Fratton favourites take their place among the greats

Left to right: Linvoy Primus, Paul Walsh, Win Froggatt, Rebecca Burke, Albert McCann with his daughter Belinda McCann, and Alan McLoughlin. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (111114-12)
Left to right: Linvoy Primus, Paul Walsh, Win Froggatt, Rebecca Burke, Albert McCann with his daughter Belinda McCann, and Alan McLoughlin. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (111114-12)
Brett Pitman celebrates his winner against Blackpool. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Andy Awford’s voice crackled with emotion as he paid homage to his pal Alan McLoughlin.

Then Alan Knight delivered the mightiest of tributes to Paul Walsh, as he honoured him as the finest player he’d worked with.

And not a single person failed to be touched by emotion, as the late Jack Froggatt’s wife Win described the night as one of the greatest of her life as her husband was inducted.

These are the events which make the Pompey Hall of Fame ceremony the special night that it is.

There were no shortage of moments to rouse the soul, bring a tear to the eye or smile to the face on Saturday evening at Fratton Park.

A packed Victory Lounge saw the six latest Blues greats join the pantheon of legends at the third staging of the event.

Johnny Gordon’s daughter Rebecca Burke gave a moving speech as she accepted her father’s award, Albert McCann made his way to the stage to accept his from former team-mate John Milkins and then the room erupted as Linvoy Primus took to the stage.

His close friend Darren Moore was on hand to make his presentation ahead of turning out for Burton Albion against Oxford yesterday.

Froggatt, Gordon, McCann, McLoughlin, Walsh and Primus were the latest names to be inducted at another hugely-successful night.

And there was an honorary award for 1939 FA Cup-winning manager Jack Tinn to round off the ceremony.

Event organiser Jake Payne was delighted to see the night pass off successfully once again, with the Hall of Fame now firmly established on the Pompey calendar.

Payne said: ‘It’s a great thing to do and it’s important to celebrate the history of the club.

‘Everyone’s here for it and we’re really pleased with not only the turnout but who turned out.

‘Everyone who was inducted were either here or there were family and friends here for the occasion.

‘They are among the first 16 people inducted into the Hall of Fame and that, we hope, will be enough to put a smile on their faces.

‘Awfs’ speech to Macca and Alan Knight’s to Walshie were great moments.

‘I know how much it means to the players.

‘To know how much it means to them means, to me, it’s worth doing.

‘We are not picking players who just arrived and spent a year here.

‘These are men who have become part of the fibre of the club and were here through thick and thin.

‘They have made big connections with the club and the city – and that’s why they are honoured.’

Footage old and new was used throughout the evening as the different players were inducted.

As ever, Pathe film helped deliver a wonderful throwback to Pompey’s glorious past.

Tinn’s honorary award included a brilliant piece of footage with the manager vowing to deliver success ahead of the 1939 win over Wolves.

There were plenty of laughs, too, with previous inductee Ray Hiron the target of banter in reference to the epic speech he gave when honoured two years ago.

Pompey chief executive David Lampitt also became the first board member from the club to attend a Hall of Fame evening.

He presented Jack Froggatt’s award to his wife Win.

Lampitt made it clear he feels recognising the club’s rich history at such nights is key.

And Payne feels that bodes well for the future of the event.

He said: ‘David Lampitt was here and presented an award.

‘He believes this is something the club should do.

‘He’s the first board member to come to the Hall of Fame.

‘That’s appreciated and hopefully we can continue to have that support.’