Tributes to ‘inspirational’ Pompey fan

Elliott Smith with Pompey players when they visited him at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham  Picture: Paul Jacobs (143638-1) PPP-141222-163619001
Elliott Smith with Pompey players when they visited him at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham Picture: Paul Jacobs (143638-1) PPP-141222-163619001
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HE was a loyal Blues fan who became a star in his own right at Fratton Park.

But after a courageous battle that drew the admiration of players, staff and fans alike, Elliott Smith lost his fight with cancer.

He was aged 19.

Gravely ill, his home over the past year has been a hospital bed at Queen Alexandra Hospital, but Elliott would summon the strength to go and watch his beloved team every fortnight.

Elliott, from Cosham, had a condition which causes tumours to grow on nerve ends and his mother died from the same cancer several years ago.

Family friend Malcolm Drew said: ‘Elliott’s main passion was Pompey FC and we decided to treat him to VIP treatment for what we assumed may be his last visit to Fratton Park at the start of last season.

‘At that time he had been given just weeks to a few months to live but such was his fighting spirit and determination to battle on he continued to leave his hospital bed to attend every day-time home match for the entire season despite being extremely ill and weak at times.

‘He touched and enriched many lives and has been adopted by many of the players and officials at Fratton Park and indeed they have gone to the most incredible lengths to make his visits special.

‘He was given the chief executive’s own seat in the directors’ box and been a regular visitor to the boardroom and players’ dressing room.

‘Many of the players and directors have been to visit him regularly in hospital, including Andy Awford, Alan Knight, Linvoy Primus, and the CEO Mark 
Catlin.’

Elliott’s friend Fred Dinenage was devastated.

‘Fred visited him every week,’ said Mr Drew.

‘Fred originally met Elliott when we gave him a VIP day out at Wembley to watch his beloved Pompey in the FA Cup in 2008.’

Elliott had been looked after by his aunt Elaine Bell, who Mr Drew described as a ‘tower of strength’.

Former Pompey star Jed Wallace, who left Fratton last week to join Wolves, tweeted: ‘Elliott one of the (most) inspirational people I’ve ever met, was a pleasure to become good friends with him. RIP buddy – never forgotten.’