Just One Look – Portsmouth

Jul 2, 2022 | News


The club can trace its origins back to 1898, though it wasn’t until 1899 that they played their first competitive games, and they became members of the Southern League for the 1899/1900 season.

Founder members of the Third Division in 1920, they were promoted to the Second Division at the end of the 1923/24 campaign and to the First Division at the end of the 1926/27 season.

They reached the final of the FA Cup three times prior to the outbreak of war, finishing runners up in 1928/29 and 1933/34 but winning the 1938/39 final with a 4-1 win against Wolves.

Post war saw them win the First Division title in 1948/49 and 1949/50 but their 32 year tenure in the top flight ended in 1958/59 when they were relegated to the Second Division.

(photo courtesy of Keith Brookman)

In 1977/78 they were competing in the Fourth Division though had gained promotion back to football’s top table by the end of the 1986/87 season.

The club entered administration in December 1998 and were saved by a takeover deal by Milan Mandaric.

Promoted to the Premier League, as First Divison Champions in 2002/03, Pompey remained in that league until the end of 2009/10 when, suffering a nine point deduction for entering administration, they were relegated back to the old First Division (by now renamed The Championship).

By that time, they had reached two more FA Cup Finals, beating Cardiff City 1-0 in 2008 and losing to Chelsea by the same score in 2010.

Further financial problems blighted the club’s existence following relegation, so much so that there were further points deductions as they dropped into the fourth tier of English football and a takeover by the Supporters Trust.

Promotion back to League One was secured at the end of the 2016/17 season and the Supporters Trust sold out to Michael Eisner of the Tornante Company in June 2017.

(photo courtesy of Keith Brookman)

However, the club remains in League One in spite of being perennial favourites for a return to the Championship. They did reach the final of the EFL Trophy in 2019/20 but lost to Salford City on penalties in the Wembley Final that was delayed until March 2021 because of the pandemic.

They begin their sixth successive season in League One this time around, looking to secure a promotion to celebrate their 125 year existence next April. Although the record attendance for Fratton Park (their home since their formation) is 51,385, the current capacity stands at 21,100.

In 37 league meetings against Portsmouth, Rovers have won 10, drawn eight and lost 19. We were 2-1 winners in our only FA Cup meeting, back in January 1955, though there has also been one draw and two wins for Pompey in that competition.

It’s the same story in the League Cup, with one win, one draw and two defeats for Rovers, while Portsmouth won the only game in the EFL Trophy, in 2016/17.

Our first league meetings came in 1920/21 when Pompey were 1-0 winners at Fratton Park on February 12th 1921 which was followed by a 2-2 draw at Eastville a week later.

(photo courtesy of JMP)

Our last meetings came in 2020/21, when Rovers were 3-1 winners at the Memorial Stadium on February 16th 2021 but were beaten 1-0 at Fratton Park on April 24th.

Players to have turned out for both clubs include John Akinde, Mikkel Andersen, Kyle Bennett, Lee Brown, Brian Carter, Mick Channon, Paul Hardyman, Ellis Harrison, David Hillier, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, Sammy Igoe, Liam Lawrence, Brett Pitman, Martin Phillips, Jason Roberts, Phil Roberts and Andy Thomson.

Harold Armitage, Walter Currie, Thomas Lea, Frederick Lunn, John Parker and Arthur Wainwright (all 1922/23), Roy James (1960/61), Philip Kenan Dunwald-Turan (2017/18) and Alex Jakubiak (2018/19) all made their Rovers league debuts against Portsmouth.

Two former Rovers players, Alan Ball and Tony Pulis, have spent time as manager of Portsmouth.

League encounters for 2022/23 take place at Fratton Park on 20th August and at The Mem on 18th March 2023 and a round trip from The Mem will take in 236 miles

Portsmouth FC

Fratton Park



Keith Brookman