Blake, Kemp, Todorov and Haines all honoured
Three prolific goalscorers and a defensive rock are among the latest inductees into the Pompey Hall of Fame.
Noel Blake, Dave Kemp and Svetoslav Todorov have all been included, while there is a posthumous award for ‘Farmer’s Boy’ Billy Haines.
Bulgarian striker Todorov will be best remembered for scoring the goal that secured promotion to the Premier League in 2003.
In front of a packed crowd, he struck in the 73rd minute against Burnley before disappearing into the Fratton End, where he was mobbed by supporters.
That was one of 26 goals that Toddy – as he was affectionately known – would bag that season to finish as Division One’s top scorer.
Unfortunately, a serious knee injury on the eve of the following campaign meant that having done so much to get them to the promised land, he would make just 31 more appearances for Pompey.
Toddy remained a much-loved figure, however, and scored a total of 33 goals in 83 games before leaving for Charlton in 2007.
Jamaica-born centre-back Blake joined Pompey from Birmingham in 1984 and was part of the side led by Alan Ball that twice narrowly missed out on promotion to the top flight.
They were denied first on goal difference and then by three points before making it third time lucky in the 1986/87 campaign.
Blake missed just a single game that season and recovered from a knee injury to play 23 times the following year.
He chipped in with 13 goals in his 168 games between 1984 and 1988 – one a towering header in a League Cup tie against Tottenham that was settled at the third time of asking – and was twice voted ‘Player of the Year’ by supporters.
Despite featuring in a struggling side, Kemp was a phenomenal goalscorer, scoring 38 times in 74 games during his two years on the south coast.
A financial crisis saw the side cut to the bone and his 16 league strikes in the 1976/77 season was a major factor in Pompey surviving in Division Three by a single point.
He equalled that tally in the following campaign – which saw the Blues finish bottom of the pile – despite having being sold to Carlisle in March with 12 games remaining.
This year’s posthumous award goes to Haines, who struck 43 times in the 1926/27 season to hold the club record for most goals in a season for more than 60 years. It was finally broken by fellow Hall of Famer Guy Whittingham in 1992/93.
Arguably his most crucial strike came in the dying seconds against Preston at Fratton Park – his fourth of the match – which saw Pompey pip Manchester City to promotion by a goal average of just 0.006. It was one four hat-tricks he claimed that term.
Between 1923 and 1928, Haines found the target 129 times in 179 appearances. In 1960 he was appointed president of Portsmouth Football Supporters Club – a position he held until he passed away in 1974.
The Hall of Fame dinner will be held in the Victory Lounge on Friday, April 1 on the eve of the club’s Former Players’ Day, when Paul Cook’s side will entertain Carlisle.