Green as well as the Pompey blue.

There are a number of 'heroes' who fit easily into the goal scorers category, but top of my list is a player who although not employed as one managed roughly 1 in 6 during his career with both clubs. Norman Piper.

Having joined the Pilgrims as an apprentice Piper signed pro terms in 1965 and quickly established himself in the Plymouth first team where he stayed for 5 years scoring 35 times in little over 200 appearances. In 1970 he was recognised for his ability and called up to the England U23 team for the game against Bulgaria.

Whether it was his international recognition or his consistency for Argyle that prompted Pompey Manager Ron Tindall to break the club transfer record and shell out 50,000 that summer we will never know, but Tindall had signed a player who would serve Pompey with great distinction.

In just over 8 years, the sensationally creative midfielder, who didn't always get the credit he deserved, played over 300 games and scored 51 games for Pompey and whether he was wearing the number 2 or 4 or 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 shirt always managed to stay on top of his game - Seriously Norman Piper is the player I have seen wear the most different numbers on the back of a Pompey shirt!

After Pompey's relegation to the 3rd Division Piper began to lose form and was eventually dropped. Ironically, in February 1978 his name became embedded in Pompey folklore forever when he became the subject of one of the most commonly known Pompey quiz questions. Does anybody know what it is?

Another product of the Plymouth youth scheme who was already at Pompey when Piper arrived was fleet-footed little winger Nicky Jennings.

Jennings had played nearly 100 games for Plymouth before he was signed by Pompey's George Smith in January 1967. Smith had a policy of plucking youngsters from the lower divisions and paid Argyle 25,000 for their nippy winger. It proved money well spent.

Playing just a few days after his 21st birthday, Jennings scored on his debut at Fratton Park in a 3-2 win over Rotherham United and soon became a firm favourite with the fans.

Known as 'Topper', Jennings became the regular occupant of the number 11 shirt and despite his 5ft 6in size, scored 50 goals for Pompey in just over 200 appearances, his displays of tricky wing play and runs down the Fratton flanks earned him Pompey player of the year in 1971

Also at the club at the same time as both Piper & Jennings was Pompey player of the year in 1972 - Ritchie Reynolds.

In all Reynolds made 131 appearances for Plymouth scoring 24 times before moving to Portsmouth in the 1971 close season. 'Baldy' stayed at Fratton for 5 years and although other strikers came and went during what was a turbulent time at the club, Reynolds remained committed and loyal and played on until the disastrous relegation season of 1975/76. When he ended his Pompey career he had scored the exact same number of goals for Pompey as he had for Argyle.

A player that often gets forgotten in discussions about great Pompey goal scorers is Billy Rafferty. After starting out at Coventry and Blackpool it was Plymouth were 'Raffs' really made his name scoring 35 times in 90 appearances as Paul Mariners (another to play for both clubs) strike partner.

A move to Carlisle proved successful but when transferred to the bigger clubs (Wolves and Newcastle) he was unable to recapture the form that made him so prolific, until that was a 80,000 move to Pompey where he has to team up with Alan Biley.

Biley's prowess in front of goal is legendary but most forget it was his excellent understanding with Billy Rafferty that helped the pair of them terrorise back fours in the old division 3. A partnership, which proved critical to Pompey's continued upturn in the 1980s. All in 'Raffs' netted an impressive 40 goals in 100 games for the blues.

Another hugely popular player to play for both Pompey & Plymouth was David Kemp.

Kemp began his professional career with Crystal Palace in 1975, but moved to Fratton in November 1976. Although he was never to play a full season for Pompey he was the leading goal scorer in two 1976-77 and 1977-78.

To say Kemp was a legend is an understatement his 1 in 2 strike rate made him the darling of the Fratton End, which in turn earned him a exposure in a well-known boys comic, where he was featured photographed alongside his fictional goal-scoring counterpart 'Roy of the Rovers'.

Cash strapped Pompey cashed in on Kemp very quickly and sold him to Carlisle where for two and half years he 'did the business' for them before returning south to Plymouth where between 1979 & 1982 he scored 39 in 84 games. Not quite as prolific as he was at Pompey but good enough to get an entry in the book 'the best 101 players to have played for Plymouth'.

Since hanging up his boots David Kemp has also had spells as Assistant Manager at both clubs too, which luckily doesn't share the same curse as that encountered by Messer's Pulis and Gregory who both actually managed (debatable) both clubs.

Others too have played for both clubs. A couple of years ago Redknapp signing & and member of the championship winning squad Vincent Pericard donned the Green during a loan spell and scored 4 in 15 games. Although 3 were in one game!

Pie man, Fratton idol and now Talk Sport presenter Micky Quinn also had a spell on loan at Plymouth but unfortunately for Argyle he was unable to find the net.

Then there's 'Trebs' of course who played and scored for Plymouth on a regular basis before his 'unsuccessfully brilliant' move to Everton prior to coming to Pompey. He totalled 60 goals in just under 200 appearances between the clubs.

Alan Rogers was another. A nippy winger purchased by Pompey from Plymouth and although never prolific he too notched up over 200 appearances between the two clubs.

To send time writing about Lee Chapman or Ian Baird the two 'flops' Pompey purchased from Leeds would be a waste of time, but needless to say neither did either club justice during their spells at Home Park & Fratton respectively.

So there you have it a quick run down of some of the strikers that have graced both Pompey and Plymouth. With the exception of the last two (and the loan players), I'd go as far as to say that most, if not all that have served both clubs in 'attacking' roles have been a success and most have their names in the Halls of Fame for one, if not both of the clubs.

I wonder if Harry has considered a trip to beloved Devon to see what's on offer at the moment? You never know he might come back with a Piper, Jennings, Rafferty, Kemp or Reynolds... You just never know!

I wonder how much they want for David Norris!!

Written by Chix.

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.

Join the Vital Pompey Debate
Exclusive to Vital ! Read now ! The Vital Boxing John H Stracey Interview

Date:Saturday January 26 2008
Time: 12:29AM


great stuff as always Chix, and a different twist than usual - nice one...
26/01/2008 00:31:00
Great story Chix...and by the way I had a wry smile when you quoted Norman Piper has having scored 51 GAMES for Pompey. His goals none-the-less came at crucial times to keep the Pompey bandwaggon rolling, or at least not stuck in the mud...
26/01/2008 01:16:00
good luck guys, hope you turn them over ;)
26/01/2008 06:09:00
Damn ! A mistake... Don't tell Rug he'll sack me! - Cheers Gray, in defence I did type it up on Friday night after a couple of 'decent' whiskys so I can't complain really... Surprised you didn't know (or mention) the quiz qustion..
26/01/2008 06:53:00
Good article Chix. Just about remember dave Kemp. Paul Mariner was my first thought. Great player.
26/01/2008 09:16:00
Great stuff Chixy. There was a spell in the late 60s early 70s when every player we bought came from Plymouth, Richie Reynolds was most famous in Pompey for his Fish and Chip shop - The Ocean Swell in Copnor Road.
26/01/2008 09:40:00
Nice one Chix; memories, memories. Ahhh
26/01/2008 10:20:00
ahh, the memories...or not in my case, but its great to get to know more about our history, however recent or distant!
26/01/2008 10:22:00
O.K. Chix was he replaced by another PIPER (Steven) ???
26/01/2008 10:29:00
lol Carpet.. but I did include Vincent Pericard just for you ;) - Dave .. yeah Reynolds Chippy I'd forgotten about that wasn't he supplied by Denis Edwards frozen food.. I've even managed to get a lead on where Noramn Piper is now and might just ask for an interview for the site..
26/01/2008 10:30:00
Page 1/2
  1. 1
  2. 2

Login to post a comment

Recent Portsmouth Articles

Sunday Chimes #98 - Kal`s curler kills off Grimsby

A win in the North at last, helping a friend down under, what's on next week and more...

Audio - Cook & Baker Talk Grimsby

Manager Paul Cook and midfielder Carl Baker have been giving their immediate reactions to Portsmouth's one nil victory over Grimsby Town earlier today.

Stats: Grimsby Town v Pompey

All the stats from Grimsby Town (0) vs (1) Pompey, Blundell Park, 10/12/16 Att: 6560

Grimsby v Pompey - Team Sheets

Pompey go to Blundell Park as the visitors to Grimsby for the latest League 2 game.

Archived Vital Pompey Articles

Vital Pompey articles from

Site Journalists

Editor email
Editor email
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Grimsby MotM
Suggested By:
Sub - Chaplin0%
Sub - Naismith25%
Sub - Hunt0%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Plymouth 20 13 2 5 41 10
2 Carlisle 20 10 9 1 39 14
3 Doncaster 20 12 3 5 39 12
4 Portsmouth 20 10 4 6 34 13
5 Luton 20 8 8 4 32 10
6 Wycombe 20 9 4 7 31 3
7 Blackpool 20 8 6 6 30 13
8 Barnet 20 7 9 4 30 1
9 Cambridge 20 8 4 8 28 3
10 Yeovil 20 8 4 8 28 0
11 Stevenage 20 8 3 9 27 -1
12 Grimsby 20 7 5 8 26 1
13 Mansfield 20 6 8 6 26 -4
14 Crewe 20 6 8 6 26 -5
15 Crawley 20 7 5 8 26 -9
16 Colchester 20 6 6 8 24 1
17 Exeter 20 7 2 11 23 -3
18 Morecambe 19 7 2 10 23 -13
19 Hartlepool 20 5 7 8 22 -9
20 Notts County 20 6 4 10 22 -10
21 Leyton Orient 20 6 3 11 21 -4
22 Accrington 20 5 6 9 21 -6
23 Cheltenham 20 3 9 8 18 -10
24 Newport 19 4 5 10 17 -7
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)

Dec 17 2016 3:00PM : Hartlepool United (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Dec 26 2016 3:00PM : Newport County (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Dec 30 2016 7:45PM : Yeovil Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Jan 2 2017 3:00PM : Luton Town (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Jan 5 2017 7:45PM : Doncaster Rovers (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Jan 14 2017 3:00PM : Leyton Orient (H)
Sky Bet League Two

Vital Members League Table

Vital Football Comment