Todorov and Symons lead Pompey reunion

Svetoslav Todorov
Svetoslav Todorov

Svetoslav Todorov and Kit Symons will be among the Fratton Park attendees for the latest Pompey Former Players Association reunion.

The duo head a list of 52 ex-players who will be present for Saturday’s visit of Carlisle.

It’s the second year the event has been staged, representing an increase on the 40 last season’s gathering attracted.

Those attending the Warrior Lounge occasion include Ivor Evans and Bill Albury, who at 83 are the oldest guests.

Frank Burrows’ 1979-80 promotion-winning side will be well-represented through Colin Garwood, Terry Brisley, Alan Rogers, Derek Showers, Keith Viney and Steve Davey.

Members of Alan Ball’s 1986-87 side include Alan Knight, Paul Wood, Vince Hilaire and Noel Blake.

Of the squad who reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1992, Martin Kuhl, Darren Anderton, Chris Burns, Guy Whittingham, Stuart Doling, Darryl Powell and Symons will be in attendance.

Meanwhile, Todorov and Linvoy Primus are from the 2002-03 Division One title-winning side.

The Warrior Lounge has been put aside until 7pm for the players to reminisce about their Pompey careers.

And Jake Payne, secretary of the Pompey Former Players Association, is delighted with this year’s uptake.

He said: ‘We launched the event last year with the aim of attracting as many former Pompey players as possible.

‘This time around we have far exceeded those numbers and the reunion is continuing to grow.

‘When you have people like Darren Anderton and Kit Symons coming along, international players who have played for bigger clubs, then it reflects superbly on Pompey.

‘Ray Crawford once told me that for the launch of Colchester United’s new stadium in 2008, they invited back the giant-killing side which beat Leeds 3-2 in the 1971 FA Cup.

‘Yet Ray was the only one who turned up!

‘That is why I am so pleased to have 52 players coming to our event, it goes to show Pompey genuinely means something to them.

‘Eoin Hand is coming from Ireland, Alan Rogers and Steve Davey from Plymouth, and Toddy will already be over for the Hall of Fame.

‘The likes of Kevin Dillon and Paul Hardyman have sent their apologies as they are scouting on that day so cannot attend.

‘I know fans like to see former players come back to the club and will have the opportunity to chat to them. Tony Male will take some around the lounges before the game.

‘It should be another fantastic occasion.’

The families of many notable former players will also be present.

Jimmy Dickinson’s son Andrew and his wife Michelle are to attend, along with Len Phillips’ widow Joan, Keith Blackburn’s widow Pearl and Johnny Gordon’s widow Pat.

In addition, David Reid, the son of Duggie who also represented Pompey at youth levels, will be there.

And Payne is full of praise for the club’s support in staging what has now become a regular event.

He added: ‘The club have agreed to provide all 52 players with free tickets for the Carlisle match, which is a great gesture.

‘As the committee of the Pompey Former Players Association, we have been happy to then pay for the tickets of their 37 guests.

‘That is only right, we don’t want to freeload and ask the club for more tickets when they should be selling them.

‘So all credit to the club for being supportive and backing us all the way on this event, also laying on a lounge for the players and providing a buffet.

‘Terry Brisley tells me he hasn’t seen Alan Rogers for more than 30 years since they played together and that is what this day provides.

‘Afterwards, many of the lads have a table booked at a curry house in Southsea. I’m going to go along as well and sit there enjoying listening to all their stories!’

POMPEY PLAYERS ATTENDING: Bill Albury, Darren Anderton, Steve Berry, Alan Biley, Noel Blake, Terry Brisley, Gary Budinger, Chris Burns, Kevin Clements, Barry Cook, Colin Crawford,

Ray Crawford, Steve Davey, Ron Davies, Stuart Doling,

Arnie Eckersall, Ivor Evans, Andrew Dickinson (representing Jimmy Dickinson), Ken Finlay, Colin Garwood, Eoin Hand,

Paul Harms, Roger Higgins, Vince Hilaire, Trevor Inch, Alan Knight, Martin Kuhl, John Lovett, Gary Juryeff, John McClelland,

Pat Neil, Colin Osmond, John Milkins, David Munks, Darryl Powell, Chris Paige, Lyn Powell, Linvoy Primus, Tony Priscott, David Reid, Alan Rogers, Rod Taylor, Pete Tindal, Svetoslav Todorov, Eddie Tompkins, Derek Showers, Mick Slaymaker, Colin Sullivan, Keith Viney, Dave Waterman, Guy Whittingham, Billy Wilson, Paul Wood