It’s time for Pompey fans to mark a date in their diaries.
Saturday, March 30, 2013: The fifth Pompey Hall of Fame induction.
It’s a night for dyed-in-the-wool Fratton folk to turn out and pay tribute to their heroes – the men who have provided the history for one of the English game’s institutions.
This year, Mick Quinn, Kit Symons, Eoin Hand, Ron Saunders and John Weddle are the men who will be honoured.
They will join the likes of Jimmy Dickinson, Alan Knight, Jack Froggatt, Guy Whittingham, Duggie Reid and Paul Walsh in the pantheon of Fratton greats.
The Hall of Fame is now firmly established on the Pompey calendar, an event not to be missed by followers of the club.
Each ceremony never fails to stir the emotions with laughter, jokes and an occasional tear in store.
Organiser and Hall of Fame committee chairman Jake Payne believes a philosophy to keep the event open to ‘proper fans’ has been key to its success.
Payne said: ‘It’s well established now, big time. I don’t have to sell it any more.
‘I put the letter out to all the people who have supported it and they all come back and get behind it.
‘I’ve kept the prices down again.
‘It means proper fans can come.
‘I truly believe the Hall of Fame is a fans’ event. It’s not a corporate event.
‘We could double the prices and still sell it out, but you wouldn’t get fans in.
‘I’m so pleased how it’s all evolved.
‘Last year was a cracking night. They all have been.
‘To me, they are proper Pompey dos. They are full of people who are Pompey through and through. That’s how it should be.
‘It’s great to hear people say how proud they are to be inducted.
‘When people like Paul Walsh, who has played for England, Liverpool and Tottenham, say that, it makes you realise how important it is. The same for Alan McLoughlin – it makes it all worthwhile.’
This year’s event will continue to pay homage to the full 114 years of Pompey’s history.
Weddle, who played for Pompey from 1927 to 1938, is the player from the club’s pre-war days to be honoured.
The centre forward, who passed away in 1979, remains second in the Blues’ all-time goalscoring charts to Peter Harris.
Payne feels Weddle is a worthy inductee and has called on any of his relatives to get in touch so they can attend the evening on his behalf.
He said: ‘You shouldn’t forget the first 50 years of history of the club before the war.
‘We had an illustrious history in that period that needs to be recognised.
‘That’s why there is posthumous award for John Weddle.
‘He is the club’s second top scorer in its history behind Peter Harris.
‘He played in the 1929 and 1934 Cup finals and was sold in 1938.
‘He played nearly 400 games and deserves to be recognised.
‘It would be great to know if there’s anyone in or around the city who is related to him because he played for Portsmouth for a long time.’