Released striker Oli Hawkins on why he's planning for a Portsmouth return

Oli Hawkins plans a Portsmouth return – at the end of his playing days.

Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 8:00 am
Former Pompey striker Oli Hawkins insists he has fallen in love with the area - and wants to settle here after football. Picture: Simon Davies/ProSportsImages

The striker and his partner have fallen in love with the area during three years on the south coast.

Having initially rented in Emsworth, they bought a home in Horndean, where they have lived for the last 18 months.

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Irrespective of his next destination, he plans to keep the family home.

And the Wembley penalty hero is keen to return to the area when football allows it,

He told The News: ‘In three years at the club, I was able to buy a home, have a baby, get a dog and score at Wembley.

‘I didn’t let myself down and reached the play-offs twice - I look back in a positive way.

‘The biggest positive of all is I love the city and will probably move back down here eventually. I will miss this place a lot.

‘When I found out I’m not going to be here anymore, I had a sinking feeling. I realised I’d be moving away.

‘We lived in Emsworth and then bought property in Horndean. We really fell in love with the area.

‘We still have a home here, so if we wanted to one day live down here again we can.

‘Even though I am a London boy and love London, it has been a breath of fresh air to get out and about and see the sea.

‘I really enjoy the walks and you can’t really beat the weather on a good day. It’s such a great place.’

The fact Hawkins’ son, Jett, was born at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester in December represents another emotional tie in the area.

However, he is adamant nobody ever abused him to his face the entire time he lived in the area.

And he is proud of his Pompey legacy – that Checkatrade Trophy-winning goal against Sunderland.

He added: ‘I have never watched that penalty back to this day.

‘It has popped up on Twitter, put out by other people sharing clips, but I haven’t sat down and had a look.

‘I don’t look at my games in general. When I first came to the club, I used to see the bits I was involved in, but after the first season stopped. Instead I just focused on my next game.

‘If that penalty is my legacy then it’s not a bad one.

‘In 20 years time, if I’m retired and living in Portsmouth and people come up to me about that moment, I know it will give me a little smile.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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