Fratton Park's 'Operation Reclaim the Seats' is well under way
Tonight, I shall do what 12,000 or so of you did yesterday at Fratton Park – reclaim my seat.
Seventeen months and 15 days after watching us lose to Arsenal in the FA Cup, I will be back the North Lower spot that’s been my second home since August 1996.
In fact, this week is also the 25th anniversary of the first time we sat instead of stood on the North Terrace, so it’s quite fitting that our return to our rightful vantage point is allowed again now.
I got to one game last season but a) I was at the other end of the North Lower and b) it was a 0-0 draw against a team managed by Joey Barton, so to say it wasn’t the same is an understatement.
I’m looking forward to this evening more than anyone who doesn’t know about Pompey and what it all means to people could comprehend.
It will be quite something to be back in the old routine, and that includes everything from the drive to Fratton, the walk over the bridge and up the alleyway, chatting to all and sundry in Frogmore Road then circling the ground to turnstile No10.
Once I’m in my seat and seeing all the familiar faces who, I am assuming, will be back to where they were for that Arsenal game and many others before it, I’ll be done. I don’t know if I’ll be able to cope with a game as well. Perhaps I’ll leave again two minutes before kick-off. Or perhaps not.
It’s a shame some fans have had trouble getting their seats sorted for these first three games before full season tickets come into effect. It sounds like the club as a whole weren’t quite ready for the demand they faced in a short space of time. But I hope everyone as desperate to return as I am has either done it last weekend or gets to do it soon. I’ll see you there.