Contractors stand by Pompey shirt prank

UNDER CONSTRUCTION The Staplewood training development
UNDER CONSTRUCTION The Staplewood training development
Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

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ONE of the men who built a Pompey shirt and scarf into the Saints training ground says he doesn’t regret doing it.

Michael Tyler, 28, from Leigh Park and Tom Rickard, from Hilsea, lost three days’ worth of money for the prank, which they carried out when they were contracted to work on the ground.

They hid the shirt behind the dry lining in the wall, and uploaded a 47-second video of their joke onto the YouTube website.

Mr Tyler said: ‘It was only up for 12 hours but it got 4,000 hits. It went a bit far, so I took it down.

‘We were also asked to go back on site and remove the shirt – but we 
couldn’t because we were banned.’

Michael and Tom are self-employed, and often work together to help out contractors.

This time they were working for Mayflower, which in turn was contracted by Leadbitter Group to carry out the Staplewood redevelopment.

Michael said: ‘We were only given the postcode of the site, not the address, but when we found out where we were going we began to have the idea to do it.

‘We’ve been told we’re not going to get any money for the three days of work we did there.

‘Apparently Nicola Cortese, the chairman, rang Mayflower directly to tell them.’

Despite losing money, Michael is standing by his prank.

He said: ‘I’m a Pompey fan through and through and yes I’ve lost three days’ worth of money but I’m a fan and it doesn’t really affect me.

‘I’ve had people offering to buy me drinks because of it and all sorts.

‘We have got work going on, and we work all over the country.’

As previously reported in The News, Leadbitter Group has described the pair’s prank as ‘unprofessional’.

In a statement, a spokeswoman said: ‘The individuals involved were not directly employed by Leadbitter.

‘They are no longer working on the project and the shirt and scarf have been removed from the site.’