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Albert McCann - Portsmouth Football Club Hall of Fame

 

ALBERT McCann was a fine player - and also the owner of the most famous bow legs in football throughout the sixties and seventies during his long and loyal service to Pompey.

One of 17 players who have appeared in more than 300 league games for the club, 'Albie' was a regular in the sixties' Pompey team alongside Ray Hiron, Eoin Hand, Nicky Jennings and John Milkins. Recognised easily by his fair hair and short and stocky build, Albie shone in many of the sides he played a part in over 12 seasons with Pompey.

And his utility tag won the respect of many local supporters as he reverted to different areas of the field after being asked by a series of managers to play in alternative positions. Playing on the wing, midfield and knocking in the goals - Albie did it all for Pompey - and all with a sense of pride and purpose which marked the skill of any professional. Signed from Coventry City for £8,000 in August 1962, McCann repaid the modest fee many times over, banging in the goals to keep Pompey afloat during the second division seasons of the 1960s.

His bandy legs played a memorable part in a cup run in 1967 when, after scoring at Hull in a 1-1 draw, Albie netted two vital goals in a second replay with two fine shots to help Pompey win 3-1 on neutral ground at Coventry; the prize being a lucrative away tie at Spurs, which McCann sadly missed. He had more than his fair share of injuries while with Pompey but worked hard to shake them off.


Another game in which supporters hailed Albie as a match-winning hero was an exciting 3-2 win at The Dell in February 1964. McCann topped Pompey's goalscoring charts with 12 in season 1965-66 and bettered that by two in 1967-68 - impressive stuff for a man whose main school sport at Maidenhead Grammar was rugby! He netted just one hat-trick, at Ashton Gate in a 3-3 draw against Bristol City in October 1966, but scored two on numerous occasions.

His competitive instinct, hardness and characteristic touches of artistry earned him a special place in the hearts of Pompey fans and he was awarded a well-deserved testimonial against West Ham United at Fratton Park in May 1973 before playing his last and 331st game for Pompey at Notts Forest in March the following season. After playing professionally in South Africa at the age of 34, Albie returned to England and ran a newsagents in Winter Road, Southsea before becoming the proprietor of an Emsworth rest home.

McCann Joins Pompey Hall of Fame 2011


Albert McCann will be inducted into the Portsmouth Football Club Hall of Fame this year after committee members voted unanimously to include the popular midfielder.

It comes after the committee realised that this year’s inductees had not included a player from the 1970s – an oversight caused by the difficult decisions they had struggled with when deciding upon this year’s entrants

Hall of Fame chairman, Jake Payne, said: “The committee met last November to choose the inductees for 2011 and had some tough choices to make.
 
“The names of Alan McLoughlin and Paul Walsh were put forward for induction but although both had represented Pompey in the 1990s, we found we simply couldn’t choose between them so it was decided that both players should be inducted this year.

“We had already chosen Johnny Gordon, who played in the 50s and 60s, but we had neglected a player representing the 70s, which meant a whole era of the club’s history had been missed and we now realise that we made a mistake in doing this.

“After meeting to discuss this, Albert McCann was the player we decided should fill the gap and I think everyone will agree he is a very worthy inductee – it was a unanimous decision by the committee.

“It also goes to show what a tough job the committee have when choosing the players to be inducted.

“Albie, as he is known, has been contacted and has said he is delighted to be honoured in this way and will be at the dinner in March to accept his award.”

McCann’s induction means six players will now be honoured at the Hall of Fame dinner, which is being held in the Victory Bar at Fratton Park on Saturday, March 26.

He will join Jack Froggatt, Johnny Gordon, Alan McLoughlin, Linvoy Primus and Paul Walsh as the men joining the illustrious list of past players.

There will also be an honorary induction for Jack Tinn, Pompey’s longest serving manager and the man who led the club to FA Cup glory against Wolves in 1939.

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League 2 Season 2013-2014

Saturday December 14, 2013
Pompey 0 Newport County 2 (HT 0-0)

Wednesday December 4, 2013
Pompey 2 Wycombe Wanderers 2 (HT 0-1)

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