Pompey hero’s Fratton Park reunion

Former Pompey defender Ricardo Rocha
Former Pompey defender Ricardo Rocha
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Fratton favourite Ricardo Rocha is booked in for a Pompey return on Saturday.

And the popular defender will be meeting supporters in the Victory Lounge to sign copies of the Played Up Pompey series.

Rocha is the Blues’ guest for the visit of high-flying Shrewsbury to Fratton Park this weekend.

It is almost four years since the former Portugal international last visited the club he served with distinction on 97 occasions.

The classy centre-half enjoyed three spells with Pompey before departing for good in May 2013, following the club’s relegation to League Two.

He never represented another club and continued to live in Fareham before returning to his native Portugal in 2014.

However, Rocha still follows Pompey from afar, regularly commentating on their progress through his Twitter account.

He also contributed to Played Up Pompey, revealing his favourite match to be the 2-0 FA Cup semi-final triumph over former club Spurs at Wembley.

Rocha earned the man-of-the-match Champagne for that towering display alongside Aaron Mokoena in defence as Avram Grant’s struggling side sprung a huge shock.

Saturday’s forthcoming Fratton Park reunion has inevitably been greeted warmly by those supporters on social media who still idolise the 39-year-old.

And he is to appear in the Victory Lounge from 12.30-1.30pm to autograph the Played Up Pompey series of books.

Rocha has also been lined up for a half-time introduction on the Fratton pitch to enable fans to give him the reception he deserves.

The former Benfica player, of course, also earned popularity with the Fratton faithful for his role in the dramatic 2-2 draw at St Mary’s in April 2012.

While David Norris scored the last-gasp leveller, Rocha also attracted cult status for his encounter with Southampton player Adam Lallana.

Overall for the Blues, he appeared in the 2010 FA Cup final in addition to turning out in three different divisions.

Copies of Played Up Pompey and Played Up Pompey Too are available to buy on the day, priced £16.99 and £17.99 respectively.

Those unable to attend can pre-order a book and request a personalised Rocha message by emailing neil.allen@thenews.co.uk