Title winners reunite on Pompey night of nostalgia

It has been 32 years since Pompey won the Division Three title under Bobby Campbell.

So on Friday night it was great to catch up with two of my team-mates from those days in Alan Biley and Alan Rogers.

The three of us were reunited at the launch of Played Up Pompey Neil Allen’s book containing interviews with 24 ex-Blues players.

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Barry Harris, who wrote the foreword, was also present for a Q&A session, with fans in a packed Victory Lounge at Fratton Park.

More than 300 people were present, including chairman Iain McInnes, chief executive Mark Catlin, Trust and club board member Ashley Brown, and new Trust board member Johnny Ertl.

I am also told around 200 books were sold on the night, so it was a success all round.

I enjoy evenings like that, with a bit of banter as the crowd reminisce – even if I am always going to get grief over Noel Blake and that Wimbledon goal!

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As ex-players, you are usually nervous about what could be chucked at you, but it is always fun and I think everybody had a great time.

From my point of view, it was good to hear what Rogers, Biles and Barry had to say about events from the past.

I haven’t seen Alan Rogers much over the years, while in the dressing room he was one of the quieter members of the squad.

We played together but I was younger, one of the babies in the dressing room, and my circle was different, whereas he was more of a family man.

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Instead, I would hang around with Steve Bryant, Dave Gregory, Ian Purdie and Keith James – just lads who had been apprentices like me.

He was a great deliverer of the ball, up there alongside Kevin O’Callaghan and Vince Hilaire, even if Vince used to scare everyone in the Fratton end with his crossing!

As for Biles, we have caught up over the years at various Fratton Park events and he would have loved to have stayed for the Yeovil game but his mum is a little bit poorly at the moment.

He’s always good value, has some great stories, a larger-than-life character and was always a bit flamboyant, even his shirt told the story!

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It was a great turnout for the evening and Played Up Pompey is available from dealmonster.co.uk/TheNews

Meanwhile, it was great to see a good crowd watch the Superstar Sunday Celebrity Funday match at Westleigh Park.

Around £4,000 was raised on the day as Pompey Legends won 3-2 – although ‘Touchline’ Tony Male thought it was 4-1!