Pompey mourn Aizlewood death

Steve Aizlewood
Steve Aizlewood
Brett Pitman celebrates scoring from the penalty spot Picture: Joe Pepler

Pitman to the rescue for Pompey

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Tributes have been paid to Pompey favourite Steve Aizlewood, who died on Tuesday.

As a commanding central defender, Aizlewood featured in two promotion campaigns for the Blues.

He died at the age of 60, following a short illness.

A Welsh schoolboy international, he made 201 appearances and scored 13 goals before retiring from the professional game in the summer of 1984.

Aizlewood played in three divisions for Pompey.

His wholehearted approach and immense bravery made him a firm fans’ favourite.

A key member of the division three title-winning side in 1982-83, he missed last month’s Boys Of 83 reunion due to a long-arranged holiday in Spain.

According to organiser Jake Payne, he has been considered several times as an inductee in the Pompey Hall of Fame.

Payne said: ‘Anyone who saw Steve play would tell you he would put his head in the fire for Pompey, he was that sort of player.

‘He led by example and was the type fans loved, giving 100 per cent but could also play football.

‘He was not just a stopper who would hoof it away.

‘Anyone of that era will say he was a great player for Pompey and I am sure he would have got into the Hall of Fame down the line.

‘It is a committee vote but his name has been mentioned a few times when looking at players from that era.

‘If he is inducted one day, it is sad that will be a posthumous entry and he won’t be there to receive it in person.

‘We recently got in touch with him over the Boys of 83 reunion dinner and he said he would have been there but for a holiday in Spain.

‘He was gutted not to see all his old mates – and he had a lot of friends.’

Former Pompey striker Ray Crawford also praised Aizlewood.

He added: ‘What a player, what a guy. He had his nose broken a few times and was one of those you knew would give you 100 per cent.

‘I would sit in the stands and watch him go out there and dive in to head the ball where others were trying to kick it.

‘He will be really missed.’