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Portsmouth FC - Football League Champions 1948 - 1949

 Reg Flewin (Portsmouth FC Captain) with the 1949 Trophy

Bolton Wanderers vs. Portsmouth
Football League
Division One
23rd April, 1949
Burnden Park, Bolton, Lancashire

Bolton Wanderers 1 Portsmouth 2

THEIR HERO MISSING AS CHAMPIONS CELEBRATE

As the Portsmouth players trooped off the field after a great victory over Bolton Wanderers, each player had a pat on the back for left-half Jimmy Dickinson, hero of a great second-half defensive action.  Thankfully the team slumped onto the dressing-room benches: "Well, it's a bit nearer the title," said one. As they finished their lemonade and prepared for a bath, the news came through - Manchester United and Newcastle had both drawn, and Pompey were champions. The players congratulated each other, but the lad who had done so much to make victory sure was not there.
In another room, Dickinson was having more stitches in a head wound which had reopened after ten minutes' play - a wound which should have kept him from the game but which he did not consider until the title was safe. Dickinson's display typified Portsmouth's title-win in their Jubilee year: fierce determination to succeed, backed by good football and team spirit. Before the match four stitches had been taken from Dickinson's wound. Club officials didn't want him to play but he insisted. At half-time it was suggested he should stay off. I'll be alright with a piece of plaster," he said.
So back he went to spur his team into the fiercest defensive action they have fought this season. Every five minutes a wet cloth was thrown to him from the touchline. Dabbing the wound, unable to head the ball, he occasionally staggered but helped blot Bolton's best wing from the game. And his spirit stopped his team wilting under constant attacks. Two points were vital," Jimmy told me, "we had to make sure and I wanted to play my part."
Said skipper Reg Flewin: "Jimmy's spirit has run through the whole team. They always put the side first."
Manager Bob Jackson, wearing his lucky bow-tie, said: "If Jimmy hadn't been there in the second half, Bolton might just have swayed the balance. We've aimed at team play. What better example than this?"

Gerry Loftus, The Daily Mirror
Monday, April 25, 1949 

Portsmouth FC - Football League Champions 1948-1949

  

Pompey celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1948. Field Marshal Montgomery who was president of the club greeted the players before the match against Arsenal at Fratton Park, which they won 4-1.  

In1949, under manager Bob Jackson, Portsmouth won their first League Title.   The squad played an attacking style of football, and featured midfield anchor Jimmy Dickinson, bustling left-winger Jack Froggatt, fleet right winger Peter Harris, and prolific forward Duggie Reid  The club also reached their peak attendance that season, averaging 37,082.

{PHOTO: Jimmy Dickinson, who holds the all-time appearance record for Portsmouth FC, with 764 games played (1946-65), as well as 48 caps for England.}

article from the equalizer

Portsmouth’s most golden of ages came during the 1940s as they became one of the dominant forces in post-war British football.

The Football League had resumed normal service in 1946/47 after the conclusion of the Second World War, ‘Pompey’ finishing twelfth and eighth in the First Division in 1947 and 1948 respectively. With popular manager Jack Tinn having been replaced at the helm by Bob Jackson, there were some doubts as to whether or not the club would continue to progress at quite the rate it had been doing prior to the war.

The South Coast club’s last major title had come just months before the outbreak of conflict in 1939, a Cliff Parker-inspired Pompey beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 in front of 99,000 at Wembley (1939 FA Cup Final here). Eight years on, Portsmouth were celebrating their Golden Jubilee and hopeful of collecting some silverware despite having a squad largely bereft of senior internationals and household names.

However, Portsmouth, led by captain Reg Flewin and powered by the goals of forwards Ike Clarke and Peter Harris, started the season in superb form and went unbeaten for thirteen games before defeat at Wolverhampton towards the end of October. Adopting the W-M system that was popular at the time and had been refined by former Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman, Pompey enjoyed both the best defensive and attacking records in the division, the goals being shared around by a dynamic forward line.

As the 1948/49 season entered its second half it began to look as though Portsmouth could become the first team in history to claim the league and cup double. Comfortably top of the table and into the semi-finals of the FA Cup, the campaign had gone without a hitch until Pompey drew Leicester City in the last four. Facing a team which included the tricky inside right Mal Griffiths and a powerful young centre forward by the name of Don Revie, Jackson’s side were undone and lost 3-1 in the game played at Highbury on 26th March.

Dreams of an historic double may have been crushed, but Portsmouth redoubled their efforts in the league and did enough to finish five points clear of Matt Busby’s ever-strengthening Manchester United. 50 years on from its foundation, Portsmouth Football Club had won its first Football League title and done it with a style and defensive security that few had thought this unremarkable squad capable of. 

Fratton Park's record attendance stands at 51,385 (FA Cup game against Derby in 1949) and the first match under floodlights was played in 1956.

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