POMPEY star Stephen Henderson has issued a resounding message to fans: Pack the Park tomorrow.
The talented goalkeeper, who drew admiration from fans this week by pledging his intentions to stay at the club, is calling on fans to be Pompey’s 12th Man by attending tomorrow’s fixture against Hull City.
‘The club needs everyone’s help at the moment so it would be fantastic if we could pack Fratton Park on Saturday against Hull,’ the 23-year-old said.
‘Your support makes all the difference and together we can all pull through this and come out stronger the other side.’
The News has joined forces with Pompey and the Pompey Supporters’ Trust to call on fans to Pack the Park and fill the ground to capacity.
Fans will be hoping for a repeat of breathtaking scenes from a night that has gone down in legend.
Although just 8,000 fans were at Fratton Park 14 years ago for the match against Stockport County, they broke into a continuous rendition of ‘Alan Ball’s Blue and White Army’ and roared their team on for a crucial 1-0 win.
It was this victory that spurred Pompey onto a winning run to avoid relegation from Division One.
Pompey fan Mark Mudie was in the South Stand for the match.
He said: ‘It was one of those really special nights when you know you are part of something that is going to change things.
‘On Saturday we might be starting to see a resurgence of that.
‘I think there’s going to be a massive turnout.
‘We have got our squad together and the fans can work as a unit with the club and pack the park to be the 12th man.’
Scott Mclachlan, spokesman for the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, watched the stunning night from the Fratton end.
He said: ‘At some point in the game exasperation gets the better of you and you just start singing and shouting.
‘We were singing for a good hour during the match. It just seemed to carry the team on to win.
‘If there’s one example that the fans can make a difference and drag the team to a result it was that.’
Bob Beech, of SOS Pompey, said: ‘They were great times. People can try and replicate it but it wasn’t contrived or planned. It was a spontaneous thing.’
BOSS IS ONSIDE
POMPEY boss Michael Appleton put his weight behind the club’s fight for survival by signing up to the 12th Man campaign.
His backing comes as The News today displayed hundreds of posters featuring his image at newsagents and other sales points across the area.
The poster – already published in the newspaper and which can be downloaded at portsmouth.co.uk – shows the manager in the classic Lord Kitchener pose.
He said: ‘I’m delighted to join such a fantastic initiative by the fans.
‘It’s important we all get behind this and show our support for a great football club.
‘There’s an opportunity for everybody to get behind the boys and pack out Fratton Park for the next few home games, especially this week against Hull City.’
Mark Acheson, deputy editor of The News, said: ‘Our billboards across the area are a really powerful means of spreading a message.
‘Today we can think of nothing better than stepping up our support for the fans’ campaign by using those boards to promote Pack the Park.’