Portsmouth history maker returns home - a decade after landmark Fratton Park transfer

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The midfielder made 48 appearances for the Blues before sold to Leyton Orient by Paul Cook

A decade after he created Pompey history, Nigel Atangana is back where it all began.

The Hawks have unveiled the Frenchman as their latest summer signing as new head coach Shaun North maintains his overhaul.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It marks a return to Westleigh Park after leaving for the Blues in June 2014 in a landmark transfer.

Nigel Atangana made 48 appearances for Pompey after arriving from the Hawks in 2014. Now he's back at Westleigh Park. Picture: Joe PeplerNigel Atangana made 48 appearances for Pompey after arriving from the Hawks in 2014. Now he's back at Westleigh Park. Picture: Joe Pepler
Nigel Atangana made 48 appearances for Pompey after arriving from the Hawks in 2014. Now he's back at Westleigh Park. Picture: Joe Pepler | Bluepitch Media / Joe Pepler

Pompey boss Andy Awford paid an undisclosed fee to capture Antanga, representing the club’s first player purchase since coming out of administration 14 months earlier.

The fans saved the Blues from liquidation at the High Court in April 2013, after joining forces with Portsmouth City Council and property developer Stuart Robinson to raise £3.12m.

Subsequently prioritising paying off loans and football creditors, it was another year before the Blues were finally able to purchase players.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That first historic signing was Atangana, then aged 24 and having enjoyed an impressive maiden campaign with the Hawks, although the deal wasn’t that straightforward.

In order to remove existing transfer conditions, approval was required from the Football League and PFA, yet Pompey got their man.

Atangana went on to total 48 matches and one goal, yet Paul Cook sold him to Leyton Orient in January 2016 for an undisclosed fee.

Former Pompey player Nigel Atangana has rejoined the Hawks. Picture: Dave HainesFormer Pompey player Nigel Atangana has rejoined the Hawks. Picture: Dave Haines
Former Pompey player Nigel Atangana has rejoined the Hawks. Picture: Dave Haines | Dave Haines

He later represented Cheltenham and Exeter, before spending the last two years with Eastleigh, who released him at the end of last season along with 11 other out-of-contract players.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The 34-year-old made 41 appearances as the Spitfires finished 13th in the National League in 2023-24, of which 31 were starts.

Now he has opted to return to the Hawks, the club who recruited him from Gravelines in the French fifth division back in 2013 - and he has remained in this country ever since.

He joins fellow former Pompey players Harvey Bradbury and Leon Maloney as North’s side aim to swiftly bounce back from relegation to Southern League Premier South.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.