The other ‘King’ who helped Pompey win Cup

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Pompey fans knew it was Now or Never in 2008.

Now Hermann Hreidarsson has revealed how he delivered a selection of Elvis Presley classics to help his side to FA Cup victory.

Hermann Hreidarsson leading the Southsea Common celebrations after the FA Cup triumph

Hermann Hreidarsson leading the Southsea Common celebrations after the FA Cup triumph

The Blues great has told the story of his famous pre-final karaoke session which eased the tension before Harry Redknapp’s side went on to defeat Cardiff City.

King Kanu may have been the toast of Pompey fans after he gave his side a glorious 1-0 win at Wembley.

But it was the King of Rock and Roll Hreidarsson channelled to cut through the crippling pressure which had been building ahead of the final.

Hreidarsson said: ‘The whole thing was Harry’s idea.

‘He spoke to me and said we’re going to have a bit of karaoke.

‘So I brought the costume with me and did some bad singing.

‘People must have enjoyed seeing me wear the costume – because I don’t think it was about the voice!

‘I think it was Hound Dog and Blue Suede Shoes which I sang.

‘It was all a bit of a laugh and a joke and a chance to smile together.

‘We enjoyed the moment a little bit and maybe it helped to ease the tension and nerves. It worked a treat.

‘It helped to give people something else to concentrate on and laugh at.’

Hreidarsson can remember the intensity of the build-up to the final, with Pompey clear favourites to win the Cup after beating Manchester United at the quarter-final stage.

The defender knew a city was expectant as they went in search of their first Cup silverware in 69 years.

‘Everyone was focused on the opportunity we had – and we had to make the most of it,’ Hreidarsson added.

‘Second place is nothing. Yes, it gives everyone a day out but you can make history there.

‘This is one of those things you dream of from when you are a kid. The kids in Iceland all watch the FA Cup.

‘You see the passion about the game and occasion.

‘When you see the atmosphere at the ground you are taking that on board.’

It took seeing the home of football decked in royal blue before a record Wembley crowd of 89,874 witnessed the win to ease Hreidarsson’s nerves.

‘When I walked out at the stadium you could see the sea of blue shirts,’ he added.

‘They were everywhere and the atmosphere even as we warmed up was amazing. You know you are lucky that you are a part of it.

‘It’s like Christmas, new year, birthdays and graduations all rolled into one. It then becomes something you look forward to.

‘That was the time to grab the atmosphere and occasion a little bit and appreciate what was going on.

‘Then when the warm-up is done and you have your 10 minutes in the dressing room. That’s when I switched off and went into game mode.’