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Hall Of Fame: Five More Inductees

27 November 2013

Butler, de Zeeuw, Gilbert, Harris and Jennings honoured

Five more ex-Blues stars are to be inducted into the Pompey Hall of Fame.

Ernie Butler, Arjan de Zeeuw, Billy Gilbert, Harry Harris and Nicky Jennings will join a select group of former Fratton favourites at next year’s ceremony on Friday, April 4.

Meanwhile, long-serving staff member Gordon Neave will also be honoured at the Fratton Park event.

The Hall of Fame committee – made up of fans, staff and ex-players, including Ray Crawford, Pat Neil and club ambassador Alan Knight – discussed a host of potential nominees.

Finally, they selected five names from different era to join the host of legends who have already been inducted.

Goalkeeper Butler – who represented Pompey between 1946 and 1953 – was the only player to appear in every match as the Blues won back-to-back league titles in 1949 and 1950.

Making a total of 240 appearances for the club, he is one of two stars to receive the award posthumously.

The other is Welshman Harris, who served the club for 12 years between 1958 and 1970, amassing 403 appearances and scoring 49 goals.

He played in three divisions for Pompey, turning out as an inside-forward, midfielder and centre-back. Harris also took over the captaincy from the legendary Jimmy Dickinson upon his retirement.

Jennings was a diminutive and nippy left winger, who spent seven years at Fratton Park between 1966 and 1973, with 227 appearances and 50 goals to his name. He was voted Pompey’s Player of the Year by supporters in 1970.

Gilbert appeared for the club between 1984 and 1989, forming a mean central-defensive partnership with Noel Blake.

He was the nucleus of a side that conceded only 28 goals during the 1986/87 campaign that saw Pompey win promotion to the top flight following two near misses. Gilbert played a total of 159 times for the club.

Dutch centre-back de Zeeuw was part of the revamped Blues side assembled by Harry Redknapp in 2002.

He was an integral and popular part of the squad that won the Division One title and went on to skipper the side in the Premier League, making a total of 118 appearances for the club.

A further award will be given to Neave. After appearing for the reserve side between 1948 and 1950, the Scotsman returned to Pompey in 1959 and spent the next 40 years as trainer, coach, physio and kit man, working under 17 different managers.

The latest batch of inductees join Andy Awford, Alan Biley, Steve Claridge, Jimmy Dickinson, Reg Flewin, Jack Froggatt, Johnny Gordon, Eoin Hand, Peter Harris, Ray Hiron, Alan Knight, Albert McCann , Alan McLoughlin, John Milkins, Len Phillips, Norman Piper, Linvoy Primus, Mick Quinn, Duggie Reid, Ron Saunders, Jimmy Scoular, Kit Symons, Mick Tait, Paul Walsh, Guy Whittingham and former FA Cup-winning manager Jack Tinn in Pompey’s Hall of Fame.

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