On this day a decade ago, Linvoy Primus booked Pompey’s Wembley reunion to crown his long-awaited return.
On May 28, 2008, the fans’ favourite was on schedule to start pre-season training on July 7 following injury.
And, after missing the two previous visits at the home of football, he was hopeful of featuring in the August 10 Community Shield clash with Manchester United.
Primus didn’t play a first-team match for manager Harry Redknapp during the 2007-08 season after undergoing knee reconstruction.
But he was part of the 30-man squad for the FA Cup final and received the biggest cheer of the day when he took his turn to loft the trophy in front of the Royal Box.
The defender was progressing well following his surgery, though, and featured in some of the players’ training sessions the week before the final against Cardiff.
He would continue strength and fitness work throughout the off-season
And Primus was on schedule for a tantalising taste of Wembley action after all.
He said: ‘I’ve missed Wembley a couple of times this year so the plan was to play in the Community Shield.
‘Of course, the players had to get us there first – and they did with that win over Cardiff. ‘ They’ve held their end of the bargain up so it’s now down to me.
‘Things are going really well with my fitness and I’m feeling good, so hopefully that can happen.’
The possibility of a Wembley outing would be rich reward for Pompey’s longest-serving player.
Primus was presented with a fresh 12-month deal in recognition of his loyalty over the past eight years.
And it’s that determination never to give up which made him such a Fratton Park favourite – culminating in that memorable Wembley reception.
He added: ‘It’s nice to have appreciation from the fans.
‘They probably realised how I was hurting not to play in the final but, on the strength of everything, I am so happy we won the Cup, I really am.
‘If I was to describe where we are – you’ve got planet earth, you’ve got space, you’ve got the universe and we are beyond that in terms of where we were when we played Orient not too long ago. That’s football isn’t it?
'Football is a strange game. It defies all rules and I’m glad we beat Cardiff. 'You’ve got mixed emotions because you didn’t play so you then don’t feel like you’ve done the work.
‘But the fans’ appreciation was really nice to hear and made me feel like I played the game.’