On this day: Pompey clinch Division One title

Paul Merson with the Division One title
Paul Merson with the Division One title
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On this day in 2003, Pompey returned to the top flight of English Football after an absence of 15 years as Division One champions.

Harry Redknapp’s side booked the title with a 3-2 Fratton Park home win against Rotherham.

They were also given a helping hand by Leicester, whose earlier 1-1 draw with Norwich meant a Blues victory would open up a four-point lead at the top with only a game to go.

Pompey opened the scoring in the 11th minute, with captain and playmaker Paul Merson netting his 12th goal of the season following a foul on Svetoslav Todorov.

Guy Branston levelled for the Millers five minutes later, only for Toddy to put the Blues ahead for a second time.

Again, Ronnie Moore’s side struck back through Chris Swailes on 28 minutes.

However, that man Todorov scored from close range right on half-time to secure the points – and the title – for the joyous Blues.

Pompey: Hislop, Primus, Festa, Foxe, Stone, Sherwood, Merson, Quashie, Harper, Todorov, Pericard. Subs: Kawaguchi, De Zeeuw, O’Neil, Diabate, Ayegbini.

Rotherham: Gray, McIntosh, Swailes, Branston, Shaun Barker, Daws, Richard Barker, Talbot, Sedgwick, Lee, Hurst. Subs: Pollitt, Robins, Warne, Hudson, Monkhouse.