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Civic Award For Dedicated Pompey Fan

Paul Banks recognised for organising away travel

17 May 2024

Club News

Civic Award For Dedicated Pompey Fan

Paul Banks recognised for organising away travel

17 May 2024

A Pompey fan who has organised travel to away games for fellow supporters since 1984 recently received a civic award at the Guildhall.

Paul Banks – known to many as ‘Banksy’ – was recognised by Portsmouth City Council for his outstanding service to the local community.

The 61-year-old used to have a booking office on the corner by the old Pompey pub in Frogmore Road, which now serves as the club’s head office. Prior to this, he helped on the special trains that ran during the 1970s

No game was too big or too small for Banksy – he has organised minibuses for friendly matches and EFL Trophy group contests up to a fleet of 10 coaches for the FA Cup semi-final against West Brom in 2008.

He has treated those who step aboard as part of his extended family, helping those who have experienced difficult times or who struggle with the financial burden of following the club on the road.

The coaches are popular in all parts of the country, with pubs often welcoming the hungry travellers for a pre-match meal.

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What began as an independent effort changed when Paul became travel officer of the Central Branch Supporters’ Club and the service has gone from strength to strength.

A delighted Banksy said: “I dedicate this award to my wife Sarah and daughter Kirstie, also nominated for the civic award for their tireless efforts, selflessness and dedication to Portsmouth Football Club and the community by taking bookings and keeping the website going.

“I, of course, also have to thank all my regular customers. I won’t lie – there have been some difficult times, but we have all kept going.

“We have a sign in our house which says ‘this family stops for the football season’ and we can all vouch that is definitely true.

“I and many others have been lucky enough to be able to travel the world to watch Pompey in pre-season and European competition. Some are sadly no longer with us, but they will always remain in our hearts.”

The club have recognised Banksy’s sterling efforts over the years, while supporter liaison officer Johnny Moore recently nominated him for an EFL award for services to fans.


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