IT gives a whole new meaning to the chant ‘Play up Pompey’.
Football fan Jules Richards is building all 92 football grounds in England and Wales out of Lego, and recently finished his minature version of Fratton Park.
The 44-year-old began his quest by making his first stadium out of old Lego he found in his loft 18 months ago and is now more than two-thirds of the way through the project.
The supermarket manager spends up to 12 hours on each stadium and uses on average 1,300 Lego bricks to make them look similar to the real thing.
And after building up a large supply of blue bricks, he created his own Fratton Park and already has interest from buyers.
Jules, who lives in Luton but grew up in Cardiff, said: ‘This all started on a rainy day 18 months ago when I was tidying my loft and found some Lego.
It is not the cheapest hobby but I take commissions from fans to do their club’s stadium. I think people see them as a good birthday present.Jules Richards
‘I thought I’m not going to throw it out and I decided I would build the Cardiff City stadium out of it.
‘I sat down for six hours and built the stadium then tweeted a picture of it.
‘From there I got a few enquiries and a Sheffield Wednesday fan got in touch saying he would like me to build him a stadium of Hillsborough, then someone wanting the Nottingham Forest stadium.
‘It has really taken off from there.’
The Pompey stadium took about 1,300 bricks to make, and Jules used aerial shots from Google’s street view to get the right colours for the roof and stanchions.
Jules charges about £150 for each stadium.
He said: ‘It is not the cheapest hobby but I take commissions from fans to do their club’s stadium..
‘I know I am too old really to be playing with Lego but there seems to be some interest in what I do.’
So far he has made 66 stadia, including marquee grounds of Premier League clubs such as Manchester United’s Old Trafford, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea.
He has also ticked off dozens of smaller, Football League grounds including Fleetwood Town, Rochdale and Gillingham.
He estimates he has used more than 100,000 Lego blocks on his stadiums which he delivers to fans on road trips when following his beloved Cardiff City.
Some of the bricks are bought from a Lego shop in Watford but Jules orders the bulk of it online.
There are only two Premier League clubs he has not yet attempted - West Brom’s Hawthorns ground and Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium.
But fans of Swansea will have to wait to get hold of one as they are Cardiff’s bitter rivals and Jules refuses commissions for them.
At the moment his tally stands at 66 and he hopes to have a full house by the end of the current football season in May.
He said: ‘At the moment I refuse to do Swansea but if I want to complete the set I realise I will have to build it at some point. I think I’ll leave that to number 92!
‘After that, I think I’m going to attempt some of the foreign stadiums.’
He has also received commissions for stadiums of non-league teams, other sports including Warwickshire’s cricket ground Edgbaston and even the hotel in Fawlty Towers.