An occasion to join match days of Pompey legend

Pompey weathered the snowstorm to collect victory in extreme conditions at Oldham.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 7:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 7:40 pm
Pompey defend before their clash with Wycombe in 2013 is abandoned. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey defend before their clash with Wycombe in 2013 is abandoned. Picture: Joe Pepler

But the Blues have been meteorological misfits as well as marvels down the years.

There have been many examples of bizarre games being played out amid all kinds of weird and wonderful weather in the club’s history.

Here are some of the fixtures which spring to the mind of the supporters, when reminiscing about the crazy elements they’ve witnessed their team play in.

Fog shrouds Yeovil's Huish Park in 2016. Picture: Joe Pepler

Yeovil 0 Pompey 0

December 30, 2016

Paul Cook’s men travelled to the west country and immediately realised the game was in doubt with a thick pea-souper shrouding Huish Park.

The fog lifted before kick-off but then descended again in the second half making the game a lottery.

Fog shrouds Yeovil's Huish Park in 2016. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey’s Twitter account comedically summed up the farce in its reporting of the game.

One example read: ‘Someone puts a cross into #Pompey’s box, someone (I think Burgess) heads clear and someone else then fires over (30 mins).’

A wag described failing to win and up the pressure on the League Two leaders as a ‘mist opportunity’.

Pompey 1 Wycombe 1

(match abandoned)

October 22, 2013

When they talk about rain of ‘biblical proportions’ this is what they mean.

It felt like at least 40 days and nights of the wet stuff was dumped on PO4 in one evening, as the first game since 1955 was abandoned at Fratton Park.

Billy Knott put Wycombe in front before Patrick Agyemang levelled before the break but that was all rendered meaningless when ref Lee Collins called a halt to proceedings at the interval.

A torrent running beside the Fratton End and under the mock-Tudor facade on Frogmore Road was surely a Pompey first.

‘Never seen rain like that Wycombe game,’ tweeted former head of performance analysis, Mark Thomas, when recently discussing the game.

Leicester 2 Pompey 0

November 2, 2002

It was billed as the showpiece game of Division One as the top two faced off at Fratton Park.

The clash descended into a watery farce, however. One referee Andy Hall should never have started.

Players aquaplaned and had no control when tackling. James Scowcroft and Matt Elliott got the goals with Pompey’s passing game faltering on the flooded surface.

Blues skipper Paul Merson said: ‘I’ve played more than 600 games now and never in worse conditions. I feel sorry for anyone who paid £80 for his family to come and watch.’

Pompey 2 Ipswich 3

October 28, 1989

Pompey fans remember a hailstorm battering Southampton fans in the one uncovered stand in the Premier League before the 1-0 home derby win in 2004.

But going back further, a hailstorm amid the gale-force wind and rain forced both teams off as Pompey met Ipswich at Fratton Park in 1989.

The referee decided to continue with the game after the stoppage and John Gregory’s side turned up the pressure to level through Martin Kuhl.

Jason Dozzell won it three minutes later, though, to disappoint most of the sodden 7,914 crowd.

Pompey 4 Fulham 4

January 1, 1985

A go-to match when talking of weather-affected Pompey clashes from down the years.

Alan Ball’s side blew Fulham away with the assistance of gale-force winds, as they raced into a four-goal lead by the interval.

But the tables were turned after the break in front of a crowd of 17,636, as the Cottagers stormed back and levelled from the spot after Noel Blake fouled Cliff Carr.

Just how costly the draw was to be become clear as the Blues missed out on promotion to the top flight to Manchester City – by virtue of goal difference.

Pompey 4 Lincoln 1

November 2, 1982

Pompey proved too much for title-favourites Lincoln as Alan Biley smashed in a hat-trick.

It was still a nervous finale for Bobby Campbell’s side as the fog descended on Fratton but the ref said he was happy to see the match out.

The key win took place days before the death of Pompey legend Jimmy Dickinson, as Campbell’s men went on to win the Division Three title that season.

Ipswich 1 Pompey 2

December 9, 1967

It would take more than a bit of snow to stop footballers back in the day.

That was seen when the snow fell at Ipswich back in December 1967 and the Portman Road surface froze.

No-nonsense Pompey midfielder Bobby Kellard told chief sports writer Neil Allen in Played Up Pompey Too how he dealt with the conditions.

‘I tried on a few pairs of football boots but none were suitable,’ he said.

‘They couldn’t grip and I was slipping all over the place. So I decided to wear my black shoes, which had a zigzag rubber sole across the bottom, making them ideal for that surface. Not that George Smith approved, he couldn’t believe it.’

The novel approach worked as Pompey won 2-1 to go three points clear at the top of Division Two.