Farewell to a Pompey friend – and good luck

Mark Catlin, right, celebrates on Southsea Common with the League Two trophy. Picture: Joe Pepler
Mark Catlin, right, celebrates on Southsea Common with the League Two trophy. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Fratton Park has lost its most popular resident – the League Two trophy.

The silverware which crowned last season’s table-topping feat has been returned to the Football League.

For around 10 months it occupied the boardroom, in between spells travelling around the city for numerous events.

Unsurprisingly, it proved a popular draw to a Fratton faithful keen to be pictured alongside its presence.

But no more.

The likely new recipients are Accrington Stanley, who require a point to clinch the League Two title.

Closest rivals Luton trail six points behind with two matches remaining, yet with a better goal difference.

Still, Pompey have been handed a three-quarter size replica to replace it in the trophy cabinet.

And chief executive Mark Catlin admitted he is sad to see it depart.

He said: ‘I am sorry to see it go, very sorry to see it go.

‘I gave it a kiss and a cuddle before we said goodbye!

‘It graced the boardroom and did a lot of good work.

‘I think everyone got value out of it during the year in regards of it going to various groups, charities and schools – and rightly so.

‘We always say we represent the city, so hopefully the city shared the experience of having the trophy.

‘Everyone had chance to meet it, we put on some events in the Victory Lounge, while we never turned people away who wanted photos taken with it in the boardroom.

‘It has now gone back to be engraved before it is handed over to the next winners of League Two.

‘But we now have a replica in its place, which is three-quarters in size and will go back into the trophy cabinet.’

The League Two trophy was not even present at Fratton Park when Pompey claimed the title on the final day of last season.

Instead Plymouth and Doncaster were regarded as the more likely destinations by Football League chiefs, who instead focused on their games.

The silverware did, however, arrive in time the following day to be unveiled on stage at Southsea Common in front of thousands of supporters.

For Danny Rose, it was the second consecutive year he had won the trophy, following successful exploits with Northampton in 2015-16.

It also represented a maiden title for Pompey at that level.