A passing player Pompey will never forget

Sylvain Distin celebrates lifting the FA Cup with Pompey

Sylvain Distin celebrates lifting the FA Cup with Pompey

Carl Baker celebrates scoring. Photo by Joe Pepler/Digital South.

WATCH: Fans salute promoted Pompey before and after victory over Cambridge

  • Distin was a free transfer arrival from Manchester City in the summer of 2007
  • He made 96 appearances for Pompey before sold to Everton in a £5m deal
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Sylvain Distin’s photograph still adorns a wall deep within the South stand.

In the aftermath of the Barclays Asia Trophy triumph over Liverpool, the central defender is captured in full beam.

Pompey's Cup success was a great memory for Sylvain Distin

Pompey's Cup success was a great memory for Sylvain Distin

Behind him is Hermann Hreidarsson, positioned in front of celebrating supporters from that July 2007 event.

It has been almost six-and-a-half years since Distin last ventured into Fratton Park.

Yet his memory – and image – remain an integral part of the club’s fabric.

The FA Cup victory, the club’s first foray into European competition, the highest league finish for more than half a century, three visits to Wembley.

The FA Cup in 2008 remains the only trophy I have won in this country and is something I cherish

Sylvain Distin

They all occurred on the classy Frenchman’s watch during a memorable two-year stay.

Tomorrow he will again set foot at Fratton, with only a few faces left behind the scenes to draw his recognition.

Now aged 38, he will represent Bournemouth in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Yet amid a sell-out crowd, the Fratton faithful’s admiration has certainly not diminished over the years.

He told The News: ‘It’s great there are still pictures of our achievements around the ground, that’s the type of thing the club should cherish and show the new generation.

‘My time at Pompey was great, but at the same time very strange.

‘It went really high, really quickly – then everything went really low, really quickly. We went through the extremes, it was one big rollercoaster.

‘My time there went really fast, but it actually seemed like four or five seasons! Everything that happened made it feel like it lasted longer than it was.

‘Looking back, it was a club which had a great atmosphere around the place.

‘Everybody lived in different places, some in London, some around Bournemouth, so we didn’t spend a lot of time together. But when we did, it was great.

‘Harry Redknapp was there and we had some really good training sessions, there was always laughter around the place and it was really enjoyable.

‘The FA Cup in 2008 remains the only trophy I have won in this country and is something I cherish.

‘People still ask about my shirt being backwards during the presentation, well it was something I decided to do after the game, I hadn’t thought about it before.

‘Winning the cup was a wonderful moment for me and my family, mainly my parents, and I just wanted them to see our name to make them proud.

‘Everything about that day was special.’

Distin and his Cherries team-mates will be out to avoid an upset tomorrow.

Although he also may have to dodge kitman Kev McCormack.

He added: ‘I guess there’s not going to be anyone I know or recognise apart from Big Kev the kitman and Barry Harris.

‘Kev is a big boxer and a big lad and I used to put him in his place a few times and he ended up on his backside with a few punches I gave!

‘Once he tried to get me and I managed to block it on my elbow, but he hit it on the nerve so for a month I couldn’t feel my hand. It was part of the game between me and him!

‘Barry was a bit more discreet!’

Will Pompey beat Bournemouth in the Cup – vote here.

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