Six of the best: Pompey old boys

Pompey skipper Michael Doyle told The News today he is hoping to play on at Fratton Park for years to come.

Wednesday, 19th October 2016, 12:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:27 pm
Goalkeeper Dave Beasant is Pompey's oldest player having donned the gloves aged 43 years 32 days at Man City in April 2002

At the age of 35, Doyle has no intentions of winding things down when many of his peers begin looking to the future.

Instead, the former Republic of Ireland international believes advances in sports science have given his hopes of prolonging his career a real boost.

But Doyle has got some way to go if he is to become the Blues’ most senior starter.

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That particular honour belongs to goalkeeper Dave Beasant who donned the gloves in Pompey’s 3-1 April 2002 defeat at first division champions Manchester City aged 43 years 32 days.

In doing so, Beasant himself surpassed the record held by Pompey legend Jimmy Dickinson, whose 845th appearance for the club arrived on the eve of his 40th birthday – a 1–1 1964-65 end-of-season draw at Northampton Town that secured safety from division two relegation.

Other notable Pompey golden oldies include 2008 FA Cup winning goalkeeper David James whose last game for the club arrived in another Wembley final – the 1-0 2010 defeat to Chelsea, aged 39.

Double league-title winner Duggie Reid served Pompey as a prolific inside forward before ending a fine playing career as a centre-half.

His final Blues outing saw him made skipper for the 1956 visit of Man City – a game the Blues lost 4-1 with 38-year-old Reid forced into a left-back berth following a number of injuries.

Like Reid, Cliff Parker is one of the great names of Pompey folklore.

A star either side of the war, Parker scored twice in the 4-1 win over Wolves in the 1939 FA Cup final, before featuring in the double league championship success in 1948-19 and 1949-50.

Aged 37 the veteran winger made his final Blues appearance – his 258th – in the 1950-51 campaign.

Finally, Pompey’s record appearance holder Alan Knight played his 801st and last match for the Blues at Norwich City’s Carrow Road in January 2000 aged 38, becoming the only player to appear for the club in four different decades.

In 2003-04, due to an injury crisis, 42-year-old goalkeeping coach Knight was called on to the substitutes’ bench for Pompey’s Premier League trip to Aston Villa and listed as a squad member, but was never actually called into action.

Can you remember any other golden oldies to have plied their trade for the Blues?

Let us know in the comments below.