Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Fixture News

Andrew Cullen's Lincoln Programme Notes

Read the thoughts of Pompey's CEO

23 September 2023

Andrew Cullen
Fixture News

Andrew Cullen's Lincoln Programme Notes

Read the thoughts of Pompey's CEO

23 September 2023

Thank you all for attending this afternoon’s Sky Bet League One fixture. We are pleased to welcome our visitors Lincoln City and particularly Reeco Hackett, who joined the Imps over the summer after a spell of more than three years with us on the south coast.

After a break of three weeks, it is great to be back at Fratton Park. Following the thrilling home victory over Peterborough at the beginning of the month, we had two successive long trips. The 1-1 draw at Derby and the 3-2 win at Barnsley underlined the belief and togetherness that exists right throughout the squad. Furthermore, the incredible Pompey support who travelled to Pride Park and the outstanding encouragement from those who made the mammoth midweek journey to Barnsley cannot be underestimated. Once again, everyone played their own special part with the bond between players and fans clearly visible at the conclusion of both games. We very much appreciate the efforts of everyone who backed us at Derby and Barnsley.

This afternoon marks a very special day in the club’s 125-year history, with the unveiling of a statue of Jimmy Dickinson outside the entrance to the Fratton End. It is fitting that his special contribution to Portsmouth Football Club – and outstanding legacy as one of football’s all-time greats – is recognised with this tribute.

I never saw Jimmy play, but growing up, I was only too aware of his influence at Pompey as the club’s record appearance maker, featuring more than 800 times between 1946 and 1965. It is a truly remarkable achievement, as not many others have got anywhere near such a significant landmark for one club. It is unlikely that many will ever do so again.

Jimmy was part of the club’s greatest era, in the team crowned back-to-back champions of England in the 1948/49 and 1949/50 seasons. He was capped 48 times by England and appeared at two World Cups in 1950 and 1954. Jimmy then went on to become Pompey manager in 1977 before sadly passing away in 1982 at the early age of just 57. The amazing statue, created by the renowned sculptor Douglas Jennings, will remind generations of supporters for many years to come of an outstanding individual, who truly embodied every aspect of the Pompey spirit.

Congratulations to the Pompey Supporters’ Trust for inspiring the project and for working tirelessly to generate the necessary funding. Thank you to all who have given so generously to create a new and special landmark at Fratton Park – everyone should be very proud. I am delighted that Jimmy’s family will join us today, both for the statue unveiling, which takes place at midday, and later as our boardroom guests for the match. This occasion represents another initiative within the club’s 125th anniversary year, with the 125 committee shortly to announce a variety of further events to take place over the next few months.

Last week saw our academy take on Royal Artillery, the forerunners of our club, in a historical fixture played at Gosport’s Privett Park. The young team replicated their heroic efforts of seven days earlier, when they came back from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Borough before winning on penalties to progress in the Hampshire Cup. This time around, they fought from 2-0 down to triumph 3-2. The qualities of resilience and self-belief are clearly alive and kicking in very much the same way as the senior group!

The three-week break has also seen the completion of the six-figure investment in rail seats in the back 10 rows of the Fratton End. This will enable us to progress towards the formal application for a safe-standing licence from the Sports Grounds Safety Authority now that we can offer this facility to both home and away supporters. Importantly, the provision of rail seating will do much to protect our capacity in areas where persistent standing has previously been problematic, potentially compromising the safety of other fans.

Today also sees us mark the importance of continuing to make both football and Fratton Park safe environments for everyone to enjoy the game, including a special armband worn by our captain. English football is uniting across the country to promote Play Safe, focusing attention on the vital importance of safeguarding young people and vulnerable adults. Led by The Football Association, the campaign is endorsed by the NSPCC and will be supported across every level of the game, including the EFL, Premier League, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship, as well as grassroots football. If you see anything that concerns you, especially in regard to children or vulnerable adults, then please alert a steward so we all play a part to protect those around us.

Next Saturday we travel to Wigan before returning to Fratton Park for the start of a sequence of three consecutive home fixtures. We host Wycombe on Tuesday, October 3, then take on high-flying Port Vale on the Saturday. The run of south coast games is completed by our second EFL Trophy group stage contest against Gillingham on Tuesday, October 10. A reminder, too, that after their brilliant 8-0 victory at Chatham last Sunday, Pompey Women are in league action tomorrow, hosting Oxford at Westleigh Park (2pm kick-off).

Thank you for your support today and enjoy the game. PUP!

Andrew Cullen
Chief Executive


Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account