Shhh it's a secret: Popular Portsmouth event back after five years - but new inductees under wraps

The last Pompey Hall of Fame event took place in March 2019
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Pompey are keeping the identity of latest inductees in a rebooted Hall of Fame strictly under wraps.

Although Mick Tait is confirmed as an attendee for Friday night’s sold-out 125th Anniversary Dinner, which will incorporate the popular event.

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Following a five-year hiatus, a revamped Hall of Fame is to return on an annual basis, albeit operating with a new selection criteria for inductees - and the names being honoured are a strict secret.

George Ley was inducted into Pompey's Hall of Fame in March 2015. Picture: Paul JacobsGeorge Ley was inducted into Pompey's Hall of Fame in March 2015. Picture: Paul Jacobs
George Ley was inducted into Pompey's Hall of Fame in March 2015. Picture: Paul Jacobs

Each year, the club will choose one living former player and will also award posthumous recognition for another ex-footballing favourite.

In addition, a third award will be handed out to those worthy of inclusion as honorary members, centring on club figures rather than players.

The event will form part of Pompey’s 125th Anniversary Dinner in the Victory Lounge on Friday night, with Hall of Famers Tait, Alan Knight, Guy Whittingham and John Milkins also present.

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The changes are being overseen by chairman of the 125 Anniversary Steering Committee Colin Farmery - but his lips are sealed on who will be inducted.

He told The News: ‘We want to reveal the names on the night, so, for some people there, it will be an element of surprise.

‘We are not selling the dinner off the back of who is being inducted, it is a 125th Anniversary event with four great ex-players returning. However, we are rebooting the Hall of Fame and the evening will also consist of that.

‘Going forward, we want the Hall of Fame to involve inductees returning as guests, but then a big reveal on the night on who will be joining them on the wall of honour.

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‘Jake Payne and the Former Players’ Association ran the event for 10 years until 2019 and did fantastically well, it has always been a hugely popular night. This is about building on that great success.

‘We have also drawn up some criteria for getting into the Hall of Fame, trying to make it a little more transparent.

‘And this time around there will be one living player - who will be present - one posthumous player, and one posthumous honorary club servant.’

The event also coincides with Saturday’s Former Players’ Day, with around 25 confirming their attendance for the Shrewsbury match.

In keeping with tradition, they will be introduced to the Fratton faithful on the pitch at half-time.

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