Portsmouth July 2021 review - Pride, joy and heartbreak during Euro 2020 final and throughout the month

JULY was a month of pride and heartbreak, as we were all glued to TV screens to watch England in the Euro 2020 final.

Monday, 27th December 2021, 11:00 am
Military veteran Jon Noble from Havant, Hampshire has able to feed himself for the first time in 17 years in July, after receiving a robotic arm thanks to charity funding. Jon has become the first person with a spinal cord injury in the UK to receive a JACO assistive robotic arm. Picture: Andy Bate.
Military veteran Jon Noble from Havant, Hampshire has able to feed himself for the first time in 17 years in July, after receiving a robotic arm thanks to charity funding. Jon has become the first person with a spinal cord injury in the UK to receive a JACO assistive robotic arm. Picture: Andy Bate.

Tears rolled down peoples faces across packed Portsmouth pubs after the Three Lions were defeated by Italy on penalties.

Even with the vehement frustration and England falling at the final hurdle, their performances filled the nation with pride.

‘Local hero’ and Purbrook-born midfielder Mason Mount was a regular fixture in a side which reached their first ever European Championship final.

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Police at Southsea Common on July 20 after a 15-year-old boy was stabbed near Portsmouth Naval Memorial on July 19. Picture: Stuart Vaizey

The people of Portsmouth felt mixed emotions throughout July.

It was a time of life changing events and highs and lows for many.

Six lucky residents were left ‘gobsmacked’ after they each won a £30,000 fortune on the Postcode Lottery.

Paralysed former paratrooper Jon Noble, from Havant, was fitted with a new robotic arm and finally able to feed himself after 17 years.

Residents of Salisbury Road in Cosham were hit by severe flooding in July which left toilet paper, human excrement, and dead rats on the pavement and drives. Picture: Lucy Heard.

Thanks to the support of six military charities, the 38-year-old is no longer shying away from friends and family and is finally socialising again.

These extraordinary moments can happen from nowhere, which is what deliveryman and former Havant and Waterlooville footballer Perry Ryan found out.

‘I was shaking – it was mad what happened,’ Perry said.

Sunseekers flocked to Portsmouth's beaches on July 18. Pictured is (L-R) Carys Reed, 23, and Lucy Barron, 23, in Southsea. Photo: Sam Stephenson.

Sandra Cale’s world also changed when her daughter, Tina Gurd, helped find her four long lost siblings after 76 years of not knowing them.

She simply described as ‘incredible.’

The reopening night of Astoria nightclub in Portsmouth on July 18 Picture: Sam Stephenson

All of us were affected by one defining moment – the easing of lockdown restrictions on July 19.

The government’s decision divided many at the time.

This sunny weather would soon turn into a nightmare.

Perry Ryan helped deliver a baby when mum Khan Shoker, 30, had her waters break whilst he was delivering a package. Perry is pictured with baby Bella, 4 days old. Picture: Sam Stephenson.

Storms, lightening and heavy wind and rain covered the city on July 27, but the aftermath was felt the most in Cosham.

Residents and politicians, including Conservative MP for Portsmouth North Penny Mordaunt, piled enormous pressure on Southern Water.

He said: ‘I’ve seen first-hand the flooding in our city this week which underlines that Portsmouth’s sewage system is not fit for purpose.’

Bomb disposal experts from the Royal Navy scrambled to West Street and cordoned off 100m of the shopping district.

July was an emotional month with so many life-changing event, for better and for worse.

Some people responded to adversity and sadness to create lasting tributes.

It was a symbol that no matter what happens, any moment of sorrow can be turned into one of happiness.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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July was a month of pride and heartbreak as England lost in the Euro 2020 final against Italy. Picture Habibur Rahman