Most memorable and perfect triumph was for all those who fought for this great club

Pompey celebrate. Picture: Sarah Standing (131084-97)
Pompey celebrate. Picture: Sarah Standing (131084-97)

This was for all the dark times.

This was for the 14 hellish months of administration and all the wondering whether the football club we all love was ever going to survive.

This was for the men and women who carried the heavy burden of expectation and took the fight to the High Court, without knowing whether their just cause would be the winning one.

This was for the people who fought against the pressure to liquidate one of English football’s great institutions after 115 proud years.

This was for those who fought for what they cared for and won the most righteous of victories. This was for the fans.

Friday, April 19, 2013 will be etched in Fratton folklore as the day the supporters won their war and Portsmouth Football Club became the biggest fan-owned club in the United Kingdom.

But it was on Saturday the party really started.

As far as days went, this was the perfect one to be a Pompey fan.

The sun beating down on the biggest crowd of the season at Fratton Park, as the Blues faithful rejoiced.

Pompey Supporters’ Trust, symbolising every supporter who cares, celebrating their win with new chairman Iain McInnes refusing to miss a beat of every chant in a packed directors’ box of Blues folk.

The news of the 10-point deduction being actioned this season, paving the way for the new start in League Two nobody ever really expected.

And a rag-bag bunch of footballers formed of cast-offs, loanees and untried youngsters playing like royal blue world beaters.

You know it’s one of those special occasions when Johnny Ertl, before being named The News Pompey player of the year, jumps on the show boat and pulls out the flicks and backheels.

Then Sam Sodje, dominant and forceful at the back, delivers a double Cruyff turn to leave deflated Sheffield United striker Chris Porter flummoxed.

David Connolly, hungry and imperious, at his wily and crafty best.

Jed Wallace running a Blades side, who were in the automatic promotion hunt, ragged. And Patrick Agyemang simply unplayable.

‘He’s playing like Ibrahimovic,’ smiled one wag from the press box. It wasn’t hyperbole.

This really was the day that Lou Reed sung about for the Blue Army.

When was the last time it felt like this to Pompey supporter? You probably have to go back to those trips to Wembley to find the omnipresent feelgood factor that is surging through this club once again.

Three goals in 11 first-half minutes ensured that Guy Whittingham’s side lived up to the occasion on the pitch.

It was comfortably the best football seen at Fratton Park this season as Pompey tore into a punch-drunk Blades side who did not know what had hit them.

Wallace was the craftsmen for the 21st-minute opener, as he surged into the heart of the penalty area brushing aside red and white shirts as he went.

He had the presence of mind to tee up Agyemang, whose pitching wedge delivery to the back post found Shaun Cooper – that’s two goals in two Shaun Cooper – who rose highest to head home.

Wallace, who is sure to be attracting more suitors this summer, turned provider for the second with a delicious cross for Connolly to greedily gorge on at the near post.

And it was Connolly who turned creator for the third, crossing behind a statuesque Sheffield United back line for Wallace to easily finish.

That sent a jubilant home crowd into la la land, and started the early exodus from the Milton end which steadily continued for the next hour plus.

From there on in it was a procession. One in which Wallace could have added to the rout in the 61st minute, and one where Simon Eastwood’s fourth clean sheet in six rarely look threatened.

If it was a day to revel in the achievements of the Pompey support, it was also one to provide optimism for the journey forward.

This team of Whittingham’s could and should bounce straight back in League Two next season.

And the noises are, there will plenty of them sticking around to start on the voyage back.

The ‘sign him up’ chants for Agyemang as he received a standing ovation when he was replaced late on told the Fratton faithful’s thoughts on the 32-year-old.

It looks as those demands will be met, with the in-form powerhouse keen to join permanently and progress being made on that front.

We wait to hear if the same can be said for Connolly, who took his late-season total to seven goals on Saturday. He has to be part of next season’s vision.

And so could Svetoslav Todorov, who continues to hang around after his cameo in Hermann Hreidarsson’s testimonial. His ongoing presence speaks volumes.

One signing we do know is on the way this week is that of the man, who will oversee the journey from here.

Whittingham will on Wednesday be named as Pompey manager on a permanent basis, removing that caretaker moniker once and for all.

It’s a richly-deserved reward for a man who felt the cold of the club’s winter of discontent more than anyone.

It appears the Fratton bootroom will also be well stocked with people who know exactly what this club is all about, too. That will be crucial on the road ahead for the new boss.

So the managerial question has been answered and there will be many more the Trust have to deal with in the coming weeks.

But, for now, we can bathe in the afterglow star and crescent followers are today enjoying.

And it is so well deserved after the tough times.

The plaque which now resides outside the club’s main entrance on Frogmore Road says it all.

‘On this site once more stands a mighty football club,’ it reads. ‘We cannot change the past but we can shape the future. Dedicated to all those fans who took a stand and refused to allow Portsmouth FC to die’.

Yes, Saturday was for you.