There would be no room for the likes of Tevez at Pompey these days

Jason Pearce, Joel Ward and Ricardo Rocha with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cheryl Buggy at Somers Town
Jason Pearce, Joel Ward and Ricardo Rocha with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cheryl Buggy at Somers Town
New commercial life is sprouting in Copnor Road

VERITY LUSH: Green shoots of recovery sprouting in northern Portsmouth

Have your say

Carlos Tevez has not merely demolished his own standing in football.

He has tainted the reputations of all his peers – and unfairly so.

In the inquest into his actions in that Bayern Munich dugout on Tuesday night, the stereotypes are inevitably rolled out.

Apparently, all footballers are the same, only interested in stashing away obscene amounts of money and scrapping for self preservation.

Some regard Tevez as nothing more than the King Rat, epitomising a profession supposedly out of touch with the man in the street.

The tip of the iceberg, your honour, let’s send them all down.

Guilty by association. Time to pass sentence.

Granted, during their seven Premier League seasons, Pompey had their bad eggs.

Some players refused to sign autographs.

There were players who didn’t show up for community events.

There were players who didn’t care about the football club and the fans they were representing.

Thankfully, such reprobates were in a tiny minority.

In fairness, all things considered, it is only to be expected.

After all, there is always a green crisp in a packet of Walkers’ finest.

The actions of Tevez, however, should not be allowed to blind football fans from the good out there.

And with Pompey these days there is plenty of that.

Barely 11 days ago, seven new houses were opened in Somers Town.

Based in Warwick Crescent, they are the first new council homes to be built in Portsmouth for more than a decade.

What’s more, three Pompey players were on hand to conduct the grand unveiling.

Jason Pearce, Joel Ward and Ricardo Rocha were the trio in attendance, heading straight to Somers Town following training.

They were polite, attentive, respectful and stayed for more than an hour afterwards signing autographs.

Even during a lengthy history lecture on the area, they stood still and listened.

So much for 21st century footballers showing no interest in the community.

The trio were a credit to the club and a credit to their profession.

Just a shame then that such occasions are often overlooked – or even not noticed.

Thanks to the likes of Linvoy Primus and the Pompey Study Centre’s Clare Martin, Blues players are becoming involved in more community events than ever before.

Back in April, The News staged its annual Sports Awards evening.

Held in the Victory Lounge at Fratton Park, Steve Cotterill and almost his entire squad were in attendance.

The likes of Liam Lawrence, David Nugent, Hermann Hreidarsson and Joel Ward were on hand to present awards.

Several also joined in with Steve Cotterill’s half-time quiz, with questions prepared by the manager himself.

In addition, backroom staff such as Guy Whittingham, Ian Woan, Andy Awford and Chris Neville were present.

A community event during which the football club were represented in emphatic style.

Just 12 months earlier, not a single member of the club could attend the same function.

Held at the Guildhall, the only Pompey link present was Andy Awford.

At the time he was not employed by the football club.

The official reason for the blanket non-attendance?

Apparently, it was Champions League night and all the players wanted to watch that instead.

According to the then-club press officer who delivered such an excuse, that was perfectly acceptable.

Regardless, there were 300 people present that night, a large chunk of them children.

They were denied the chance to meet their Pompey heroes and deprived of the opportunity to seek photographs and autographs.

Still, at least the Champions League match was a good one.

Or so I was told.

Sadly, that is not a one-off episode.

Over the years, numerous times The News would turn up to cover community events.

Unfortunately, there were regular instances when the special guest star from the club was strangely absent.

What’s more, he hadn’t bothered to let the organisers know.

Cue many disappointed children who had been eagerly looking forward to the moment.

Once, when asked what the club was going to do about this and whether the errant player would be punished, there was a shrug of the shoulders.

Apparently, that would not have been the done thing as it would upset the player.

And we couldn’t do that, could we?

Incidentally, when such instances were reported on this page around the time, the then-club press officer complained.

It seems it was out of order to publicise such transgressions by the players.

Don’t go believing everything was bad during that era, however.

John Utaka may have attracted much criticism for his on-the-field performances.

However, he was a regular at charity events during his time on the south coast.

In fact, he was arguably the most active.

Others, such as Sean Davis, were not as generous with their time.

In one instance, he was once spotted pretending to be on his mobile phone so as to avoid signing autographs.

The smug grin at the end of his swift walk past the flock of children showed how pleased he was with himself.

How he would relish such recognition from fans these days after being sidelined by injury for two years.

Of course, such antics cannot compare to those Tevez histrionics.

By apparently refusing to leave the comfort of the bench to play a football match, he has taken the footballer’s snub to a whole new level.

Thankfully, that behaviour is a one-off.

Thankfully, his disgusting attitude is a one-off.

There are so many footballers out there who do care, who do want to make a difference, who do respect the fans.

They are genuine people who haven’t forgotten what is important in life.

And that should never, ever be swept away by the tsunami of criticism prompted by a certain Carlos Tevez.