HORNDEAN Football Club will host the legends of Pompey in a match to celebrate their 125th anniversary.
The Wessex Premier Division club, based in Five Heads Road, will kick off celebrations for the historic milestone with a fundraising match on Sunday where former Pompey goalkeeper and Horndean manager Alan Knight will lead a team of former Pompey stars.
They will fight it out on the pitch with players from Horndean’s past and present and the club is hoping to encourage more former players to get in touch.
Director Ian Sheppard, 49, who started playing for the club aged 11, said: ‘When I joined the club it was run by Gladys Berry and she was a real stalwart of the community.
‘The club house bar is being renamed BZ Bar after Mrs Berry.
‘She belonged to the Heath family who set the club up 125 years ago.
‘The club was her baby and she invested a lot of time and effort into it.
‘Unfortunately she passed away four years ago in her late 70s but the club is still thriving and has a real community spirit.
‘There are 200 players but lots of people in the community are associated with the club too.
‘We recently had a £20,000 refurbishment of the club house to mark the anniversary and it was paid for through fundraising, goodwill and a lot of free labour.’
Although Mr Sheppard gave up playing three years ago he will be back in his old defensive position for the legends match.
And he is looking for other former players – no matter what their age – to join him on the pitch.
He said: ‘It would be great to see the old faces.
‘Over the years contact numbers have gone missing and we’ve lost people’s addresses so hopefully anyone with a passion for the club will turn up even if they don’t want to play. It’s going to be a great celebration.’
The club was taken over four years ago by Denmead and Purbrook FC.
Together with a close band of volunteers it has been revitalised.
Mr Sheppard said: ‘We want people to know that we are an inclusive club, not exclusive.
‘It’s for all ages and abilities to come down and train.
‘We are not a members’ club, we are a community club.
‘And the bar is more of a pub, not a social club, which is open to everybody to come and enjoy.’
Kick off is at 2pm. There will be a hog roast and the bar will be open early.
The players will be prepared to sign memorabilia after the game.
There is also an opportunity for youngsters to be mascots.
Anyone wishing to get involved on Sunday can contact Mr Sheppard on 07733 985250.