Pompey diary: Mrs Chairman’s in pole position

Pompey players and staff come together for a group picture on their pre-season tour of Ireland    Picture: Neil Allen
Pompey players and staff come together for a group picture on their pre-season tour of Ireland Picture: Neil Allen
Barry Day and Angie England at TS

St Cuthbert's Church Fair in Portsmouth

Picture Ian Hargreaves  (170764-1)

All the fun of the fair

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YOU can’t put a price on being among your own people.

That’s certainly the view of Mrs Chairman as Pompey’s pre-season visit to Ireland came to a close.

The weekend warm-up win over Bohemians showcased just how much interaction with supporters is valued in the community era.

The gesture from Jane McInnes to her husband, and Blues chairman Iain, underlined that emphatically.

As a dutiful wife, Jane went to the trouble of spoiling her fella with VIP tickets to the British Grand Prix yesterday.

When you have access to the drivers’ lounge, such treats don’t come cheaply with McInnes saving several thousand pounds of her pocket money to give her man a treat.

The trade off from that was a hasty departure from Dalymount Park in Dublin after the weekend success.

But McInnes wasn’t prepared to do that without giving some time to share with the loyal following who crossed the Irish Sea.

That led to a north Dublin gathering in one of the many fine hostelries available in the wake of the friendly.

McInnes was more than happy to share an anecdote or two with supporters over a Guinness – a gesture which was heartily appreciated.

Conversations also included the Blues’ two Ireland outings – a 3-3 draw at Sligo Rovers on Wednesday and the comfortable 2-0 victory over Bohemians at the weekend – and hopes for the season ahead.

But soon the time arrived to depart for the city airport and a return to England.

Just that our sociable chairman wasn’t quite ready to do that.

Soon the reality a quick exit was needed to make the flight became no exit was necessary, as Mrs Chairman took the decision to bin the flights home – and consequently the chances of making it to Silverstone.

It was a sacrifice worth making for the McInnes clan to spend precious time with dyed-in-the-wool Blues folk.

It also left a pair of sought after tickets up for grabs.

The club’s multimedia journalist, Dan Smith, was in pole position to land them until it became apparent his flight wouldn’t get him back in time.

Ben Tollitt and triallist goalkeeper, Michael Crowe, went the extra mile of shelling out for new flight, however, to land the golden tickets.

n Despite the attention he’s drawn in Ireland, Paul Cook wasn’t the biggest name in town on Saturday.

The Stone Roses were causing a stir with their gig at Marlay Park.

And a certain Beyonce pulled in the crowds with her sell-out performance at Croke Park – a stone’s throw from Bohemians’ home.

Indeed, one Bohs steward clearly thought Pompey were Crazy in Love with Mrs Jay-Z.

‘Are you here for the Beyonce concert?’ he enquired to a bemused team bus, as they arrived at Dalymount Park on Saturday afternoon.