It's a Fratton farewell to Portsmouth's final floodlight standing

Pompey's final floodlight pylon, located between the South stand and Milton end, will be removed next monthPompey's final floodlight pylon, located between the South stand and Milton end, will be removed next month
Pompey's final floodlight pylon, located between the South stand and Milton end, will be removed next month
He has been the last man standing – now Fratton Park will finally bid farewell to a familiar figure.

Next month will see the removal of Pompey’s final floodlight pylon.

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Yet one has continued to remain, despite not functioning.

Situated in the corner of the Milton end and South stand, the pylon received an unexpected stay of execution during a long-running wrangle with Vodafone.

The mobile phone giants, who have equipment positioned on the structure, were served notice by Pompey 18 months ago to relocate to the pylon situated in the North stand car park.

However, they have run a year late.

Now the change around is expected to be completed by mid-August, allowing the final floodlight to be removed.

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PMC Construction and Development Services have been carrying out Fratton Park work this summer.

Their managing director, Steve Cripps, told The News: ‘The removal of the final column has been held up because of Vodafone.

‘They were due to relocate to the column in the North stand car park, but have been late for one reason or another.

‘However, we are making progress and expect them to be off that column early next month - then it will be removed from the ground.

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‘Once that’s gone, it will mean all the corners of Fratton Park are ready to be developed.

‘We previously had Airwaves, which is a communication for the emergency services, on the column in the south-west corner outside the media centre.

‘That was relocated to the pylon in the North stand car park - and now Vodafone will be joining them.

‘That column in the North car park is doing a multitude of things.’

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The floodlights were launched in October 1962, following a fundraising campaign by the old Portsmouth FC Supporters’ Club.

They stoically served the Blues until September 2015, when two were switched off following the introduction of lighting along the roof-edges of the Fratton end, North stand and Milton end.

The disused structure on the north-west side of the ground was actually spared, relocated to the North stand car park.

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Now the final one inside the ground is expected to be removed in the next few weeks.

Cripps added: ‘Vodafone were served notice 18 months ago and due off it last July, so they’re a year late.

‘There are a lot of regulations and they are protected under the Telecommunications Act.

‘It’s not as if the club can chuck them off, so you are treading carefully around them and working with them.

‘However, by mid-August the floodlight should be gone.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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