Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News


18 November 2014

Clarke, Dillon, James, Knight, Ley and Wilson all honoured

A Football League championship winner, FA Cup victory, two-time promotion winner and the man voted best looking player are among the six 2015 inductees to the Pompey Hall of Fame.

Ike Clarke (1947-53) was top scorer when Pompey retained their title as champions of England in 1949/50, while goalkeeper David James (2006-2010) played an integral role in the 2008 FA Cup-winning side.

Kevin Dillon (1983-89) was part of the Blues side that won promotion to both the second and first division, George Ley (1967-72) was chosen as the best looking player by the Football League Review in 1968 and Billy Wilson (1972-79) represented Pompey in three different divisions over eight seasons with the club

The final inductee sees Arthur Egerton Knight (1908-22) selected by the Hall of Fame committee, which is made up of former players, supporters and club staff.

All the players will be officially inducted during a gala ceremony in 2015.

Striker Clarke’s 17 league goals saw him top the scoring charts as Pompey won the league title for a second season in succession in 1949/50, having netted 14 times in the previous campaign.

Many considered this to be the peak of his career, although he was already aged 33 at the start of the first championship campaign.

In total, he contributed a prolific tally of 58 goals in 129 appearances for the Blues.

Goalkeeper James arrived at Fratton Park with an already impressive CV, having turned out previously for Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham and Manchester City. He was also an England international after making his senior debut in 1997.

Along with the likes of Sol Campbell and Sylvain Distin, he helped turn Pompey into a formidable Premier League force and was named Player of the Year as the club finished ninth in his maiden campaign.

James appeared in two FA Cup finals at Wembley for the Blues – the first of which was the 1-0 triumph over Cardiff that saw the famous trophy heading our way for the first time in 69 years.

He then had the honour of captaining the side in their shock semi-final victory over a Tottenham side managed by Harry Redknapp – who had brought him to Fratton Park – two years later.

A financially-stricken Pompey went on to lose 1-0 to Chelsea in the final, but The Times online voted James the 15th greatest player in the club’s history and he made a total of 158 appearances.

Midfielder Dillon was nicknamed ‘Deadeye’ because of his unerring accuracy from the spot and he once scored a hat-trick of penalties in a 3-2 Full Members Cup victory over Millwall.

Having signed from top-flight Birmingham in the spring of 1983, he helped propel Bobby Campbell’s side closer to the Division Three title.

Eight penalties had been missed before his arrival, but two conversions in his second match at home to Reading showed he was the man to step up to the spot.

Dillon would often instruct team-mates to line-up on one side of the penalty box and then aim for the opposite corner of the net in order to fool the goalkeeper.

He also contributed his fair share of goals from open play, with arguably his most memorable arriving in an FA Cup tie at Blackburn, where he volleyed over the opposition keeper from 40 yards.

Dillon later played a key role in help Alan Ball’s Blues win promotion to the first division and grabbed a total of 56 strikes from 249 games.

Left-back Ley was an effective defender who possessed a ferocious shot and in later years was also used in a midfield role.

He was part of the Pompey side who took eventual double winners Arsenal to an FA Cup replay in 1970/71, scoring a second half equaliser at Highbury in what ultimately proved to be an unfortunate 3-2 defeat.

In 1968 he had been voted ‘best looking player’ in the country by the Football League Review, a free magazine given out with match programmes – beating George Best in the process!

Ley made a total of 204 appearances during his time on the south coast, weighing in with 10 goals.

Wilson could play in defence and midfield, although he originally joined Pompey from Blackburn as the latter.

He featured in 216 games – scoring six goals – under four different managers as the Blues plummeted from second division to fourth, due in part to severe financial restraints.

In his latter years at the club, Wilson also became landlord of the Pompey Pub, located on one corner of the ground. It was not uncommon – after victory or defeat – to see the player showered, changed and behind the bar ready to serve fans for the 6pm opening time.

Left-back Knight was an England Amateur international, who made his debut during Pompey’s Southern League days and skippered the side that won the championship in 1920 – the final season before they entered the Football League.

He was also an accomplished cricketer, turning out for Hampshire between 1913 and 1923, represented Great Britain at 1912 Olympics and won a full cap for England.

Knight left Pompey in 1922 after making more than 170 Southern League appearances and a further 36 in the Football League.

But as well as serving the Blues, he also served his country and was a captain of the British army during the First World War.

As we remember the 100th anniversary of the ‘Great War’, it is fitting that Knight receives this posthumous award.

Advertisement block