HEARTBROKEN Pompey fans have pledged to honour one of the club’s most beloved figures during this weekend’s game at Fratton Park.
Tributes have been poured out from across Portsmouth after news broke of the death of well-known fan, Craig Bryden.
The dad-of-two, from Copnor, was better known as the Pompey Pirate – a nickname he picked up while being treated for inoperable lung cancer.
The 58-year-old navy veteran often attended matches in his swashbuckling attire to help cheer on The Blues.
And since his death on Wednesday, fans are hoping to give him a true send-off, setting up a standing ovation during tomorrow’s fixture.
Colin Farmery, of Portsmouth Football Club, said The Blues are hoping to lay a Pompey Pirate flag ahead of the game, with players hopefully wearing Pompey Pirate shirts during their warm-up.
‘As a club we have got a big affinity with Craig,’ he said. ‘It’s quite short notice but we really want to try and do something in tribute of Craig.
‘He was a special character. His courage and fortitude was inspirational. He was a lovely guy and I had a huge amount of time for him.
‘His spirit was something you couldn’t crush and fans really respected that about him.
Fans association have today taken to social media to express their grief and to rally others to join in tribute of Craig.
The Pompey Disabled Supporters Association wrote on social media: ‘Our thoughts are with his wonderful family at this time.’
Fans are being encouraged to chant ‘One Pompey Pirate, there’s only one Pompey Pirate’ during the game, as well as stage a standing ovation on the 58th minute of the match.
Craig had been diagnosed with cancer in 2016.
He died on Wednesday.
He leaves behind his wife, Rae, two children, as well as his father, Bill, and older brother, Gordon.