Sullivan: York left me heartbroken

John Sullivan, centre, follows skipper Johnny Ertl out for Pompey's League Two opener against Oxford
John Sullivan, centre, follows skipper Johnny Ertl out for Pompey's League Two opener against Oxford

John Sullivan has lifted the lid on the York heartbreak which signalled the end of his Pompey career.

The keeper never appeared for the Blues again after a poor performance in a 4-2 defeat at Bootham Crescent on September 28.

The decisive moment centred on dropping the ball from a corner to gift the hosts a 2-1 lead before they hammered home that prized advantage.

Barely 48 hours later, Trevor Carson was recruited on loan from Bury and Sullivan’s time at Fratton was effectively over.

He said: ‘I was down. I was upset after York, when I saw Trevor (Carson) that Monday it did break my heart.

‘That goal at York was my fault and then it cut me in two when you see your family’s faces who are so upset because they had gone up there and heard fans around them in the stadium calling their son every word under the sun.

‘At the end of the day, no-one means to make a mistake but it happens. I didn’t get the chance to carry on but I understand the club’s point as well.

‘Football is a short business and if somebody is not doing it they need to replace them.

‘I will always remember after that game walking towards the Portsmouth fans and a few people giving me a lot of stick. I can recall those faces even now and all I can do is hold my hands up and apologise for the mistake.

‘It doesn’t make me a bad person I didn’t mean to do it and that is why footballers are thick-skinned.

‘One minute you are zero and the next minute a hero.

‘I was always taught as a goalkeeper not to bring too much attention to yourself because we get punished for most goals anyway but with a clear error like that you should come in and apologise – and I did.

‘Some people wouldn’t do that but I am an honest person and it was the right thing to do.’

Despite an unsuccessful Fratton Park career, Sullivan has no regrets on making the switch.

And he has paid tribute to everyone connected with the club.

He added: ‘I would like to thank everyone at Portsmouth for my time there, the fans were magnificent.

‘The seven appearances I made were a privilege and, despite the score, I will never forget that moment when we walked out against Oxford at home.

‘The atmosphere was incredible and that is something that will stick with me for the rest of my career.

‘It was clear I didn’t live up to my potential but I have no regrets and thoroughly enjoyed meeting some amazing people at this football club.

‘I’ve made some really good friends, people like Andy Barcham and Tom Craddock, friends sometimes for life.

‘I appreciate everyone I have met and I thank the club for their time and effort.’