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.
Have your say

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.