Portsmouth FC are launching a limited edition, all-new history book next week to mark the club's 125th anniversary.
It will celebrate the mainly ups – and occasional downs – of the most successful football club on the south coast.
Published by long-term club partner Bishops Printers, the 424-page hardback coffee-table book, entitled The Official History – Portsmouth Football Club Celebrating 125 Years, has been lovingly pulled together by a team of five authors, as well as a number of other contributors, to produce the most comprehensive history of Pompey yet published.
Just 1,898 of the books – to chime with the year the club were founded – have been produced and more than 1,000 have been sold already to subscribers. Those copies will start being distributed on September 28.
The remainder will go on sale, priced £40, on a first come, first-served basis, on Monday, October 2 from the Pompey Store in Anson Road and selected independent booksellers in Portsmouth. Demand is expected to be high.
Two of the book sellers – New To You Books in Cosham and Pigeon Books in Albert Road – are taking pre-orders now, so fans can reserve a copy using the methods below.
The authors – Neil Allen (1999-2023), Steve Bone (1973-1999), Mick Comben (1898-1920), Johnny Moore (1946-1973) and Gerry Spraggs (1920-1946) – were selected for their deep knowledge of their eras, while a number of specialists – Peter Jeffs, Michael Saunders, Paul Boynton, Ed Emptage and Bill Griffiths – were co-opted to help on specific topics.
"This project has taken more than a year to pull together and I truly hope we have done the club we all love justice."
Pompey chairman Michael Eisner has contributed a foreword and the book features dozens of rarely-seen photos, some of which have been colourised by Emptage and Andy Imrie to bring the monochrome eras to life.
The work of some key photographers who have chronicled the club’s ups and downs, including Stephen Cribb, Murray Sanders, Steve Reid, Joe Pepler and present club photographer Jason Brown, are also highlighted.
At the back of the book is a comprehensive statistical section, pulled together by Comben and Boynton, which details the games, goals and players, as well as the financial story of the club, told for the first time in extensive detail.
Colin Farmery, who is the book’s editor, said: “This project has taken more than a year to pull together and I truly hope we have done the club we all love justice. The team of people who have worked on the project have all put their heart and soul into it and I am hugely grateful for their efforts.
“From a personal perspective, it has been a joy to relive the club’s magnificent history. The book stands on the shoulders of giants, such as Mike Neasom, who have authored club histories before, but this book’s intention is to give a fresh perspective and add to the body of knowledge, especially around the formation of Pompey.
“The statistics have been extensively checked and the financial summaries for all the years of the club’s existence make for fascinating reading. The colourisations are also expertly done and bring the past to life.”
Copies of the book can be pre-ordered from New To You Books by calling (023) 9232 1089 or in its High Street, Cosham store, and online or in-store at Pigeon Books in Albert Road, Southsea.
The book will also be available from the Portsmouth City Museum & Art Gallery Bookshop in Museum Road. Fans living out of the area can order one by post here.