Remembering time Pompey didn’t like it up ’em

NO JOKE Pompey failed to see the funny side of our Dads Army mock-up back in 2003

NO JOKE Pompey failed to see the funny side of our Dads Army mock-up back in 2003

Christian Burgess. Picture: Joe Pepler

Defender’s Pompey League One promotion promise

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A trip down memory lane saw longer-serving members of the The News’ sports desk break out in a cold sweat this week.

A hunt for pictures for a feature on Pompey favourite Steve Stone led to a slightly leftfield find for head of sport Mark McMahon.

He stumbled across an old picture of Harry Redknapp’s promotion heroes mocked up as members of classic comedy Dad’s Army.

It was the work of former News employee and graphics man Simon Evans way back in the summer of 2003.

The premise for the picture, of course, was the ageing nature of certain members of Redknapp’s title winners.

That led to the likes of Redknapp, Stone, Paul Merson and new recruit Teddy Sheringham being portrayed as Captain Mainwaring & Co.

It all seemed like jovial japes to the decision makers at Hilsea Towers at the time but those who worked with Redknapp and Jim Smith saw storm clouds brewing.

And so it proved, as the picture nearly led to The News being banned by the club ahead of their maiden Premier League campaign.

The Blues management failed to see the funny side, prompting a heated call between myself and Smith, which led to his weekly column being aborted.

Things got worse as I joined esteemed former sports desk colleague Steve Bone as we headed for the club’s pre-season base at Woodbury Park’s leisure complex. The welcome was frosty to say the least as we arrived in deepest Devon.

And the temperature plummeted further as the Bald Eagle launched into a furious tirade at the pair of us across the car park in front of bemused guests heading off for their Jacuzzis and pedicures.

I forget the wag who suggested they didn’t like it up ’em on our return to base camp...

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