Chance to own a piece of the new Fratton optimism

CELEBRATION The Pompey players in front of the Fratton end before the Oxford game. Picture: Joe Pepler

CELEBRATION The Pompey players in front of the Fratton end before the Oxford game. Picture: Joe Pepler

Alex Kiwomya

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THIS is the moment that captured the new spirit of optimism at Pompey.

The sea of blue and gold cards spelling out the word ‘Ours’ was a symbol of a new start for a club that has been through hard times over the past five years.

This photograph of supporters and players pulling together at the club’s season-opener at Fratton Park is a message of hope and support for the future, after the fans took control of their club this year.

And this is your chance to own a copy of the photo which is part of the club’s history – with 50p from every copy sold going straight to the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, which owns the majority of the club.

Club photographer Joe Pepler captured the image.

He said: ‘I started in 2006 at Pompey which was at the height.

‘Since 2008 we have seen it taken over by the wrong type of people. This symbolises everything to the fans. It’s their club. So many people have complained about how the club has been run. They finally have the chance to see what they can make of it.

‘It was an amazing atmosphere. This is their real chance to prove to the world that a club as big as Portsmouth can succeed under the Trust.’

Joe said he had been waiting for the players to gather in a huddle to capture the shot. ‘It was a lovely day. In my head I had the huddle a bit closer to me. They kept going near to the fans to say “we are together”. I couldn’t get too close because you would lose either side of the Fratton End. We wanted to make sure we got the whole stand in.

‘But now we’ve seen the image it works better because the players are right by the fans. I’m really pleased.’

Earlier this year the Supporters’ Trust took control of the club as it came out of administration, making it the biggest fan-owned club in the UK.

Micah Hall, Pompey engagement manager, said a team of volunteers were in the ground the night before filling the Fratton End with the gold and blue cards. ‘We had been talking about it for quite a while. We were looking for just one word,’ he said. ‘I thought it looked absolutely brilliant.

‘Everybody did their bit. It was a real lump-in-the-throat moment. Whatever happened on the pitch, this summed it up: It’s ours.’

Pompey set off on their first league away game of the season at Accrington Stanley today. The Sports Mail will be on sale tonight with a full report from the match.

HOW TO ORDER A COPY

The poster will be available to buy through our website newsportsmouth.co.uk and from News branch offices from Monday week.

The poster will cost £3.49. If buying via the website the total cost will be £5.74. To place an order by phone ring 0844 2920216. Calls are charged at local rates from land lines. Lines open Monday-Friday 9am until 7pm and 9am until 1pm on Saturdays.

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