Portsmouth F.C.

Portsmouth F.C.

Football club infobox
clubname = Portsmouth F.C.

fullname = Portsmouth Football Club
nickname = Pompey
The Blues
founded = 1898
capacity = 20,688
owner = flagicon|FRA flagicon|RUS flagicon|ISR Alexandre Gaydamak
chairman = flagicon|ENG Peter Storrie
manager = flagicon|England Harry Redknapp
assistant manager = flagicon|England Tony Adams | footballer
league = Premier League
season = 2007-08
position = Premier League, 8th | ground = Fratton Park
Hampshire, England
pattern_la2=_whiteborder|pattern_b2=_shouldersonwhite|pattern_ra2=_whiteborder|pattern_sh2=_blue stripes


Portsmouth Football Club is an English football club based in the south coast city of Portsmouth. The club is nicknamed Pompey [cite web |url=http://www.royalnavalmuseum.org/info_sheets_nicknames.htm |title= Pompey, Chats and Guz |publisher=Royal Navy Museum] , sometimes called 'The Blues' and their fans known as 'The Blue Army'. They play in the Premier League. The club is currently owned by the Franco-Russian-Israeli Alexandre Gaydamak.cite news | title=Premier League statement | url=http://www.premierleague.com/page/Headlines/0,,12306~1401503,00.html | publisher=Premier League | date=2001-09-23 | accessdate=2008-10-03] They are the current holders of the FA Cup.


Beginnings of Portsmouth FC : 1898 - 1939

The club was founded on 5 April 1898 with John Brickwood, owner of the local brewery, as chairman, and Frank Brettell as the club's first manager. The club joined the Southern League in 1899 and their first league match was played at Chatham Town on 2 September 1899 (a 1-0 victory) [cite web|url=http://www.talkfootball.co.uk/guides/footballclubs/history_of_portsmouth.html|title=Portsmouth FC History|accessdate=2008-07-04|publisher=Talk Football] , followed three days later by the first match at Fratton Park, a friendly against local rivals Southampton, which was won 2–0. That first season was hugely successful, with the club winning 20 out of 28 league matches, earning them the runner-up spot in the league. 1910-11 saw Portsmouth relegated, but with the recruitment of Robert Brown as manager the team were promoted the next season.

Football was suspended during World War I, but following the resumption of matches Portsmouth won the Southern League for the second time. Continuing success saw them in the Third Division for the 1920-21 season. They finished 12th that year, but won the division in the 1923-24 season. The club continued to perform well in the Second Division, winning promotion by finishing 2nd in the 1926-27 season, gaining a record 9-1 win over Notts County along the way.

Portsmouth's debut season in the First Division was a struggle. The next season they continued to falter, losing 10-0 to Leicester City, still a club record defeat. However, despite their failings in the league, that season also saw Portsmouth reach the FA Cup final for the first time, which they lost to Bolton Wanderers.

Portsmouth managed to survive relegation, and their fortunes began to change. The 1933-34 season saw Portsmouth again reach the FA Cup Final, beating Manchester United, Bolton Wanderers, Leicester City and Birmingham City on the way. Unfortunately the club was again defeated in the final, this time to Manchester City.

Having established themselves in the top flight, the 1938-39 season saw Portsmouth reach their third FA Cup Final. This time the club managed to defeat the favourites, Wolves, convincingly 4-1. Bert Barlow and Jock Anderson scored whilst Cliff Parker scored twice (3rd and 4th) completed the famous victory.

League football was again suspended due to World War II, meaning Pompey hold the unusual distinction of holding the FA Cup for the longest uninterrupted period as the trophy wasn't contested again until the 1945-46 season.

Post War Pompey : 1946 - 1971

League football resumed for the 1946-47 campaign. In Pompey's "Golden Jubilee" season of 1948-49, the club were tipped to be the first team of the 20th century to win the Football League and FA Cup double. However, Pompey crashed out of the FA Cup in the semi-final against Leicester City, but made up for it by claiming the league title in spectacular fashion. That season also saw a record attendance of 51,385, a record which still stands to this day.

The club retained the title the following year, beating Aston Villa 5-1 on the last day of the season, and are thus one of only five English teams to have won back to back titles since World War II. Although the team finished third in 1954-55, subsequent seasons saw Portsmouth struggle and they were relegated to the Second Division in 1959.

Portsmouth went down to the Third Division in 1961 but were promoted back to the Second Division at the first time of asking under the guidance of George Smith. Despite limited financial means, Smith maintained Portsmouth's Second Division status throughout the sixties until moving upstairs to become General Manager in April 1970.

John Deacon and Pompey : 1972 - 1988

A cash injection, that accompanied the arrival of John Deacon as chairman in 1972, failed to improve Portsmouth's league position. With Deacon unable to continue bankrolling the club on the same scale, Portsmouth were relegated to the Third Division in 1976.

In November 1976 the club found itself needing to raise £25,000 to pay off debts and so avoid bankruptcy. With players having to be sold to ease the club's financial situation, and no money available for replacements, Portsmouth were forced to rely on an untried manager, Ian St John and inexperienced young players. Consequently, they were relegated to the Fourth Division in 1978.

Portsmouth were promoted back to Division Three in 1980, and in the 1982-83 season they won the Third Division championship, gaining promotion back to the Second Division. Under Alan Ball's management, Portsmouth narrowly missed winning promotion to the First Division twice before finally succeeding in 1986-87. Unfortunately, by the middle of the 1987-88 season the club was again in grave financial trouble, and Portsmouth were relegated straight back to the Second Division. The summer of 1988 saw Deacon sell the club to London based businessman and former QPR Chairman, Jim Gregory.

Jim Smith, Venables and Mandarić : 1991 - 2001

Jim Smith's arrival as manager at the start of the 1991-92 season, combined with the emergence of some good young players, sparked a revival in the team's fortunes and that year Portsmouth reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, losing on penalties to eventual winners Liverpool after a replay. The following season, Portsmouth missed out on promotion to the FA Premier League only by virtue of having scored one less goal than West Ham United.

In the summer of 1996 Terry Venables arrived at Portsmouth as a consultant, later taking over as chairman after buying the club for £1. The team enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 1996-97, beating FA Premier League side Leeds United en route, but finished just short of the qualifying places for the play-offs for promotion to the Premier League.

Portsmouth's centenary season, 1998-99, saw a serious financial crisis hit the club, and in December 1998 Portsmouth went into financial administration. Milan Mandarić saved the club with a takeover deal in May 1999, and the new chairman immediately started investing. However the club only survived on the last day of the 2000-2001 season when they won their final game and Huddersfield Town lost theirs, keeping Portsmouth up at their expense.

The Harry Redknapp Era : 2002 - present

Harry Redknapp took over as manager in early 2002, with Jim Smith as assistant. Just over a year later, Portsmouth were celebrating winning the Division One Championship and promotion to the Premier League, winning the title with a game to spare. [cite news |title=Portsmouth clinch promotion and championship |url=http://www.rte.ie/sport/2003/0427/portsmouth.html |publisher=RTÉ Sport |date= 2003-04-27 |accessdate=2007-08-27]

Since arriving in the Premier League, the club finished 13th, 16th, and 17th in its first three seasons before being bought by businessman Alexandre Gaydamak. With large amounts of money available for the manager to make record signings, the club finished their 2006-2007 season in the Premier League in the top half of the table for the first time, only one point short of European qualification; however, there was to be some consolation as Portsmouth beat Liverpool 4-2 on penalties to win the Barclays Asia Trophy after a goalless draw, with Pompey goalkeeper David James saving penalties from Yossi Benayoun and Fernando Torres.

In 2008, Portsmouth reached the FA Cup final for the first time since 1939. They eliminated Manchester United at Old Trafford and the following day became the only Premier League team left in the cup, following Barnsley's surprise win over Chelsea. Portsmouth immediately became favourites to win the cup; in a season noted for the scalping of favourites. They beat Championship side West Bromwich Albion 1-0 on 5 April at Wembley Stadium in the semi-finals, the same day that the club celebrated its 110th birthday. Portsmouth went on to win the cup with a 1-0 win against Championship team Cardiff City. The win earned them a place in the 2008-09 UEFA Cup, the club's first time playing European football. Their first UEFA cup match resulted in an historic 2-0 victory over Vitoria SC and went on to win tha game (4,2) this put Portsmouth in the group stages for the first time in their history.

Club colours

Portsmouth's first ever kit had a shirt that was salmon pink in colour with white shorts and maroon socks. This kit lasted until 1909 when they changed to white shirts with royal blue shorts and socks. This kit lasted just two years before it was changed for blue shirts, white shorts and black socks. This was Portsmouth's home strip up until 1947 when the socks were changed to red; this conicided with the club's most successful period and has remained the favoured colours for majority of the time since. Yellow and more recently gold have also been used as secondary colours on the club's home shirts. [cite news |title=Pompey's Home Kits Through The Ages |url=http://www.pompeyweb.co.uk/kits.htm |publisher=pompeyweb.co.uk |date= |accessdate=2007-08-27] For the 2008-09 season Portsmouth's first choice home colours will be blue shirts with blue shorts and socks. The club has confirmed it will revert to its traditional strip for the 2009-10 season.

The most frequent away colours used by Portsmouth have been white shirts with royal blue shorts and either royal blue or white socks. The club has had white as either the second or third choice shirt for every season since 1998-99 to date. Other colours that have appeared several times on Portsmouth change kits have been yellow (usually with blue shorts) and red (often combined with black.) Portsmouth have also briefly experimented with salmon pink, orange, navy blue and, perhaps most notably, gold change strips. Since the 2006-07 season the club has used black with a gold trim as its third choice colours.

Club crest

The official emblem contains a gold star and crescent on a blue shield, Portsmouth's adoption of the star and crescent (usually synonymous with Islam) is said to have came from when King Richard I, granted the city "a crescent of gold on a shade of azure, with a blazing star of eight points" which he had taken from the Byzantine Emperor's standard of Governor Isaac Komnenos, after capturing Cyprus. It is one of the most recognisable football crests in English football and is nicknamed 'the smiley crest' because of its similarity to a smiling face.

Throughout its history Portsmouth have tried different variations of the crest before reverting back to the basic gold star and crescent. In the 1950s and 1960s the traditional crest was emblazoned on the shirt in white rather than gold but this was due to white being a cheaper alternative.

Between 1980 and 1989 the club scrapped the original crest and replaced it with a new design. This crest showed a football on top of an anchor (representing the navy) and a sword (representing the army). An interchangeable version included a circular version of the star and crescent crest in place of the football.

The return of the original crest in 1989 only lasted 4 years when it was replaced by the city's coat of arms in 1993. This design centred around the basic star and crescent but was unpopular with many fans who thought it was overelaborate. After only four seasons the original crest was again reinstated and remains to the present day. In time for the 2007 season "Since 1898" was added to the badge underneath the club's name.

On 6 May 2008 Portsmouth FC unveiled a new crest which differs significantly from the old crest. It removes the 'three points' and the 'star and moon' now have a three dimensional look. The 'moon' also has more diameter and looks quite like the citys Coat of Arms.


Portsmouth play their home games at Fratton Park, in Portsmouth. The ground has been home to the club throughout its entire history. It is the only football stadium in the English professional leagues to be located off the British mainland.fact|date=September 2008

Plans for relocation were first mooted as long ago as the early 1990s, but due to various objections, the club has continued to play at Fratton Park. As of September 2008, a new stadium is planned for a site offered by the Royal Navy at Horsea Island, between Stamshaw and Port Solent. The new project is also a Herzog & De Meuron design and the plans include an adjacent 10000 capacity indoor arena. Portsmouth are hoping to have the stadium ready in 2011.

The FA have suggested using the proposed stadium as a venue for future World Cup bids, assisting with expanding the capacity beyond 40,000.



Prior to the mid/late 1960s, rivalry between Portsmouth and Southampton was largely nonexistent, as a consequence of their disparity in league status (Southampton being in a lower league). This derby match has hence taken place relatively infrequently as, for much of their history, the two teams have been in different divisions. Since 1977, the teams have only played league games against each other in three seasons (1987-88, 2003-04 and 2004-05). Including Southern League games, there have been 67 games between the clubs, with Portsmouth winning 20 and Southampton significantly more (34).

Another rivalry over the years was with Plymouth Argyle. This rivalry was known as the Dockyard Derby, Naval Derby or Battle of the Ports.

The Pompey Chimes

The best known chant sung by Portsmouth supporters is the "Pompey Chimes" ("Play up Pompey, Pompey play up", sung to the tune of the Westminster Chimes) which is sung around Fratton Park. The origins of the 'Pompey Chimes' lies with the Royal Artillery, Portsmouth's most popular and successful football team for much of the 1890s, who played many of their home games at the United Services ground in Burnaby Road. The nearby Guildhall clock would strike the quarter hours and the referees would use the clock to let them know when the match should finish at 4pm. Just before 4pm the crowd would lilt in unison with the chimes of the hour to encourage the referee to blow the whistle signifying full time. The original words to 'The Chimes', as printed in the 1900-01 Official Handbook of Portsmouth FC, were:

"Play up Pompey,"
"Just one more goal!"
"Make tracks! What ho!"
"Hallo! Hallo!!"

With the demise of Royal Artillery after their expulsion from the 1898-99 FA Amateur Cup for alleged professionalism, many of Royal Artillery's supporters transferred their allegiance to the newly formed Portsmouth F.C. and brought the Chimes chant with them.

Their home ground has been named by some as nicknamed "Fortress Fratton". Atmospheres which are most memorable include Portsmouth's 1-0 win over Stockport County in the 1997/98 season which helped Alan Ball's side to an incredible escape from relegation to division 2. A journalist described it best, saying "each attack from Stockport was seemingly halted by a wall of sound".


Portsmouth have had many problems with hooliganism over the years. The 6.57 Crew (so called as this was the time of the Portsmouth - London Waterloo Train they used on a Saturday morning) were a hooligan firm associated with the club. Several books have been published that chronicle, and arguably celebrate, the exploits of Portsmouth's hooligans, mainly covering the 1970s and 1980s.

Premiership record

Portsmouth have been members of the FA Premier League since winning the then First Division in 2003. Their best finish occurred in the 2007/2008 season when they finished 8th.


Pompey Players at the World Cup


;flagicon|England England
* Jimmy Dickinson


;flagicon|England England
* Jimmy Dickinson;flagicon|Scotland Scotland
*Jackie Henderson
*Alex Young


;flagicon|Northern Ireland Northern Ireland
* Norman Uprichard
* Derek Dougan


;flagicon|Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland
* Alan McLoughlin


;flagicon|Jamaica Jamaica
* Fitzroy Simpson
* Paul Hall


;flagicon|Croatia Croatia
* Robert Prosinečki;flagicon|Japan Japan
* Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi;flagicon|Slovenia Slovenia
* Mladen Rudonja


;flagicon|Serbia and Montenegro Serbia and Montenegro
* Ognjen Koroman
*col-begin-small ;flagicon|Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago
*Shaka Hislop

Portsmouth XI

At the close of the 2007-08 Premier League season the readers of "The News" were able to vote for the all-time best Portsmouth XI.

"Includes all competitive matches. Caretaker managers are denoted with an asterisk (*)."

Women's football

The club's female counterpart is Portsmouth L.F.C., which currently plays in the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division.

Affiliated clubs

;flagicon|England England
* Havant & Waterlooville

;flagicon|Belgium Belgium
* SV Zulte Waregem

;flagicon|Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago
* San Juan Jabloteh


*Football League First Division/Premier League (first tier)Up until 1992, the top division of English football was the Football League First Division; since then, it has been the Premier League. Similarly until 1992, the Second Division was the second tier of league football, when it became the First Division, and is now known as The Championship. The third tier was the Third Division until 1992, and is now known as League One.]
** Champions 1949, 1950
*Football League Second Division/Football League First Division (second tier)
** Champions 2003
** Runners-up 1927, 1987
*Football League Third Division (South)/Football League Third Division (third tier)
** Champions 1924, 1962, 1983
*FA Cup
** Winners 1939, 2008
** Runners-up 1929, 1934
** Semi-finalists 1949, 1992
*FA Charity Shield/FA Community Shield
** Winners 1949 (Shared)
** Runners-up 2008
*Southern League
** Champions 1902, 1920
** Runners-up 1900, 1907
*Southern Charity Cup
**Winners 1903
**Runners-up 1909
*Hampshire Charity Cup
**Winners 1906, 1907
*Western Football League
** Champions 1901, 1902, 1903
** Runners-up 1908
*London War Cup
**Runners-up 1942
*Barclays Asia Trophy
**Winners 2007

Club records

*Record attendance: 51,385 v Derby County, FA Cup, 26 February 1949
*Record victory: 9-1 v Notts County, Division 2, 9 April 1927
*Record defeat: 0-10 v Leicester City, Division 1, 20 October 1928
*Highest scoring game: 7-4 v Reading, Premier League, 29 September 2007 (also a league record)
*Most appearances for club: 834 Jimmy Dickinson, 1946-65
*Most league goals for club: 194 Peter Harris, 1946-60
*Most league goals in a season: 42 Guy Whittingham, 1992/93
*Most goals for club: 211 Peter Harris, 1946-60
*Most international caps whilst at club: 48 Jimmy Dickinson
*Transfer record (received): £12.7m from Inter Milan for Sulley Muntari July 2008
*Transfer record (paid): £11 m to Liverpool for Peter Crouch, July 2008

Record signing

On 11 July 2008, Portsmouth completed the club-record signing - thought to be around £11 million - of England striker Peter Crouch in a four-year deal from Liverpool. This marked the second time Crouch had been Portsmouth's most expensive player as in 2001 his £1.5m fee was a club record.

Portsmouth's first million pound signing was Rory Allen in summer 1999. [cite news |title=Pompey swoop for Spurs striker |url=http://archive.andoveradvertiser.co.uk/1999/7/15/90597.html |publisher=Andover Advertiser |date=1999-07-15 |accessdate=2007-08-27] [cite news |title=ORIGINS OF THE NAVAL TOWN NICKNAMES FOR PORTSMOUTH, CHATHAM AND DEVONPORT |The Origin of Portsmouth's Nickname. |url=http://www.royalnavalmuseum.org/info_sheets_nicknames.htm |publisher=Royal Navy Museum | accessdate=2007-11-17]

External links

* [http://www.portsmouthfc.co.uk Official Website]
* [http://www.skysports.com/football/team/0,19734,11674,00.html Skysports.com - Portsmouth FC]
* [http://www.football365.com/teams/portsmouth/0,17032,8702,00.html Football365.com - Portsmouth FC]
* [http://www.teamtalk.com/football/portsmouth/0,16370,1782,00.html TEAM"talk".com - Portsmouth FC]
* [http://www.sportinglife.com/football/premiership/portsmouth/news/ sportinglife.com - Portsmouth FC]
* [http://www.premierleague.com/portsmouth.html Premierleague.com - Portsmouth]
* [http://www.fchd.info/PORTSMOU.HTM Portsmouth Stats]
* [http://www.fchd.info/RA-PORTS.HTM Royal Artillery Portsmouth Stats]


*cite book
author=Colin Farmery
title=Portsmouth: the Modern Era - a Complete Record
publisher=Desert Island Books
id=ISBN 1-905328-08-7

*cite book
author=Colin Farmery
title=Portsmouth: From Tindall to Ball - A Complete Record
publisher=Desert Island Books
id=ISBN 1-874287-25-2

*cite book
author=Dave Juson & others
title=Saints v Pompey - A history of unrelenting rivalry
id=ISBN 0-9534474-5-6

*cite book
author=Colin Farmery
title=Seventeen Miles From Paradise - Saints v Pompey: Passion, Pride and Prejudice
publisher=Desert Island Books
id=ISBN 1-874287-89-9

*cite book
author=Cass Pennant & Rob Silvester
title=Rolling With The 6.57 Crew - The True Story of Pompey's Legendary Football Fans
publisher=John Blake Publishing
id=ISBN 1-844540-72-3

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