Statue of Pompey stalwart Jimmy Dickinson unveiled outside Fratton Park to rapturous fan-fare
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Portsmouth FC stalwart Jimmy Dickinson – the one-club champion and all time record appearance holder – has been commemorated in bronze following a successful fan-led campaign by the Pompey Supporters’ Trust (PST).
The memorial, unveiled before today’s League One clash with Lincoln City, is a permanent fixture outside the north-west corner of the ground between the Fratton End and the North Stand. Supporters gathered in their droves to see the unveiling at a short ceremony before kick-off.
Donald Vass, PST treasurer, told The News: “We’re absolutely thrilled to share this with Pompey fans – the sculptor Doug Jennings has produced a world class statue befitting of the great man himself.
“Even though I’ve followed the progress of the work and seen the finished clay model, I’ve been feeling incredibly nervous about supporter response - we wanted to get this right. To hear people discussing it positively and being glad to see it is massive – we’re delighted with the supporter response.”
The statue was created by critically acclaimed sculptor Douglas Jennings – who has previously produced tributes to Graham Taylor, Johnny Haynes and George Cohen
Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan was one of the dignitaries present to see it. “I am delighted to see Pompey Supporters’ Trust’s vision become a reality, commemorating a Pompey legend while adding a new cultural landmark to our community and further enhancing the history and heritage of the club’s famous stadium,” he said.
“Our football club plays a key role for our city and prides itself on its rich history, so it’s vital we continue to honour it through fantastic projects like this one, especially as we celebrate its 125th anniversary this year. I’d like to congratulate Pompey Supporters’ Trust for inspiring the project, thank Douglas Jennings for his skill in capturing Jimmy so well, and to all those who have donated to make the project possible”.
The fundraising campaign garnered support from fans across the country. While money was being collected, Jimmy Dickinson’s son Andrew said while his father was “the embodiment of Portsmouth FC” and could not thinking of a more fitting tribute for his dad.
The Blues legend played for the club between 1946 and 1965 – where the Blues’ were crowned champions of England in the 1948/49 and 1949/50 seasons. He also represented his country 48 times and was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in 1964 for services to football. Dickinson passed away in 1982, aged 57.
Despite many adversities and a long multi-year process, Jimmy’s legacy has now been cemented thanks to the sculpture. Mr Vass added: “It’s been difficult trying to crowdfund this against the backdrop of the cost of living crisis, as we know hard it’s been for fans.
“But Pompey supporters have form for turning up in the face of adversity, and for surpassing expectations. Thank you to everyone who has donated online, dropped a few quid into a bucket on a matchday or bought a book - we couldn’t have done it without you.
"Together, we’ve made a permanent tribute to the club’s finest ever player.”