Pompey favourite’s funeral to take place this week

Tommy McGhee's funeral will take place on Thursday.
Tommy McGhee's funeral will take place on Thursday.
Former Pompey favourite Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler

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TOMMY McGHEE’S funeral will take place on Thursday.

The man who was Pompey’s oldest living player will be remembered at a mass in St Joseph’s Church, Tangier Road, at 10.30am.

Proceedings will then move on to Portchester Crematorium at 12.15pm.

McGhee died on May 19 at the age of 89, following a heart attack the previous weekend.

The right-back made 149 appearances for Pompey over five seasons following his arrival in 1954.

He remained a regular at Fratton Park until his death and was a season-ticket holder in the North Stand.

Former Pompey and England man, Ray Crawford, was a team-mate of McGhee’s.

Crawford remembers a fine full-back whose ability was matched by his character.

He said: ‘Tommy was a good footballer and did an excellent job in the full-back position.

‘He was someone you could rely on and you knew he wouldn’t let you down.

‘Tommy was two-footed, quick and gave you 100 per cent. He was a really good full-back in that era.

‘Anyone who went up against Tommy would certainly have known they’d been in a game afterwards.

‘That was because he was totally committed and gave you everything.

‘Whether it was in training or in a game, he was a good player to play with.

‘I only saw Tommy last season at a game at Fratton Park.

‘He went riding past on his bike and gave us a hello as he went past.

‘Tommy was a solid person, too, and good to be around socially.

‘He was a good footballer and he matched his ability as a nice guy.’

McGhee was signed for Pompey as an amateur by Eddie Lever – famously on a platform of Portsmouth Harbour train station, a fact which was reported in The News.

He was also an England B international and a relative latecomer into league football at the age of 25.

McGhee originally lived in Alverstone Road before moving to nearby Vernon Avenue – both a stone’s throw from Fratton Park. He remained at the latter address until his death.

He helped Pompey to a 5-0 win against Everton on his debut in November 1954, in front of a crowd of 32,403.

McGhee went on to become a team-mate to the likes of Jimmy Dickinson, Peter Harris, Len Phillips, Johnny Gordon and Ron Saunders.

– JORDAN CROSS