Leaders back Portsmouth player's plea for city-wide rendition of Pompey Chimes on Saturday

FOR years they have been a symbol of our city – ringing out from churches and at every Pompey game.

Friday, 27th March 2020, 9:20 am

And now leaders and landmarks from across the city are joining The News for a plea for a tuneful show of solidarity as city life slows during lockdown.

Support has been drummed up for a Portsmouth-wide rendition of the famous Pompey Chimes from windows, balconies and beyond.

It was first suggested on Twitter by Blues youngster Haji Mnoga.

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The 17-year-old, who grew up in Portsmouth, is in self-isolation after being named among five Portsmouth players to have tested positive for coronavirus, alongside Ross McCrorie, James Bolton, Andy Cannon and Sean Raggett.

In a rallying call now backed by Portsmouth International Port, Portsmouth Guildhall and the Spinnaker Tower, Mnoga said on Twitter: ‘This island of ours has seen some amazing things.

‘At this time let’s stand tall again, with our football club at the heart.

‘We want to come together and share love and support to all suffering, not only from corona but all those fighting their fight.

Portsmouth Guildhall's clock tower

‘At 3pm on Saturday 28 let’s fill the city air with the Pompey Chimes.

‘Find a window, a garden, some open air and somewhere safe and sing with the city. Play up Pompey.’

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It comes after thousands across the UK joined in applause at 8pm yesterday in a show of solidarity for the NHS as it fights the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pompey fans at Wembley last season. Picture: Joe Pepler

While Portsmouth Cathedral is closed to follow government guidance, the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster has also backed Saturday's event – and he wants worshippers to join him.

‘Although I’m actually a Wolves fan, I’ve developed a real admiration for Pompey and their amazing crowds since moving here in 2010,’ he told The News.

‘The city of Portsmouth has often showed defiance and solidarity in the past in the face of overwhelming obstacles, and I’m sure it will during the current difficulties.

‘I’d be delighted if our congregations and choirs joined in this singing from their windows and balconies on Saturday.’

Portsmouth's Haji Mnoga photographed during the Checkatrade Trophy last season. Picture: PinPep Media / Joe Pepler

Portsmouth International Port director, Mike Sellers, has vowed to ask ships at the port to sound their horns in response to Mnoga’s plea.

Meanwhile Father Bob White of St Mary’s Church in Fratton, which sits just a mile away from Portsmouth’s home ground of Fratton Park, has urged others to follow suit.

He said: ‘One of the great things about the city is the community spirit.

‘Over the past few days I have seen this expressed in so many ways and so many gestures of support.

‘One of the other great features of the city is the Pompey crowd and its singing. To use the chimes – which ring out from St Mary’s Church every hour – as a sign of our community and support for one another at this time is a great idea and hope many will support it.’

A Maersk vessel at Portsmouth International Port. Picture: Paul Gonella/StrongIsland

The Spinnaker Tower and Portsmouth Guildhall, which are both closed because of the government lockdown, are expected to further push the show of solidarity on social media.

Will you be getting involved with Saturday's event by making some noise at 3pm?

Tell us why and how by emailing [email protected]

Bishop of Portsmouth the Rt Rev Christopher Foster. Picture: Peter Langdown