Sailors up for the cup

CUP Nick Hoskins and Ryan Stewart with the Barclays Premier League trophy
CUP Nick Hoskins and Ryan Stewart with the Barclays Premier League trophy
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SAILORS at Portsmouth Naval base lived the dream of many a football fan when they got close to the coveted Barclays Premier League Trophy in all its glory.

The prized silverware was on display at the naval base all day – first at Type-23 frigate HMS Iron Duke and then at the Neptune Café at HMS Nelson – where sailors paid £1 each to be photographed alongside it.

Each £1 was matched by Barclays bank as a donation to HMS Iron Duke’s chosen charity of the maternity ward at East Yorkshire Hospital.

Pompey fan Able Seaman Ryan Stewart, 23, of Cosham, said: ‘It’s good to see the trophy on board – it’s something a bit different and it gets a bit of the football banter going between the fans here.’

Iron Duke recently returned home from a seven-month deployment east of the Suez Canal where she performed the final patrol of the Al Basrah oil terminal in Iraqi waters following eight years of a Royal Navy presence there, and worked to combat smuggling and human trafficking in the Gulf.

The ship is currently preparing for a visit to its affiliated city of Hull.

Lieutenant Commander John Clague, who supports Newcastle United, said: ‘Everyone is working very hard on the ship at the moment so this is a nice distraction for them.’