Pompey Nostalgia: Durnin held hostage by hospital

On this day in 1998, The News reported that Blues striker John Durnin was held hostage by a hospital over unpaid medical bills owed by Pompey.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 12th December 2016, 12:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:36 pm
Former Pompey striker John Durnin
Former Pompey striker John Durnin

The striker was forced to pay £500 for a scan on his injured knee before he was allowed to leave the premises,

Durnin visited the Wessex Nuffield Hospital at Chandlers Ford after picking up the injury in a reserve team game in the November of that year.

But after the scan was performed, hospital administrators refused to let him return to his Port Solent home.

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They were unhappy the Blues still owed them money for a scan on defender Thomas Thogersen.

A club insider at the time said: ‘Durnin called Fratton Park to tell them about the problem.

‘He was promoised that it would be sorted out, but nothing happened as he waited and waited.

‘He was there for three hours and still nothing was done.

‘Durnin was forced to pay for the scan himself and now he’s trying to get the money back from the club.

‘It was embarrassing for him and you can imagine that he’s not best pleased about the whole incident.’

Durnin wasn’t the only Blues player waiting for cash from then-cashed-strapped Pompey.

Several other first-team regulars were also disgruntled that their signing-on fees had not been paid.

The sources added: ‘The signing-on fees are outstanding and the players are demanding their money.’

The incident occured at a time when fans protested outside the home of then chairman Martin Gregory.

They were angered by his handling of the financial crisis at the club and demanded his resignation.