Benjani, Munks, Doyle, Kuhl are great to see - but McInnes has the most interesting Pompey answers

For those of us who like to talk and hear about Pompey’s past, Friday night in the Victory Lounge was fabulous.

By Steve Bone
Monday, 22nd November 2021, 1:00 pm
Iain McInnes talks to the crowd in the Victory Lounge / Picture: Neil Allen
Iain McInnes talks to the crowd in the Victory Lounge / Picture: Neil Allen

The occasion was the launch of Neil Allen’s past two Pompey books and the guest list was impressive.

Neil had gathered a great gang together of characters who’d featured in his various Blues books.

Biggest cheer of the night greeted the arrival on the platform of Benjani – and he even treated us to his trademark goal celebration.

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Also present were Dave Munks, Martin Kuhl and Michael Doyle, who answered questions about their Pompey days. Kuhl, perhaps not surprisingly, had to focus on the 1992 FA Cup semi-final loss to Liverpool and the agony of that night at Villa Park.

But for me, the most interesting interviewee was Iain McInnes, chairman, of course, in the years when the clubs was owned the PST and presidents.

Asked whether he thought that regime could have taken the club any further after winning the League Two title (at which point the club was sold), he said he did. (I heartily agree, by the way).

Asked for his verdict on the present owners, he was very diplomatic. But he did say that whenever he’d taken over a business that had been doing well, he’d preferred to keep at least an element or some personnel who’d made it work. Interesting answer.

The book launch was attended by more than 400 people and I enjoyed seeing some Pompey faces I’d not seen for a long time.

There were also contributions from Sam Matterface, Ian Darke, Barry Harris, Andy Moon and Roger Higgins and you couldn’t help thinking that if that sort of night was held annually – with a different guest list each time – it would be a hit every time.

Oh and if there’s any of Neil’s PFC books you’ve not read yet, I recommend them. It’s about time he got on with another if you ask me...