Justin Edinburgh: The big-name signing from Spurs who had a huge impact on Portsmouth's dressing room

Pompey are mourning the death of Justin Edinburgh, right, at the age of 49. Picture Steve Reid
Pompey are mourning the death of Justin Edinburgh, right, at the age of 49. Picture Steve Reid
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A footballer who lifted the level and professionalism of the Pompey dressing room.

But, above that, a fantastic human being with the rare gift of making time for everyone he encountered.

That’s how Justin Edinburgh will be remembered, following his death at the age of 49.

Tributes are pouring in for the man who spent three years at Fratton Park from 2000.

Blues hall of famer, Andy Awford, was Edinburgh’s team-mate in the time he made 38 appearances.

And Awford’s over-riding memory is of the character of a man he remained in touch with until his death.

Justin Edinburgh in Pompey colours.

Justin Edinburgh in Pompey colours.

‘Forget the football, Justin was a top bloke,’ Awford said.

‘The thing you remember most is he had time for people. He always made time for people.

‘I remember at his testimonial he somehow made time for everybody, and I know from mine it’s so hard to do that.

‘He always went out of his way to help people.

‘I texted him a couple of weeks ago to congratulate him on his promotion. He replied and was more interested in how I was!

‘That’s the type of guy he was. It’s so sad.’

Edinburgh arrived at Pompey after more than 250 appearances for Spurs.

Awford explained he added both quality and character to the final league club he represented.

He added: ‘I played alongside Justin in the team Tony Pulis put together.

‘First and foremost, he was a proper person.

‘He came from Spurs and obviously had a good grounding.

‘Justin was a really good person to be in the dressing room with.

‘He was very humble for what he’d achieved in the game - and a bloody good player, by the way. He gave us a lot when he was here.

‘He improved us as a dressing room, but was so humble for a guy who’d played at the top level.’

Pompey legend Alan Knight also worked with the man who recently inspired Leyton Orient’s return to the Football League.

Knight echoed Awford’s sentiments and those recurring tributes who spoke of Edinburgh’s human qualities.

He said: ‘It’s so sad that such a fantastic bloke has been taken from us at such a young age.

‘You get nice people in football, but they aren’t necessarily in the majority.

‘He was just a fantastic geezer with a wicked sense of humour.

‘He’s gone on to do a brilliant job as a manager at places like Newport and now Orient.

‘My thoughts are with his family and those close to him.’