Pompey aren’t only club at heart of city

Alfie Rutherford celebrates one of the 14 goals he has scored for Moneys this term. Picture: Neil Marshall
Alfie Rutherford celebrates one of the 14 goals he has scored for Moneys this term. Picture: Neil Marshall
Jamal Lowe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Why eyes are on Scunthorpe in Pompey bid to make play-offs

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Heard the one about the debt-free football club at the heart of the Portsmouth community?

Theirs is a story of an outfit who now refuse to live beyond their means.

It’s a tale of salt-of-the-earth football folk, who give their time for the love of the club.

And now they are seeing the rewards for their incessant efforts, as they proudly operate under the star and crescent banner.

Yes, things are certainly going well for Moneyfields down in the Wessex League.

Okay, it’s not been such a bad week for that other side 1.5 miles from Moneys’ Dover Road home.

They’ve been hogging all the headlines as they finally wrest themselves from the grips of those who have abused them.

On Tuesday night, however, Miles Rutherford’s side quietly went top of the premier division.

A 6-1 thumping of Fareham Town made it a start to the season up with the best in the club’s 27-year history.

And that really is a cause for celebration for Portsmouth.

Things are now beginning to look rosy for Moneyfields, so much so, they can even offer their players a win bonus – £25. Forget about anyone having a contract, though.

The dream for a club of their stature is to make it to the Southern League. The foundations are now being laid to work towards that.

But it’s not just about success on the pitch for a side operating in the ninth tier of the English game.

Moneys have long prided themselves on being a hub for those around them. What’s taking place at PO4 now, has long been the philosophy down at PO3 6LA.

Any parks player who has played their cup final at their ground will tell you that, likewise those who have used their facilities they throw open to the public in a way Pompey are now replicating at Fratton Park.

It’s that parks level the club itself emanated from in 1987.

Now, from humble origins as Portsmouth Civil Service reserves, Moneys have flourished into a set-up with a dozen sides. They begin at under-six level with players able to progress all the way through the ranks to the senior set-up.

There have been plenty who have done just that. Gosport’s Dan Wooden is an example, while Jason Prior wore the club’s yellow and blue before making it into the Football League.

Those involved in the Steve Claridge Academy based at the club harbour ambitions of doing just that.

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Alfie Rutherford is making a name for himself this season – with a whopping 14 goals to his name already.

Delivering success stories like that isn’t the motivation for those involved, however.

They can rest assured they have impacted on the lives of thousands of people in the time at their club – no doubt keeping plenty on the right track along the way.

Men such as Micky Gee, George Wain, Gerry Craig, Paul Gregory and Pete Shires have all been there for the long haul. There are folk like these people all around the non-league, whose involvement sustains the game.

Vice-chairman, Calvin Hore, was a relative latecomer to the Moneys scene in 2001, as he finished a long career on the local circuit.

Hore explained the ethos of the club. One which sounds similar to that being preached down the road.

‘It’s always been the thought to live within your means,’ said Hore.

‘There’s no point in offering contracts you can’t sustain.

‘Pompey are the professional club but there is a set-up right in the heart of Portsmouth in Moneyfields.

‘There’s that Pompey pride there. It’s a proper community club.’

One that’s worth the city’s football folk parting with £5 of their money (or £2 with a Pompey season ticket) to enjoy once in a while.