Blues pay tribute to legend

Friends and ex-Pompey players lay a wreath in memory of Len Phillips. Picture: Allan Hutchings (114512-567)
Friends and ex-Pompey players lay a wreath in memory of Len Phillips. Picture: Allan Hutchings (114512-567)
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Pompey paid tribute to legend Len Phillips before yesterday’s clash with Watford.

A rousing minute’s applause took place before kick-off at Fratton Park in honour of Phillips.

It was a fitting and emotional moment following the death of the England international, who was a key part of Pompey’s Championship-winning teams in 1949 and 1950.

A group of friends and ex-Pompey players laid a wreath on the pitch and held aloft a shirt with Phillips’ number 10 on it, along with a portrait of the Blues hero. Ex-players Pat Neil, Bill Albury, Lyn Powell, Ray Crawford and honorary Pompey Former Players’ Association member Jake Payne made up the group.

The home crowd then sang ‘One Len Phillips’ in honour of the man seen by many as the most gifted player to wear the star and crescent.

Members of Len’s family were at the game to witness the tribute with a moving eulogy, which was read at Phillips’ funeral by his friend Neil, reprinted in the club’s programme.