Emotional Fratton Park reunion for reigning Portsmouth Player of the Season now starring for rivals Charlton

The reigning The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season is scheduled for a Fratton Park reunion, albeit in the opposition team.

Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 4:00 pm

Certainly it’s an unusual situation involving Craig MacGillivray, having joined Monday night’s opponents Charlton in the summer following his shock Blues release.

Such was the goalkeeper’s popularity among the Fratton faithful, he totalled 64 per cent of last term’s vote, with no other Blues player recording more than eight per cent.

Having been presented with the 43-year-old trophy in an empty stadium following a final-day defeat to Accrington in May, it remains proudly on display at his home.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

Now, for the fifth time in the accolade’s distinguished history, the current holder will face the team where he accomplished such recognition.

MacGillivray has proven an excellent acquisition for Charlton, not that it will surprise any Pompey supporter.

The 29-year-old has featured 25 times in all competitions for the Addicks, while warranted shortlisting for the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for December.

Indeed, the level of his performances and their consistently high quality have swiftly established him as a favourite at The Valley.

Craig MacGillivray made 135 appearances for Pompey during his three-year Fratton Park stay. Picture: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

The season has been one of disappointment so far for the south-east London club, who dispersed with Nigel Adkins’ services in October following a poor start.

Read More

Read More
For the latest Pompey news direct to your inbox sign up for our free newsletter

They are presently 14th in League One, having won two of their last eight fixtures in all competitions.

Nonetheless, MacGillivray has been a superb presence since his June 2021 arrival on a two-year deal and was in goal for their 2-2 home draw with Pompey in September.

The Fratton faithful voted Craig MacGillivray as their The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season for 2020-21

It had been a heartbreaking Fratton Park exit for the former Walsall man following three seasons on the south coast, where he gave fine service.

Amassing 135 appearances after recruited in the summer of 2018 by Kenny Jackett, he was a mainstay of two play-off campaigns, although both perished at the semi-final stage.

The Scot also saved Lee Cattermole’s spot kick as Pompey claimed the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley in March 2019 courtesy of a penalty shoot-out against Sunderland.

However, with Cowley baulking at taking up a club option which would have given the keeper a 12-month extension accompanied by a pay rise, he was handed a free transfer last summer.

With Pompey’s head coach also keen on recruiting a goalkeeper with greater distribution skills, he instead turned to Manchester City’s Gavin Bazunu.

Unquestionably, Bazunu has been among the Blues’ best performers this term, ironically even a The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season contender.

Still, for the time being, that honour deservedly remains with MacGillivray, who joins Mick Quinn, Lee Bradbury, Glen Johnson and Ricky Holmes in facing Pompey while still in residence.

And the fans who last season voted him to receive the honour, will no doubt give the Scot more generous recognition upon his return in Charlton colours.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can support our local team of expert Pompey writers by subscribing here for all the latest news from Fratton Park for 9p a day, thanks to our 30%-off transfer window deal.