David James: I would have answered Pompey SOS

Pompey hero David James would have come out of retirement to play for the Blues again in the League Two play-offs   Picture: Steve Reid

Pompey hero David James would have come out of retirement to play for the Blues again in the League Two play-offs Picture: Steve Reid

Former Pompey boss Frank Burrows

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David James has revealed he would have answered Pompey’s play-off SOS.

The former Blues goalkeeper, who helped the club win the FA Cup in 2008, would have been tempted out of retirement by boss Paul Cook for the end-of-season League Two showdown with Plymouth.

That’s after all of Pompey’s recognised keepers were ruled out of action for the double-header with the Pilgrims, which the Blues lost in agonising circumstances to a second-leg last-minute goal at Home Park.

Third-choice Bournemouth stopper Ryan Allsop was drafted in at late notice to don the gloves for Cook’s side but failed to impress as Pompey’s hopes of promotion ended in heartache.

Ahead of the crunch clash, Cook was scouring the market for suitors, with fomer Blues stopper Jamie Ashdown understood to be on his radar.

James, 45, was not approached but admitted he would have answered the call with a bit of notice.

‘Would it have interested me? Yes,’ he said.

‘Call me Rocky! But there was no conversation.

‘Of course I would loved to have played and I would have loved to play for Portsmouth again.

‘However, someone would have needed a bit of a crystal ball in saying that in two months time we need Jamo.

‘Then I might have been able to do the proper training.

‘Ultimately, as much as I like myself, it is not easy being a professional footballer!

‘Half of the demands, if not more, are actually the training rather than just playing the games, which come one day in a week or two if you are in League Two.

‘But it’s a nice thought.’

Pompey were hit by a goalkeeping crisis at the end of a season which saw them field five different men between the sticks.

Brian Murphy began the campaign as Cook’s number one and played more games (25) than any of the other four – Paul Jones, Aaron McCarey, Ryan Fulton and Allsop.

A calf, though, prevented his involvement in the Blues’ Plymouth battle, before his summer release.

Liverpool loanee Fulton (calf) and Jones (thigh) were also sidelined from the action – as was Academy graduate Alex Bass (knee).

McCarey had long returned to Wolves following a brief stay earlier in the season.

That meant Cook had no choice but to call in an emergency loan.

James, though, joked a recent display for England’s Legends team may have been the reason why Pompey looked elsewhere.

Although the former Three Lions stopper was buoyed by a cameo appearance in former West Ham team-mate Mark Noble’s testimonial game earlier in the year.

He added: ‘They must have seen my performance in the England Legends match when we lost 7-2 to the Germans.

‘Actually, I didn’t too bad against Mark Noble’s team for 20 minutes!’

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