Pompey seek former players

Alan Knight
Alan Knight

Alan Knight is helping relaunch Pompey’s Former Players’ Association (FPA) in a bid to boost membership.

Numbers have been hit in recent years following the death of some of the older members.

Meanwhile, the group have struggled to attract those who have represented Pompey in the modern era.

Now Knight has been appointed chairman and, along with Jake Payne and Peter Jeffs, they are striving to revitalise the 50-year association.

A new website has been created as well as a Facebook page as organisers seek to spread the word.

And Pompey legend Knight is hopeful new members can be attracted to sign up and bolster numbers.

He said: ‘It’s about rebooting the association and bringing everything up-to-date as we are struggling to get hold of former players.

‘Pat Neil and Lyn Powell have done a magnificent job for a long time, obviously they are going to stay on and help us bring more on board.

‘Unfortunately, a lot of old players are passing away and our membership is starting to dwindle, while tracking them down has not always been the easiest thing.

‘We are seeking to establish a database of ex-players and the club also want to work with us by continuing to invite them to matches.

‘We had been using the Jimmy Dickinson Lounge but we are now being integrated with the players’ lounge because all the new players will be ex-players – and I think it works.

‘I have been in the position in the past when ex-players weren’t appreciated.

‘But now the club is recognising its former footballers, whether they have played 1,000 or 10 
games. The chairman (Iain McInnes) has been very supportive and our aim is to follow the excellent models of Everton, Chelsea, Spurs and Fulham.

‘We are also starting up a benevolent fund to help some of the ex-players who require medical help or perhaps their family are struggling to pay funeral expenses.’

The FPA is also backed by a committee containing the likes of Paul Weld, Roger Holmes, Roger Higgins, Vince Hilaire and Keith Viney.

For more information visit pompeyfpa.org