Pompey mourn death of legend Flewin

Pompey's double division one championship-winning captain Reg Flewin has died aged 87.

Flewin, who led the club to their only top-flight title wins in 1948-49 and 1949-50, passed away peacefully on the Isle of Wight on Saturday.

The powerful defender and leader will be remembered as the local lad who took his team to the pinnacle of English football.

Flewin grew up in Portsmouth, captaining Portsmouth Schoolboys before signing amateur forms at the age of 15 in 1935.

He signed professional terms two years later before making his debut at the age of 19 in a 2-1 win over Grimsby Town – 10 days before Pompey won the FA Cup – becoming the first local boy to play League football for the club.

The outbreak of World War II undoubtedly affected Flewin's football career.

He joined the Royal Marines, where he became their heavyweight boxing champion.

Flewin remained locally-based throughout the war and was still able to turn out for Pompey.

He also picked up two England caps during wartime when he faced Wales in Liverpool and Cardiff.

When peace was restored, Flewin continued to be an automatic choice at centre-half and soon became club captain in the 1946-47 season.

Many believed his partnership with Jimmy Scoular and Jimmy Dickinson in this period was one of the finest half-back lines of all time.

Flewin missed just three games in the 1948-49 season as Pompey claimed the first-division championship.

By this time he had become one of the elder statesmen of his side, which allowed his leadership and organisational skills to shine.

His positional sense and outstanding ability to head the ball made him stand out in a period when powerful forwards were the order of the day.

Flewin was the skipper as Pompey retained the title the following season, overcoming an appendix operation and serious cut above his eye, to lead Pompey to a 5-1 final-day success over Aston Villa.

Flewin continued to play for Pompey until he retired in the 1953-54 campaign after 173 appearances for his only club.

He remained at Fratton Park for a further six years as a coach, and also showed his versatility and flair for language as he edited the club's matchday programme.

Flewin was to later manage Stockport, Bournemouth and Hastings before moving to the Isle of Wight, where he became a sports and entertainment manager at a Freshwater holiday camp.

As his health deteriorated, Flewin moved to a retirement home, and it was there that he watched his beloved Pompey in action for the final time as they lifted the FA Cup against Cardiff.

Flewin's death leaves Len Phillips and Reg Pickett as the only surviving members of the club's two championship-winning teams.

Pompey club historian, Richard Owen, said: 'Reg was not only the captain of the championship-winning teams, but was also one of the club's great performers.

'He was a very, very good player and dominant captain, a leader of men.

'He gave his orders loud and had brilliant positional sense.

'Reg loved Fratton Park and loved living on the Isle of Wight, where he retired.

'It is somewhat fitting that he was able to watch the FA Cup win over Cardiff, which I'm told he was very pleased about.'

No date has yet been set for Flewin's funeral, which will take place at Newport Crematorium.