Portsmouth's last remaining Fratton Park floodlight pylon is finally removed

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Fratton Park has finally said goodbye to a familiar figure.

Today has witnessed the removal of the historic ground’s final floodlight pylon.

Its three colleagues were taken out of action last year, after almost 57 years overlooking Pompey’s Fratton Park.

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The League One play-off semi-final second leg against Sunderland on May 16, 2019, marked the last match played under the iconic 34m-high structures.

Yet one 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 had equipment positioned on the structure, were served notice by the Blues 22 months ago to relocate to the pylon situated in the North Stand car park.

The change around was expected to be completed by mid-August.

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The last floodlight pylon coming down at Fratton Park.  Picture: Steve HopesThe last floodlight pylon coming down at Fratton Park.  Picture: Steve Hopes
The last floodlight pylon coming down at Fratton Park. Picture: Steve Hopes

However, that has now happened, allowing the final floodlight to be removed.

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

Their managing director, Steve Cripps, told The News in July: ‘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.

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

‘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.

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

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.

After the completion of strengthening work on the South Stand in the summer of 2019, it rendered the final two pylons defunct.

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

Now the final one inside the ground has been removed.

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