Portsmouth to auction signed ‘Pompey Pirate’ shirts for Rowans Hospice

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Portsmouth will be auctioning off signed shirts warn in memory of the ‘Pompey Pirate’, who passed away after a battle with cancer, for charity. 

The tops worn following the death of Craig Bryden will be sold next week with the money going to Rowans Hospice. 

Craig, who became an internet sensation after he wore a pirate outfit to his first chemotherapy session at Queen Alexandra Hospital, died last month. 

READ MORE: Portsmouth’s poppy pins sell out in under two hours raising thousands for Royal British Legion

Portsmouth players wore the Pompey Pirate shirts during the warm-up before the 1-1 draw with Fleetwood Town at Fratton Park on October 20. 

The club announced that the shirts will be signed and auctioned today (November 1), tweeting: ‘The Pompey Pirate t-shirts, that were worn in memory of Craig Bryden, waiting to be signed.

'Pompey Pirate' Craig Bryden. Picture: Allan Hutchings

'Pompey Pirate' Craig Bryden. Picture: Allan Hutchings

‘They will be auctioned to raise money for Rowans Hospice next week. Further details will be made available soon. #OnePompeyPirate.’ 

Who was the ‘Pompey Pirate’? 

The Pompey-mad dad-of-two Craig, from Copner, was a navy steward who survived the sinking of of HMS Sheffield in the Falklands War and spent 20 years in the Senior Service. 

In 2016 he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and became an internet sensation after wearing a pirate outfit to his first chemotherapy session at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham. 

READ MORE: Heartbroken friends pay tribute to ‘Pompey Pirate’ 

He battled through treatment and even had the chance to lead out Pompey at Fratton Park with Blues fans screaming his name.

Fellow naval veteran and Sheffield survivor, Chris Purcell paid tribute to Craig, describing his death as a ‘massive loss’ for the city.

Mr Purcell, of Adames Road, Fratton, said: ‘He has been so brave – his courage has been inspirational. He is a true diamond.

'It's a massive loss. To go through what he has gone through and to have always kept his spirits so high is amazing.’ 

Craig passed away on Wednesday, October 17, and he leaves behind his wife, Rae and two children, as well as his father, Bill, and older brother, Gordon.