Pompey mentioned in Monty's despatches

A PRECIOUS collection of letters from war hero Field Marshal Montgomery to his beloved Portsmouth Football Club is to go under the hammer.

Monty, as he was affectionately known, who helped mastermind the D-Day landings, was president of Pompey from 1944 to 1961.

During that time he wrote a string of letters, mostly to the club's chairman, R Vernon Stokes.

The notes cover the glory days of Pompey's back-to-back first division title wins of 1949 and 1950.

One from October 1948 reads: 'The Portsmouth team is going great guns ... Please congratulate the whole team from me on being top of the First Division.'

Later letters show the field marshal trying to put his military experience to good use in the sporting arena as the club's fortunes started to slip.

A letter from August 1960 reads: 'I asked Cox (manager from 1958 to 1961] to lunch with me here last week and tell him about his players ... and came to the conclusion that he lacks character and power to inspire confidence in others.'

Dominic Winter Book Auctions expects the 18 letters to fetch 1,000 when they go under the hammer tomorrow.