I'm getting upset over a bit of old Fratton Park metal

I realise you shouldn’t, in the normal scheme of things, get sentimental about a bit of metal.

Tuesday, 16th April 2019, 10:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th April 2019, 10:52 am
A magical sight - at least to some / Picture by Getty Images

But this is not any old bit of metal. This is one of the magnificent Fratton Park floodlight pylons – and it’s the one near me.

The tower in the Fratton End/North Stand corner of the ground is – if planning permission is granted – to be moved into the nearby club car park.

Chances are, the pylon at the other end of the North Stand, which like the north-west one, is no longer used to illuminate the hallowed turf, will be next to go.

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Some will be indifferent about these recently revealed plans to uproot one of the columns but for me, and I suspect many others, it’s a sad day.

For me, Fratton Park IS Pompey and the floodlight towers are a big part of its character and its charm.

It’s not just Pompey’s pylons that appeal.

All grounds should have a lattice light column in each corner, and any clubs that don’t should have points deducted.

Is it just me (surely not) who gets a little frission of excitement when I’m Portsmouth-bound on the M27 and the Fratton pylons come into view for the first time? It’s the same if I’m heading to an away game and spot the light columns marking out my destination.

Take away the pylons and you lose a little bit of what makes Fratton Park special. And once you take the pylons down, what next? Does the mock Tudor facade in Frogmore Road follow?

The lights are apparently being moved to enable the north side of the ground to be given greater capacity. I get that. But I still think a little of Fratton’s heart and soul will be lost forever if it happens.

Whether I’ll climb halfway up one of the pylons in protest remains to be seen.