Checkatrade Trophy final: Biggest Fratton faithful presence in 51 years to roar on Portsmouth against Sunderland
The largest match-day gathering of Pompey fans for half a century will roar on Kenny Jackett’s side at Wembley.
A Blues sell-out of 40,300 will be present for Sunday’s Checkatrade Trophy final against Sunderland.
It’s a ticket allocation which exceeds all of Pompey’s five previous post-war visits to the home of football.
Not since March 1968, an FA Cup fifth-round clash with West Brom at Fratton Park, have so many Blues followers congregated for a match.
Even then, that 42,642 attendance includes away support, with the precise breakdown of figures for travelling fans not available.
The previous fixture in that season’s FA Cup run attracted a crowd of 44,050 for a fourth-round replay with Fulham.
Mike Trebilcock was the match winner in a 1-0 triumph on that February 1968 occasion.
From April 2008 to May 2010, Pompey made five trips to a Wembley newly-renovated and reopened following a six-year building process.
Yet of those occasions, none were attended by more than 33,000 Blues supporters, as dictated by ticket allocations.
The FA Cup semi-final encounter with West Brom in April 2008 attracted a crowd of 83,584.
However, Pompey were allotted 32,600 seats, which were swiftly snapped up.
For the final against Cardiff, each club were handed just 25,000 tickets for a match which saw Harry Redknapp’s side crowned 1-0 winners.
That 89,874 attendance still ranks as the highest for an FA Cup final at the new Wembley.
Redknapp’s team returned in August 2008 for the Community Shield against Premier League champions Manchester United.
Although the fixture produced a crowd of 84,808, the Blues didn’t sell out their allocation, with noticeable gaps among their Wembley support.
Pompey returned for an FA Cup semi-final against Spurs in April 2010, with 84,602 present.
The Blues’ allocation on that occasion was 33,000 – and they witnessed a stunning 2-0 success as underdogs.
For the final against Chelsea, once again 25,000 tickets were distributed, the crowd totalling 88,335.
Avram Grant’s side lost 1-0, Didier Drogba’s second half strike settling matters. It also marked Pompey’s last trip to Wembley.
However, the Fratton faithful are to return on Sunday – this time in their greatest numbers for 51 years.