IT IS time to be part of history.
Tomorrow sees the return of the Pompey Sailor, hopefully giving a massive thumbs-up for a Fratton Park triumph over Oxford United.
The relaunched Sports Mail, available in newsagents just a few hours after the Saturday match’s finish, marks Pompey’s new beginnings as a community-owned and community-supported football club.
And long-standing Portsmouth Football Club sponsor, The Betting Room, is on the field to support both the rebirth of the club, and the rebirth of Sports Mail, written and printed by the sports reporters at The News.
Peter Higgins, owner of The Betting Room chain of betting shops, said the partnership was an ideal one.
He said: ‘Everyone was sad when the Sports Mail was closed down last season and the general feel-good factor surrounding Pompey at the moment means it’s an ideal thing to have.
‘The Sports Mail has always been part of the match-day experience, and it always marked the end of that day when it came out, whether it had been a win, lose or draw.
‘Many of our customers are die-hard Pompey fans and miss it, so really it is a fantastic tie-in for us all round.’
The Pompey Supporters’ Trust is now the club’s majority shareholder, with the boardroom bolstered by a number of well-heeled Pompey fans who have contributed large amounts of their personal fortunes to buy the club.
For a long time, as Pompey plummeted through the leagues, it looked like a succession of foreign and financially unstable owners would see the club liquidated, leaving the city without a professional football club for the first time since its formation in 1898.
But tomorrow the new era is upon us, and the Sports Mail will record every touch.
News editor Mark Waldron said: ‘Now is the time to get behind the team on the pitch and the team writing the Sports Mail.
‘As such, we are urging every fan to spend 60p on a Sports Mail every Saturday, and 10p of that will go to the Pompey Supporters’ Trust who have worked so hard to save the club from extinction.
‘We’re also inviting businesses to join The Betting Room in sponsoring it as it documents such a historic time for Pompey.’
n If you are interested in joining The Betting Room in sponsoring the new-look Sports Mail, contact Howard Frost on (023) 9262 2120.