Fan favourite Craig MacGillivray struck down by wretched curse as Portsmouth trophy claims another victim

Within a week of receiving the coveted supporter honour, another victim had been claimed.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 4:55 am

Poor Craig MacGillivray – talk about The News/Sports Mail’s Player of the Season trophy applying the kiss of death to a Pompey career.

Of the last 12 different recipients, 11 have left Fratton Park by 12 months’ time. Of which eight departed that very summer.

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Although the Blues have yet to officially announce the popular goalkeeper’s exit, sadly his impressive three-year stay has now ended.

What a fine performer the Scot has been too, Pompey’s best keeper since leaving the Championship a decade ago having been recruited on a free from Shrewsbury.

A staggering 64 per cent of those who voted named MacGillivray as their The News/Sports Mail’s 2020-21 Pompey Player of the Season, signalling an emphatic triumph.

He becomes only the fourth keeper to receive the award, following in the footsteps of the first winner Peter Mellor, Alan Knight (three times) and David James (twice).

Craig MacGillivray - The News/Sports Mail's Pompey Player of the Season - has suffered a familiar fate to his predecessors

Yet he has unfortunately become another statistic of the 42-year-old silverware which refuses to show any respect to those chosen to be in its company.

Since 2009, only Johnny Ertl has remained beyond a year afterwards, although he endured a miserable time in the two subsequent seasons which followed his 2012-13 recognition.

Admittedly, Matt Clarke was there in the 2018-19 campaign to defend his title, then left for Brighton that summer after retaining it.

Looking at the last 13 seasons, there have been 12 different winners – and 11 left in 12 months or under.

Since Glen Johnson in 2008-09, there have also been rapid exits for Jamie O’Hara, Jason Pearce, Jed Wallace, Enda Stevens, Matt Clarke (second award), Christian Burgess, and now MacGillivray.

Others lasted a little longer – Hayden Mullins (12 months), Ricky Holmes (six months) and Michael Doyle (12 months).

So full respect to Ertl, who always relished a battle and stayed at Pompey for another two years after his 2012-13 honour.

Having said that, he would make just 27 League Two starts during the subsequent two seasons as the former Blues skipper fell out of favour.

On July 2015, his Pompey contract was cancelled by mutual consent under new boss Paul Cook.

And Ertl never played professionally again.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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