March of solidarity to show support for Pompey

MARCH The Pompey supporters leaving the Guildhall Square. Picture: Steve Reid (122589-382)
MARCH The Pompey supporters leaving the Guildhall Square. Picture: Steve Reid (122589-382)

WAVING their flags, wearing their club’s colours and singing, these fans are passionate about Portsmouth Football Club.

And to show their support, hundreds of them marched through the city centre on Saturday ahead of the club’s pre-season friendly with Bolton, as a show of solidarity.

It comes as the fans have an anxious wait to see if the club will stay alive, or if liquidation will go ahead.

Supporters marched from High Street in Old Portsmouth, where the club was originally founded in 1898.

They then went through to Guildhall Square, picking up fans on the way, before making their way to Fratton Park.

Fans shouted ‘Play up Pompey’ and ‘We will never die’ while carrying banners and flags.

One banner read ‘Kick theft and greed out of Portsmouth Football Club’.

Lifelong fans Liam Bullard and Mike Probert organised the march.

Liam, said: ‘My friend and I came up with the idea and we got SOS Pompey on board.

‘We want to show the club that the fans are still united. It’s important that we try and get our message across.

‘The fans are united whatever the situation.

‘To the fans that we have met today, Pompey is a big part of their lives.

‘This is about fans sticking together to make sure liquidation doesn’t happen. It would be a massive blow.

‘I want us to come out of administration as a better club.’

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Frank Jonas, showed his support when the fans arrived in Guildhall Square.

He said: ‘I just felt that as a Portsmouth boy it was the right thing to do to meet them and wish them well for the day.

‘I hope everything works out well for them.

‘There was a very nice atmosphere.’

Bob Beech, of SOS Pompey, said: ‘I thought it was very good. There was a good turnout.

‘Everybody was good humoured, albeit concerned about what the next week could hold.

‘I spoke to a lot of fans who said that the club is in the best hands with the fans.

‘This was never designed as a protest against any individual or group.

‘The fans wanted to voice that no matter what happens, we will always be here.

‘A lot of fans have felt helpless over the last few weeks.

‘With the game today it was a good opportunity to come out and get their voices heard.’

Fan Nick Burton, 41, also took part in the march.

He said: ‘The club can’t go.

‘People have got to realise that football isn’t just about money. It’s about the community.

‘There were even Bolton fans on the march.

‘They don’t want to see the club die.

‘They know that it’s people who know nothing about football who are killing the club.

‘I would love for us to stay in a position where we can stay as Portsmouth Football Club.

‘But on the other side, if it does go into liquidation and reforms, I will still be there.’