Fans who saved Pompey to receive permanent recognition

THE Fratton faithful will cheer on Pompey against Hartlepool this weekend.

Thursday, 15th December 2016, 9:00 am
Updated Thursday, 15th December 2016, 2:00 pm
Pompey fans. Picture: Joe Pepler

A reminder of a community’s admirable endeavours to wrestle back the future of their football club.

However, a permanent acknowledgement of their crucial efforts is to also appear on the North stand’s outer wall.

Saturday will see the unveiling of three boards bearing the names of the 2,460 community shareholders in the Pompey Supporters’ Trust.

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Hermann Hreidarsson playing for IBV at Fratton Park in April 2013. Picture: Joe Pepler

Their financial contribution of £2.75m currently fetches a 48.48 per cent stake in the club, having saved it from liquidation.

To mark their crucial involvement, the Trust have overseen the construction of a Shareholder Wall of Fame.

It is located between the exit gates in the corner of the North stand and Fratton end.

And all Blues supporters are invited to attend Saturday’s noon opening ceremony to mark its introduction to Fratton Park.

Hermann Hreidarsson playing for IBV at Fratton Park in April 2013. Picture: Joe Pepler

Trust board member, Phil Sandys, said: ‘Without these people we would have no club, I don’t think the importance of those named on the boards can be stressed enough.

‘They aren’t alone, of course, those part of syndicates and who worked behind the scenes are not mentioned on the wall, and there were also plenty of those.

‘Without all these people coming together, we would not be playing a match at Fratton Park on Saturday.

‘This is a reminder of those who bought shares and it is great supporters can see their names on there, as well as family and friends.

‘The Trust movement is taking off around the country. It may even serve as an inspiration to away supporters to see these names and appreciate how many people believed and became involved in saving the club.

‘The introduction of a Wall of Fame is something the Trust felt very strongly about and Eric Colborn, in particular, has been the driving force behind this project, putting a lot of hard yards into it. He deserves a lot of credit.

‘While there is no way of thanking everybody involved in saving the club, it will be good to see many of those names up in lights, so to speak.’

Also included in the Wall of Fame will be the 16 club presidents, among them Colborn, who also sits on the Trust board.

While there is recognition for Pompey favourite Hermann Hreidarsson, who brought his Icelandic team, IBV, to Fratton Park in April 2013 for a Trust fund-raising fixture.

Following a Trust competition, shareholders Ray Roberts, Deborah Veness and Linda Hind will aid with the grand unveiling.

And the group are urging all Pompey supporters, irrespective of whether they are shareholders, to attend the ceremony.

Sandys added: ‘Personally, I am part of a syndicate which bought a share, but it is not about seeing your name up there, it’s about the sheer volume of people who believed.

‘You don’t have to be somebody who bought a share to turn up, I believe we should all celebrate we still have a club.

‘Hopefully the weather will also hold, so fingers crossed.’