Goal record ensures Farmer's Boy hall of fame place

Billy '˜Farmer's Boy' Haines' goalscoring exploits ensure he is seen as one of the greatest strikers in Pompey's history.

Thursday, 31st March 2016, 9:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:38 am
Prolific Pompey striker Billy Haines, right

The man, who was born in Warminster, Wiltshire in 1900, delivered an incredible return of 128 goals from 179 appearances for the Blues.

It was those efforts which played such a crucial role in putting his side into the top flight of English football.

Haines played for Warminster and Frome before linking up with Pompey in the Third Division South at the age of 22 in December 1922.

In his second season as a first-choice centre-forward, Haines scored an amazing 28 goals from 30 appearances to finish as the division’s top scorer as Pompey won the title.

Haines soon picked up his ‘Farmer’s Boy’ moniker and became a darling of the Fratton Park crowd, who would often sing ‘To Be A Farmer’s Boy’ in his recognition.

A return of 37 goals arrived from his first two seasons in the Second Division.

But then arrived an incredible 43 goals from 43 appearances in the 1926-27 campaign, as Pompey gained promotion to the top flight on goal difference.

It was Haines’ late goal in a four-goal haul against Preston and a hat-trick in Pompey’s record 9-1 win over Notts County which made all the difference.

Haines was to have one final campaign at Pompey in the top flight, scoring 11 goals.

Legendary manager Jack Tinn was planning to build his side around another hall of famer John Weddle, however, paving the way for Haines’ exit.

Haines went on to play for Southampton and Weymouth after his Fratton exit. His time with the Terras saw him score a mind-boggling 275 goals in 205 appearances.

His passion for Pompey remained strong, though, even after his playing days came to an end.

Haines entered the pub trade but would travel from his home in Frome, Somerset to watch every Blues game at Fratton Park.

He was also appointed president of the Portsmouth Football Supporters Club in 1960 and held that position until his death in November 1974.

Haines’ funeral was attended by Pompey legend Jimmy Dickinson, who took a piece of the Fratton Park turf with him and placed it on the coffin as an attacking great was laid to rest.

Pompey Hall of Fame committee chairman Jake Payne feels Haines’ goal return remains as phenomenal today as ever.

He said: ‘It’s important we don’t forget what happened in the first 50 years of the club’s history.

‘Billy’s goal record is beyond what any striker would hope to achieve.’

Billy ‘Farmer’s Boy’ Haines

Pompey: 1922-28

Appearances: 179

Goals: 128

Honours: Division Three South championship 1923-24; Second Division runner-up 1926-27