Farewell to legend Len

Len Phillips, pictured here at Fratton Park in 1946, has died at the age of 89
Len Phillips, pictured here at Fratton Park in 1946, has died at the age of 89
Pompey's Brett Pitman celebrates after scoring his second goal in their 2-0 win at Oldham. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South

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Former Pompey great Len Phillips has died at the age of 89.

He was the club’s last link to their famous League Championship-winning side of 1948-49 and 1949-50 and one of the club’s all-time greats.

He made 261 appearances, scoring 62 goals during his eight-year spell at the club.

Before his time as an inside forward with Pompey who went on to win three England caps, Phillips served for the Royal Marines and took part in the D-Day landings aged just 21.

He was a crew member on an assault landing craft launched from the warship Empire Battleaxe, and on June 6, 1944, he was one of he first Royal Marines to go ashore.

But after the war, he was recommended to Pompey manager Jack Tinn and went on to play 40 games and score 11 goals in the club’s first Championship success after establishing himself at the club.

Phillips then followed that up with 34 appearances and five goals as Pompey retained their crown the following season.

He was inducted into the club’s hall of fame last year and organiser, Jake Payne, believes it is the end of an era.

He said: ‘Len hasn’t been well for a number of years but he was our last link to the Championship-winning sides. It’s the end of an era.

‘Everyone would like to send their condolences Len’s family and I hope the club will organise a fitting tribute at the right time.’

Don’t miss The News tomorrow for tributes.