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.