Applause will ring out for Pompey favourite

Court Lane Junior Academy, Portsmouth

Raring to go at Rock Challenge!

A MINUTE'S applause in memory of former Pompey director Jim Sloan is to be held before tomorrow's home match against Leeds.

Mr Sloan's family, the Football Association, the referee and Leeds United have agreed that the tribute can take place at 3pm.

Mr Sloan, who was director at Fratton Park for 16 years between 1976 and 1992, died on January 1, aged 88, and his funeral is being held at Portchester Crematorium today.

Pompey were criticised by some fans for not having a tribute at the first match after Mr Sloan died - Pompey against Hull on January 3.

The club has said a tribute, such as a minute's silence or applause, could not take place sooner because of the timing of the home match after Mr Sloan's death. Permission had to be given by Mr Sloan's family, the Football Association, the referee and the visiting team before any such tribute could be paid.

The club was notified of Mr Sloan's death on January 2, the day before Pompey were to play Hull at home and too soon for permission to be given - especially from Mr Sloan's family - for a tribute to take place.

But now Pompey has been given the go-ahead to finally pay respects to one of the most loved and well-remembered personalities in Fratton Park history.

Portsmouth Football Club's commercial director, Lucius Peart, said: 'He was such a jolly fellow and he'd much rather have something upbeat like a minute's applause rather than downbeat, such as a minute's silence.'

Mr Sloan was also president of Petersfield Town from 1993 to the time he died. He was a popular figure across the Wessex League as well after following Petersfield home and away for well over a decade. Plenty of people connected with the Wessex Division 1 club, both past and present, have paid tribute to the Mr Sloan, who has been described as Petersfield's 'Gentleman Jim'.

A large turn-out is expected for his funeral, with those who knew Mr Sloan from both Pompey and Love Lane expected to attend.

Petersfield will be holding a pre-match luncheon before their game against East Cowes Vics tomorrow, where more tributes are expected to be paid.

Anyone who would like to join the lunch and help celebrate Mr Sloan's life will be welcome at the club. Tickets are 25 for the three course lunch, which starts at 12.30pm, and they must be booked in advance by calling 01730 233788.