Good and great on their way to Fratton for Hall of Fame

Andy Awford, left, picks up his Hall of Fame award from former team-mate Alan McLoughlin at last year's ceremony ' on Saturday night the former Blues defender will return the favour
Andy Awford, left, picks up his Hall of Fame award from former team-mate Alan McLoughlin at last year's ceremony ' on Saturday night the former Blues defender will return the favour
Dion Donohue has signed a two-year deal at Pompey Picture: Colin Farmery

Pompey new boy’s out to continue rise

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There’s been laughter and tears along the way.

And you can bet your life there will be plenty more this weekend as the Pompey Hall of Fame returns.

The great and the good of this proud club’s history will again be recognised on Saturday night at Fratton Park.

Seven more legendary names will join the pantheon of heroes who have already been inducted in the two previous years the event has been running.

Jack Froggatt, Johnny Gordon, Albie McCann, Alan McLoughlin, Linvoy Primus, Paul Walsh and 1939 FA Cup-winning manager Jack Tinn will all be honoured.

The list spans the decades and generations as each piece of the tapestry that makes up Pompey’s history is recognised.

The event is the brainchild of Pompey fan Jake Payne, who fought tooth and nail to get the event established.

With the club now firmly on board and the night sold out, Payne is looking forward to what is certain to be a special occasion for those with royal blue in their blood.

He said: ‘It’s a great thing to be able to celebrate the history of our club.

‘We are recognising the brilliant players we have had in our history – and we’ve had a few of them.

‘Other clubs have done it for a while, so we’re really pleased to be doing it, too, and delighted with how it’s panned out.

‘One of the best things for me is seeing the players and their families coming together on the night.

‘The families of Jack Froggatt and Johnny Gordon will be there on Saturday and be able to appreciate how important they were for this club.

‘I always remember the wife of Peter Harris from the first awards evening and how emotional she was.

‘Then, to hear people like Mick Tait say last year he would have come from Australia, let alone Newcastle, to be at the night means a lot.

‘Andy Awford said it was the greatest honour he’s received when he thought about the names he was joining.

‘These are the greatest players in the history of the club, and loyal players who weren’t just here for five minutes, either.

‘We’ve been working hard and I know a lot of people – players and supporters – are looking forward to coming along.

‘We’ve got together and thrashed out the names of the people to be inducted.

‘That wasn’t an easy job, but we have some real long-standing fans and Pompey people to help us do that.

‘We think we’ve proved the event is a success in the past, and we’re looking forward to doing that again this weekend.’

Walsh, McLoughlin, McCann and Primus will be at the Victory Lounge on Saturday night to receive their awards along with their families.

And the relatives of Gordon and Froggatt will also be present – including the wives of both players.

Along with them will be a host of other Pompey folk and former stars.

Darren Moore will attend before turning out for League Two Burton Albion against Oxford on Sunday, will ex-England and Blues striker Ray Crawford will be present.

Former inductees Andy Awford, Alan Knight, Ray Hiron and John Milkins will return, with Keith Blackburn and Pompey’s oldest living player, Jimmy Stephen, also in attendance.

Blackburn will present McCann with his award, while Awford will be there to do the same with McLoughlin.

Blues chief executive David Lampitt will ensure there is high-level representation from the club for the first time.

Payne said: ‘There are a lot of people coming along from all over the place to be involved with the night.

‘Awfs (Awford) is rushing back from Birmingham to get along, Knightsie is with Aldershot and Darren Moore is coming despite playing against Oxford the next day.

‘We’re really glad David Lampitt is coming, too – it shows the club want to be involved.

‘We are working hard on doing the last few bits to be ready now.

‘It’s not just me doing it, though.

‘There have been a lot of other people, particularly Emma Beal, who is a Pompey fan and has worked hard to make everything happen.

‘We’re really pleased with how everything is coming together.’

The sold-out 2011 Pompey Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place in the Victory Lounge at Fratton Park.

Doors will open at 7pm, with dinner being served at 7.30pm.

The gala awards ceremony will begin at 9.30pm, with a break at 10.45pm for a football memorabilia auction.

All funds raised on the night will go towards the Faith & Football charity.