Saturday, March 30, 2013: The fifth Pompey Hall of Fame induction.
PHOTO Mick Quinn is one of the five inductees into the 2012 Pompey Hall of Fame
It’s a night for dyed-in-the-wool Fratton folk to turn out and pay tribute to their heroes – the men who have provided the history for one of the English game’s institutions.
They will join the likes of Jimmy Dickinson, Alan Knight, Jack Froggatt, Guy Whittingham, Duggie Reid and Paul Walsh in the pantheon of Fratton greats.
The Hall of Fame is now firmly established on the Pompey calendar, an event not to be missed by followers of the club.
Each ceremony never fails to stir the emotions with laughter, jokes and an occasional tear in store.
Organiser and Hall of Fame committee chairman Jake Payne believes a philosophy to keep the event open to ‘proper fans’ has been key to its success.
Payne said: ‘It’s well established now, big time. I don’t have to sell it any more.
‘I put the letter out to all the people who have supported it and they all come back and get behind it.
‘I’ve kept the prices down again.
‘It means proper fans can come.
‘I truly believe the Hall of Fame is a fans’ event. It’s not a corporate event.
‘We could double the prices and still sell it out, but you wouldn’t get fans in.
‘I’m so pleased how it’s all evolved.
‘Last year was a cracking night. They all have been.
‘To me, they are proper Pompey dos. They are full of people who are Pompey through and through. That’s how it should be.
‘It’s great to hear people say how proud they are to be inducted.
‘When people like Paul Walsh, who has played for England, Liverpool and Tottenham, say that, it makes you realise how important it is. The same for Alan McLoughlin – it makes it all worthwhile.’
This year’s event will continue to pay homage to the full 114 years of Pompey’s history.
Weddle, who played for Pompey from 1927 to 1938, is the player from the club’s pre-war days to be honoured.
The centre forward, who passed away in 1979, remains second in the Blues’ all-time goalscoring charts to Peter Harris.
Payne feels Weddle is a worthy inductee and has called on any of his relatives to get in touch so they can attend the evening on his behalf.
He said: ‘You shouldn’t forget the first 50 years of history of the club before the war.
‘We had an illustrious history in that period that needs to be recognised.
‘That’s why there is posthumous award for John Weddle.
‘He is the club’s second top scorer in its history behind Peter Harris.
‘He played in the 1929 and 1934 Cup finals and was sold in 1938.
‘He played nearly 400 games and deserves to be recognised.
‘It would be great to know if there’s anyone in or around the city who is related to him because he played for Portsmouth for a long time.’
The Official Portsmouth Football Club Hall of Fame
Established March 2009
|Andy Awford||Alan Biley||Steve Claridge||Jimmy Dickinson||Reg Flewin||Jack Froggatt|
|Johnny Gordon||Peter Harris||Ray Hiron||Alan Knight(MBE)||Albert McCann||Alan McLoughlin|
|John Milkins||Len Phillips||Norman Piper||Linvoy Primus||Duggie Reid||Mick Tait|
|Jack Tinn||Paul Walsh||Guy Whittingham|
Biley, Claridge, Flewin And Piper Honoured
by Johnny Moore and Neil Weld
Alan Biley, Steve Claridge, Reg Flewin and Norman Piper were all inducted into Pompey’s Hall of Fame on an evening of nostalgia.
The former Blues players were honoured at a dinner and awards ceremony held at Port Solent’s Marriott Hotel.
There was also a special surprise presentation to former club secretary Paul Weld, who served the club for 38 years from 1973 until last October.
Piper, Biley and Claridge were all present to be honoured, while there was a posthumous award for Flewin, who captained Pompey’s back-to-back top-flight title-winning sides of 1949 and 1950.
Portsmouth-born Flewin made his Blues debut as an 18-year-old in 1939, but the outbreak of the second world war meant the centre-half had to wait more than seven years to make his next start.
A Royal Marines heavyweight boxing champion, Flewin took over as Pompey captain early in the 1946/47 season, becoming a key part of the side that would become the finest in the country.
Flewin’s award was presented to family member Andrea Hawkins by club stalwart Barry Harris.
Piper, who flew over from his home in the United States to be honoured, was a fixture in Pompey’s side between 1970 and 1978.
The Blues equalled a club record by paying Plymouth £40,000 for the England under-21 midfielder, who went to make 356 appearances and score 57 goals.
Norman Piper – who received his award from Weld – said: “I’m thrilled and honoured to be here and it means so much to me. There are no better fans than Pompey fans and I also have to thank my team-mates, for without them I wouldn’t be here.”
Alan Biley made himself a cult hero in the three years he played for Pompey after signing from Everton for £100,000 in 1982.
His resemblance to Rod Stewart made him the first Blues star to hold a pop star-like status as the image of footballers began to enjoy a transformation.
He scored 57 goals in 115 appearances, but will always be famed for two injury-time strikes at Fratton Park against top-of-the-table Oxford in 1984, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory. Those goals came in time added on for a pitch invasion by a fan dressed as Father Christmas!
Biley said: “This is very emotional for me because everyone knows how much I love Pompey. I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for the fans and this is the biggest honour I’ve ever had.”
Portsmouth-born Steve Claridge returned to Fratton Park in 1998, 14 years after being released as an apprentice.
As Pompey stared at relegation from Division One, Claridge’s return – initially on loan from Leicester – coincided with a ‘Great Escape’ from the drop.
His first Blues goal proved to be the winner on a famous Fratton night against Stockport that is still talked about. A constant chant of ‘Alan Ball’s Blue and White Army’ from the 8,662 crowd resounded around the ground for most of the night and helped spark a seven-match unbeaten run.
Claridge signed permanently in the summer and went on to make 122 appearances and score 37 goals, later becoming player-manager.
He said: “When I came back to sign for the club, I knew it was the right place for me – it was a dream move. Pompey is a proper football club.”
Weld’s award was presented by former Pompey boss Frank Burrows, who led the club out of Division Four in 1980, managing the Blues in two spells from 1979 and 1982 and again between 1990 and 1991.
Burrows was one of 19 full-time Pompey managers that Weld worked under during his outstanding period of long service at Fratton Park.
The former Blues boss said: “Paul was a big help to me during my time at the club and someone I consider to be a life-long friend. He’s one of the best.”
Weld said: “I’m overwhelmed to get this award from someone I respect and admire so much. It’s also great to see so many people who love Pompey as much as I do.”
This year’s inductees join an impressive list of former Pompey greats in the club’s Hall of Fame: Andy Awford, Jimmy Dickinson, Jack Froggatt, Johnny Gordon, Peter Harris, Ray Hiron, Alan Knight MBE, Albert McCann, Alan McLoughlin, John Milkins, Len Phillips, Linvoy Primus, Duggie Reid, Mick Tait, Jack Tinn, Paul Walsh and Guy Whittingham.
Tuesday 21 February 2012
The 2012 Pompey Hall of Fame has been hailed as the best ever.
The Pompey Sport & Education Foundation has received a £3,000 shot in the arm following another memorable evening honouring Blues heroes.
Reg Flewin, Norman Piper, Alan Biley and Steve Claridge were the latest hall of fame inductees.
But the highlight of the night was the surprise award to former Pompey secretary Paul Weld.
Weld received his award from former Blues manager Frank Burrows, as he was honoured for 38 years service to the club.
That proved to be an emotional moment, with the dyed-in-the-wool clubman delivering a moving speech.
The event at the Marriott Hotel again proved a roaring success, with ex-Pompey players coming from home and abroad and mingling with fans.
Hall of Fame committee chairman Jake Payne was delighted the event again proved a special night.
With fundraising now breaking the £10,000 barrier for local good causes, Payne thanked those who dug deep to lend their support.
And Payne paid special tribute to those who continue to back the event for the love of the club.
He said: ‘The place was buzzing and it was the best atmosphere we’ve had at a hall of fame night.
‘There’s been a lot of work put in by a lot of people to make it a success. But to hear people like Alan Biley say it’s one of the proudest moments of his life makes it all worthwhile.
‘It was good to see Paul Weld receive his award, and be completely surprised by it.
‘People put their time in for no financial gain.
‘Emma Beal, Rob Haines, Roger Higgins, Tony Male, Peter Jeffs and Dave Richards have all done that. They are not paid a bean – they do it for the love of the club.’
Pompey’s various supporters’ clubs were again well represented at the evening. And there was even a visit from 20 US-based fans who jetted in for the ceremony.
They were treated to a surprise visit from Father Christmas – who made an appearance in homage to the ‘Santa pitch invasion’ against Oxford in 1984.
That delay famously allowed Biley to turn defeat into victory with two goals in stoppage time.
Payne said: ‘It was a proper Pompey do – and it was good to have that special appearance, too!’