Double agent Channon a fascinated derby onlooker

Mick Channon
Mick Channon

Mick Channon sampled football on both sides of the south coast divide.

Yet he will always be remembered as Southampton’s lucky omen on derby day.

No player has scored more goals than Channon in encounters between Pompey and Saints since the pair joined the Football League.

His 89th-minute strike clinched a 1-0 victory for Lawrie McMenemy’s side in April 1976.

That was the last time Southampton won at Fratton Park in league football.

Earlier in that campaign, he grabbed a hat-trick in a 4-0 win at the Dell.

In total, Channon enjoyed a 100-per-cent record in the three games he played for Southampton against Pompey.

The former England man later made 40 appearances for the Blues, scoring six goals.

And he will be a fascinated onlooker when his former clubs lock horns at Fratton Park on Sunday.

He said: ‘We are always going to be scummers, that ain’t going to change. But I also played for them (Pompey) late on in my career, so I know the passion involved with the two clubs.

‘They don’t get on but it’s good to have someone you desperately want to beat.

‘There’s always some people who take it over the top but overall it’s a healthy thing.

‘It will be unique, they’re very passionate the Pompey boys.

‘It means so much to the fans – it’s more about them.

‘As a footballer, you just tend to get on with your job.’

Southampton head into the fixture 17 points ahead of the Blues in the Championship table.

Yet they have begun to totter, picking up one point from a possible nine in recent weeks.

In contrast, Pompey have collected two successive victories.

That includes last weekend’s impressive 1-0 triumph at Burnley.

And Channon admitted Southampton would be happy with a Fratton point.

He added: ‘It’s a tough one, isn’t it? We have had a sticky spot and they had a good result at the weekend.

‘They’re very capable and it’s at Fratton, so it will be a tough one.

‘You would take a point at the moment and move on.

‘They look to have players with a bit of ability, so it could be a tricky one.’