Pompey List Eleven #404.09.18
Beer and football. Morecambe and Wise. Cheese and pickle. Strummer and Jones. Great things can come in double packages. Here's a list of Pompey's greatest partnerships
John Weddle & Jimmy Easson
One of Pompey’s most prolific partnerships, over a seven-year period in the 1930s Mackem Weddle and Scot Easson scored a shedload of goals between them. In the 1931/32 season alone they had combined to score 43 of the Blues 62 goals (which is a pretty high percentage – if only I was clever enough to work it out).
Sylvan Distin & Sol Campbell
The Distin/Campbell axis was forged on not only steel and determination, but also on experience. The pair of them had racked up the Premier League appearances behind coming to Fratton Park. The proof of the partnership pudding came in the 2008 FA Cup triumph when clean sheets in the quarters, semi and final were the order of the day.
Kit Symons & Andy Awford
It was like a gust of fresh air coming in off the Solent when manager Jim Smith threw youngsters Symons and Awford together at the beginning of the 1991/92 season. Big mates off the pitch, on the pitch they complemented each other perfectly. Symons won everything in the air and was impossible to beat, while the cultured Awford swept up around him.
Gary O’Neil & Matty Taylor
Perhaps not the most obvious partnership, but during the Premier League years O’Neil and Taylor were a couple of grafters in midfield, who, in tandem, allowed the rest of the team to play. Both gave 110% each game, they both chased lost causes, and they were both much-loved by the Fratton Faithful because of it.
Paul Walsh & Guy Whittingham
The 1992/93 campaign witnessed the Walsh and Whittingham double act hit spectacular heights. Whits scored 40 (FORTY) goals in the league, the vast majority laid on by the creator supreme, Walsh – who notched nine of his own. Despite the barrage of goals, somehow, we still didn’t manage to go up.
Noel Blake & Billy Gilbert
Central defensive partnerships don’t come much more dominant, uncompromising or harder than Blake and Gilbert. The crowning glory was the 1986/87 season when the steely combination helped Pompey to promotion with the tightest defence in the league.
Alan Biley & Billy Rafferty
There is a strong argument to feature the Biley/Hateley partnership, but Rafferty just pips the England man because of his honest endeavour and his trademark turn. The two of them were definitely on the same wavelength during the 1982/83 promotion season, with Biley netting 23 times and Rafferty not far behind on 17.
Jimmy Scoular & Jimmy Dickinson
The two Jimmys were miles apart in terms of footballing skills and, particularly, temperament, but as a half-back partnership they were imperious. Both, in their different ways, were the ultimate team men. The fiery Scoular would frightened the life out of the opposition with his fierce tackling, while the studious Dickinson would pass them to death. You can’t argue with two league championships.
Kevin O’Callaghan & Vince Hilaire
If Ronan Curtis and Jamal Lowe are in the same mould as these two wing wonders then Pompey really could be on the verge of something special this season. With the midfield and defence a solid platform behind them, Cally and Vince teamed up to give the Blues an attacking edge from out wide.
Willie Haines & James Mackie
Signed from Frome Town and Motherwell respectively, Haines and Mackie were a devasting duo upfront for Pompey during the 1920s. Farmer’s Boy Haines may have broke all the goalscoring records (40 goals in 1926/27) but he was always ably assisted by the creative Mackie.
Arjan De Zeeuw & Dejan Stefanovic
The Dutchman and the Serb formed an excellent defensive partnership during Pompey’s early days in the Premier League. The pair of them were tenacious, intelligent footballers and strong in the air. What’s more they both carried a goal threat, De Zeeuw famously netting against that lot down the road, and Stefanovic was even our dead ball expert for a time