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Football: Portsmouth unveil memorial at Fratton Park to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War

Last Updated: 05/08/14 3:54pm

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Portsmouth have unveiled a new memorial at Fratton Park to commemorate the 'Pompey Pals'

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Portsmouth have marked the 100th anniversary of Britain’s involvement in the First World War by unveiling a memorial at Fratton Park - one of many memorial services taking place across the UK.

The new memorial commemorates the 'Pompey Pals' - men of the 14th and 15th battalions of the Hampshire Regiment who lost their lives in the conflict.

Following the unveiling, Portsmouth chairman Iain McInnes told Sky Sports News: “It can’t be anything other than emotional. This year particularly has been full of tributes to the people from the past and the club from the past.

“Our history as a football club of course was on the line for many months, but we fought our own battle.

“These people would never have forgiven us I don’t think had we lost that battle and I think today is probably the proudest moment of my life as Chairman of the football club.

"We are a fan-owned club, we have a fantastic community spirit and Portsmouth’s a citadel when it comes to wars even before the First World War.

“I think it captures everything, it captures the spirit of the fans, reflects the spirit of the football club and it certainly is reflective of the city.

“Given that there is nobody left to talk to from the First World War, hopefully the kids will be getting history lessons in the schools about ask what it was all about."

Portsmouth’s new home shirt has been designed to replicate the First World War with the club opting to use the original crest and also contains the names of all the Pompey pals who lost their lives. 

Hughes continued: “Every time that somebody comes to buy a replica shirt, which of course reflects the style of the era, and see in scripted in it the name of every single Pompey pal that we could find, is going to be a thing that a kid might turn round and say Mum what’s that all about?”

“There is an argument that says the badge should be permanent because of course it was changed by the previous owners and I think that’s an on-going debate which is yet to be decided. For me personally, I’d stick with the badge.” 

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