Yosser’s drive sums up spirit of Boys of ‘83

From left: Bobby Doyle, Ernie Howe, Colin Sullivan, Alan Biley, Bobby Campbell, Andy Rollings and Neil Webb
From left: Bobby Doyle, Ernie Howe, Colin Sullivan, Alan Biley, Bobby Campbell, Andy Rollings and Neil Webb

Mick Tait arrived at Newcastle Airport all set to jet down to Pompey for a memorable evening at the Boys of ’83 dinner.

Tait was then greeted by the news his flight had been cancelled and no other alternatives were available.

It looked as though the man nicknamed Yosser by supporters was a guaranteed no-show for another memorable evening at the Marriott Hotel in North Harbour.

That was until he raced home, jumped in his car and drove five hours in searing heat to make it to the event to laud Bobby Campbell’s division three champions.

It was that kind of commitment which organiser Jake Payne believes sums up not only Tait’s character, but the spirit which resided in that Pompey team.

And it meant that eight of the side and Campbell were there to mix with supporters and enjoy the occasion on a sell-out evening, which saw £3,500 raised for charity Faith & Football.

Campbell was there to see his troops again and was joined by Neil Webb, Bobby Doyle, Ernie Howe, Colin Sullivan, Alan Knight, Andy Rollings, Alan Biley and Tait.

Payne was delighted to see the evening join the ranks of the Pompey Hall of Fame and Boys of ’87 dinners as memorable occasions.

He said: ‘It was a cracking night as they always are. I’ve had good feedback from the players and fans alike.

‘Bobby Campbell has been on to me saying what a terrific night it was and how he enjoyed it.

‘Ernie Howe was saying how nice it was to meet with old mates after 30 years.

‘It’s easy to forget a lot of the players who left the club after that season have never been back.

‘So it’s pleasing to know a night like this has got them involved in the club again. What Mick did was beyond the call of duty.

‘He could have said his flight was cancelled and that he couldn’t get down.

‘But, no, he got in the car and drove for five hours to make it.

‘That sums up the attitude of those players.

‘He wanted to be here and I was chuffed to hear that.

‘It was another top night and it was pleasing to be able to raise a lot of money for Faith & Football.’