Former Blues star passes away
Portsmouth Football Club are morning the death of Johnny Phillips, who died at the weekend, aged 76.
Phillips was born and bred in the city, making 81 appearances for the Blues as a right-half between 1956 and 1960.
It was a boyhood dream for him to sign for the club, having watched from the terraces as Pompey clinched back-to-back league titles.
He initially trained three nights a week as a schoolboy – while also serving an apprenticeship at the dockyard – before penning professional terms in May 1955.
Phillips made his Blues bow, aged 19, in an FA Cup third round tie at home to Grimsby. He then made his league bow in a 4-0 defeat at Bolton the following week, taking the place of his illustrious namesake, Len Phillips.
After three seasons of battling relegation from Division One, Pompey finally succumbed in 1959, with Johnny remaining for one more campaign in the second tier.
But he was surplus to Freddie Cox’s requirements and moved on to Worcester City, where he was made captain and played alongside Terry Awford, father of former Pompey player and current academy boss Andy Awford.
Phillips went on to play for Salisbury, Bognor and Chichester before returning to the dockyard as an apprentice fitter and later joining Vospers as an engineer.
After retiring, he worked as a self-employed painter and decorator and played a prominent role in the Portsmouth ex-professional players committee.
Portsmouth Football Club would like to send their condolences to Johnny’s widow Pat and all his friends and family.