Dave's Sunday Toast - #4 Mick Tait
This week's birthdays are:
11th Neil Ayrton will be 46; Carl Tiler 38
13th Steve Perrin 56; Dave Pullar 49
15th Richard Reynolds 60; Ernie Howe 55
16th Malcolm Shotton 51; David Crown 50
Today's question is which of the above once scored a winner for Pompey against 'the team from up the road'?
Let us have a quick look at the career of David Pullar. The tall right winger came through the ranks and was introduced to the first team by Ian St John.
My researchers have had to work hard to find details of David's early career but he was attached to a northern club before his family moved to Selsey when he was about 14. His father took up a coaching role with the local club and David was playing for a year in the Under 16s in the West Sussex Minor League. Although a flying winger he never had to worry about crosses as his pace took him clear of defences. He was already at Pompey so only played on occasions when cleared to do so.
Our researcher was playing in goal that day (only one to have any gloves) and they were top of the table and expecting an easy win. They ended up losing to mid table Selsey because of the performance of Pullar. The interview was carried out after this game but unfortunately the notes have since gone missing. David was soon offered an apprentice role at Pompey.
St John having seen the expensive signings of the early seventies fail miserably and left with no resources turned to the clubs youth team for help. The season 1975/76 saw eight youngsters makes their debuts - Steve Foster, Chris Kamara, Billy Eames, Andy Stewart, Keith Viney, Phil Figgins, Paul Denyer and Pullar.
David was the last to make his debut doing so at home to Orient as Pompey slid towards relegation in April 1976. It was Pompey's last win in Division Two for over six years. Pompey won 2-1 with goals from Billy Wilson and Bobby McGuinness. The crowd of just over 5,000 was I believe the second smallest in Pompey history - yes I was there.
Goals were a rare commodity for Pullar and he only managed seven in his Pompey career most of them away from home. In fact his first Fratton goal game against mighty Bideford in the FA Cup First Round game of November 1977.
In 1979 Dave moved to Exeter City where he had more success in front of goal 22 times in 130 games and in 1983 he moved again to Crewe. After 4 years and 122 games with seven goals like a lot of former Pompey apprentices he returned to play for Waterlooville. The last I heard of Dave was he had a pub in Rowland's Castle.
UKTony reminds me of a game on 10th February 1981 for our match of the day feature. Tuesday night football at Fratton Park and 12,743 in attendance, the visitors Exeter City had a fifth round FA Cup tie at the other St James Park (not their own) very much on their minds. So you ask, why did Tony pick this game from all those he has seen? Well as the story unfolds you will discover that this was the day a Fratton legend was born and Exeter found a man who would haunt them for years.
First the team news - Peter Mellor misses his only game of the season; Alan Knight deputises. John MacLaughlin was injured on Saturday against Walsall, local boy Peter Ellis moves to right back and Steve Davey comes into central defence. Exeter feature one well known name former Pompey and Wales full back Phil Roberts play in central defence.
A rare goal from Steve Bryant's head separates the teams at half time and as he second half wears the crowd are wondering about sneaking out early for a pint on the way home (10.30 closing in those days remember) when the player with the blue number eight shirt on brings the match to life. In a five minute spell two shots from outside the penalty area and a close range header become the fastest hat-trick in Pompey history and three minutes after that Billy Rafferty turns to rifle number five pass hapless keeper Main.
The crowd forget any idea of an extra pint and stay to salute a new Pompey hero. Who? Mick 'Yosser' Tait of course. That was the day the 24 year old Geordie went into the hearts of the fans a place he has stayed to this day. StuartM had Mick playing in centre midfield but to be honest he could have put him in any position except in goal.
Mick was signed in 1980 as a striker who had regularly scored goals against Pompey for both Oxford United and Carlisle but he had problems scoring goals, never managing more than eight in a season. But it was as a utility player that Mick became legendary. Wherever managers Frank Burrows, Bobby Campbell or Alan Ball asked him to play Mick gave his all. How many current day strikers could you imagine playing 25 consecutive games at left back; then after two games at right back playing centre forward the next game?
Mick scored 30 goals in 240 appearances for Pompey before moving to Reading. He won a Third Division championship medal in 1983 but missed the chance to pay in the top division with Pompey, which we as fans would have loved to have seen.
Why Yosser the younger fans ask. The got the nickname after Yosser Hughes a character from the TV series 'Boys from the Blackstuff' who gave us the phrase 'gis a job?'
Mick played 760 league games in total putting 13th in the all time list. He went on to manage Hartlepool and Darlington. His first game as manager of Darlington was against Exeter City - Darlo won 4-0!! Bet they love Mick in Exeter and to prove it in 1992/93 he played 41 games and scored his only goal against Exeter. Case closed.
Next week Pompey play on Sunday but look out for the FA Cup special Toast on Sunday morning. Any favourite cup memories send me a PM.
Written by eastneydave.
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