GRIPES about how players no longer show enough pride and loyalty to their team, and how clubs are finding it hard to survive have not exactly been in short supply around Fratton Park recently.
But they are not new concerns even among sporting heroes, as a letter written to Pompey star Jimmy Dickinson during the 1970s reveals.
The letter, sent by fellow footballing legend Tom Finney, has gone on display at The National Football Museum and is part of a new exhibition marking the 125th anniversary of The Football League.
The club provided the handwritten letter from Sir Tom discussing the state of the game.
One-club man Dickinson holds the record number of league appearances for Pompey – 764.
Micah Hall, Pompey engagement officer, said he is proud the club is a part of the exhibition.
‘To some extent we are what the Football League is all about,’ he said.
‘We are immensely proud of Jimmy Dickinson and his legacy.
‘What we want to say to kids who are interested in getting into football is you can be a winner like Jimmy Dickinson.
‘That’s how we think the game should be played and how life should be lived at a community football club.’
Striker Sir Tom was also a one-club man, playing 433 times for Preston North End between 1946 and 1960.
The National Football Museum and The Football League have launched the exhibition at the museum’s new Manchester home.
Called Game Changers: 125 Years of The Football League, it features some of football’s most iconic and historic items. It features something from all 72 member league clubs.
League chairman Greg Clarke said: ‘The content of the exhibition is extraordinary; it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see items from 125 years of football history and we’re thrilled that it features contributions from all 72 league clubs.
‘I strongly encourage supporters to go and see the exhibition and the rest of this outstanding museum.’
Highlights include a shirt from the world’s first international match played in 1872, and the shirt worn by Maradona during the infamous 1986 World Cup ‘Hand of God’ quarter final match between England and Argentina.
The exhibition runs until April. Visit nationalfootballmuseum.com.