I’d never walk out on Pompey

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I’ve watched Pompey through thick and thin for nearly 50 years now - but however bad the performance (and there have been more than a few among the great moments) I don’t leave early.

Never have - and never will.

To me staying to the end, however bitter that end might be, is an integral part of supporting a team and, for that matter, a club.

I won’t criticise those who choose to leave early - it’s their right to do so if they wish to.

But it saddens me to see an exodus the like of which we witnessed at Fratton Park on Saturday.

Some stay-to-the end fans gave full vent to their feelings, hurling insults at those walking out.

There was a lot of anger in the Fratton End and the embarrassing sound of some Pompey supporters aiming at fellow fans the ‘Is this a fire drill?’ taunt usually reserved for the opposition.

And all this on a day which started with so much promise.

With few exceptions, Pompey’s players put on a poor show and it’s easy to understand the fans’ frustration at that - I share it!

But the passion and commitment we rightly expect from players also needs to be there in the crowd, and not just in the good times.

Call me old-fashioned, but for me supporting a team means doing so through thick and thin. That might include criticism and a groan or two of disappointment but it doesn’t involving booing or flouncing out of the ground.

Pompey fans are proud to call themselves the 12th man. Say what you will of the eleven on the pitch, all would I reckon have been hugely frustrated but none of them stormed off the pitch on Saturday.

I hope the applause from many that followed the boos at the final whistle will have been appreciated and help in its own way to get us back on the positive footing that’s essential if we’re to rise from this league.

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