Over the years Pompey have had some fantastic players walk on to the pitch in the royal blue, here we reminisce some of the best!
Darren Anderton- Anderton graduated from the Pompey academy during Jim Smith’s reign at Fratton Park. He made his Pompey debut in 1990 and spent two years as a pro on the South Coast. His two seasons will always be remembered for his goal against Liverpool in the 1992 FA Cup Semi-Final. Shaggy went on to spend twelve seasons with Spurs before joining Birmingham and then Wolves. He finished his career on the South Coast with Bournemouth. He also played for England between 1994 and 2001 playing in Euro 96. He won just one major honour however, the League Cup in 1999.
Jimmy Dickinson- Dickinson joined Pompey in 1946 as a trainee and made his debut against Blackburn Rovers in the same year. Gentleman Jim was part of the famous Pompey side to win the 1948/1949 & 1949/1950 Division One Championships. He still holds the record for the most league appearances for Pompey (764) and holds the record for second most appearances for one club, beaten only by Swindon Town’s John Trollope who had four more appearances. Dickinson went on to manage Pompey after retiring in 1965, he managed Pompey in 1974 in the Old Fourth Division. Jimmy also holds the record for most international caps for a Pompey player, running out for England 48 times between 1949 and 1956. Dickinson passed away in 1982 at the age of 52, after suffering a heart attack. In 1998 he was named in the 100 legends of the Football League.0
Gary O’Neil- O’Neil made his way through the academy with Pompey and was handed a first team debut in 2000 as a 16-year old under Tony Pulis. He made a handful of appearances before he was then loaned out to Walsall and Cardiff City. He returned to Fratton Park in 2004 where under Harry Redknapp was placed in the first team. During the following three seasons O’Neil became a fans favourite, his volley at Old Trafford is fondly remembered as is his part in the 2005/2006 great escape. Gary also played in the 2004 4-1 victory over Southampton at Fratton Park. In his final seasons O’Neil won the 2007 Barclays Asia Trophy before he was sold five months before Pompey’s FA Cup victory. He was sold to Middlesborough before starring for West Ham United, QPR and now Norwich.
Robert Prosineki- The biggest ever Pompey shock signing, the German born midfielder represented Yugoslavia and Croatia on the international stage. Prosineki has played for some of Europe’s greats, Barcelona, Red Star Belgrade, Sevilla and Real Madrid. The Croatian played for a number of other clubs before signing for Portsmouth from Standard Liege in 2001. Prosineki made 33 league appearances scoring 9 quality goals. He terrified Barnsley (they say if you walk around the city centre shouting his name the locals cower in fear) as well as the rest of the second division. Still known as Harry Redknapp’s best ever capture. After tearing up the division he moved on to Slovenian club NK Olimpija Ljubljana and retired at NK Zagreb in 2004. Since retiring he has been assistant manager for the Croatian National team, managed Red Star Belgrade as well as Turkish side Kayserispor.
David James- A goalkeeper who joined Pompey in 2006 from Manchester City. Jamo is the only goalkeeper to come close to Alan Knight’s calibre. Before joining the Blues he had 33 England caps, a League Cup winners medal with Liverpool in 1995 and FA Cup runners up medal in 2000 with Aston Villa. His impressive reputation meant his move to Fratton Park was great for the club. He was part of the 2006/2007 season where Pompey turned around their fortunes and have a successful Premier League season, which they led for the early stages and only exited the top four in January. The next season Pompey won the FA Cup where James conceded just once in the six rounds. James played in the Uefa Cup with Pompey including a match against AC Milan at Fratton Park. In the 2009/2010 season James captained the side and also donated some of his salary to the staff who’s jobs were in danger and not getting paid during the financial meltdown of the club. James’ final game was in the 2010 FA Cup final which Pompey lost 1-0 to Chelsea.
Peter Harris- Harris joined Pompey in 1946 as a trainee, much like Jimmy Dickinson. Harris was part of the side that won the First Division in 1948/1949 and again a year later. He currently holds the record of most league goals for the club with 194. He was a huge reason Pompey won the First Division. Harris’ Pompey career ended in 1960 when he retired. He was awarded two England caps, one in 1949 and another in 1954. He was only kept out of the England team due to the quality of Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney. Harris passed away in 2003 aged 77.
Duggie ‘Thunderboots’ Reid- The Ayrshire born Scotsman began his career with Stockport County, with whom he played for a decade between 1936 and 1946. He joined Pompey for £7,000 after the football season resumed after the Second World War. His Pompey career lasted 10 years, in that time he won two first division titles, and earned the nickname Thunderboots, after his powerful shots. The nickname was reassured when he smashed a penalty so hard at goal it went through the net and into the crowd in a match against Manchester City. In his first season Duggie finished top scorer netting 29 goals. Reid left Pompey in 1956 joining non-league Tonbridge before returning to Portsmouth to become the groundsman until 1978. He also ran a hotel in Southsea housing Pompey’s young players. He passed away in 2002 aged 84.
Matthew Taylor- Matty joined Pompey from Luton Town aged 20 in 2002. The young left-back went straight into the side that won promotion to the Premiership in his first season. He was an instant favourite as Pompey played out their games in the top division. A player known for his wonder strikes and penalties, his 40 yard volley against Sunderland will be memorable in the North-East. Against the same opposition he scored at Fratton Park in a vital survival game in April 2006. A week later he scored the goal that would ensure Premier League survival against Wigan Athletic at the JJB Stadium. He played for a further season and a half before falling out with manager Harry Redknapp, where he joined Bolton Wanderers in January 2008. After 179 games and 23 goals, including wonder goals against Arsenal and Everton, the former England U21 international will always be remembered at Fratton Park.
Paul Merson- The experienced midfielder joined Portsmouth from Aston Villa in 2002 after seventeen seasons in the top flight. He previously spent 13 seasons at Arsenal winning the First Division, FA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield and European Cup Winners Cup. He went on to play for Middlesborough and then Aston Villa where he won the Intertoto Cup. Harry Redknapp brought Merson to Fratton Park and gave him the captain’s armband. Merse scored 12 league goals for Pompey before leaving in 2003 after lifting the Championship (then known as the First Division, second tier).