When the Portsmouth Santa inspired the Blues to victory 

Geoffrey Peters is unmasked. Picture: Sarah Standing (133618-2795)
Geoffrey Peters is unmasked. Picture: Sarah Standing (133618-2795)
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Tomorrow marks the 34th anniversary of the Pompey Santa’s pitch invasion which spurred the Blues’ fightback against Oxford. 

On December 22, 1984, Pompey were losing 1-0 in a second division top-of-the-table clash and seemed to be heading for defeat.

But a Father Christmas emerged from the stands and ran onto the field before swiftly being ejected from the ground.

This unexpected interruption inspired the Blues to a stunning comeback, with Alan Biley scoring two headers – the second coming in added-time.

The mystery of the Pompey Santa remained for a while until The News uncovered his identity in 2013.

Geoffrey Peters was inspired to carry out his historic pitch invasion by a £10 wager from his brother, Douglas.

Speaking to The News five years ago, he said: ‘In hindsight I wish I’d been able to stay behind somehow. 

‘I would have been carried, not sent down that road by the police! 

‘Basically, it was a dare. I’d just turned 17 and bought my first Vespa from Rafferty Newmans in Southsea.

‘My older brother Douglas had a Lambretta, so we dressed up and rode down to the football – it was one of my first visits to Fratton Park. 

‘Douglas dared me to run on the pitch for £10. 

‘If I’d thought about it sensibly, I’d never have done it! 

‘I think the players were pleased to see me because they all looked knackered. Everyone was blowing! 

‘But the referee stopped the game, giving me the freedom of the pitch.

‘After I’d reached the centre circle I ran towards the Milton End and gave the Oxford fans some stick, which got a loud cheer. 

‘Then the whole of the North Stand started singing “we’ve got a Santa on the pitch” which was incredible! 

‘I remember thinking “what have I got myself into here?” 

‘A policeman then took me away to have a chat. It basically went along the lines of “get out”. So we did.

‘Me and Douglas jumped on our scooters and sped off. 

‘When we arrived, a bloke working at Rafferty Newmans had the game on the radio and was running around like a lunatic. 

‘We then realised we had won and started jumping up and down as well! 

'It was unbelievable. But it’s great that fans still talk about that game. 

‘I’m glad I was able to help just a little bit.’