Pompey World Cup Finals Eleven13.10.17
Representing your country at the final stages of the World Cup while on the books at Pompey, it doesn't get much better than that
The 1958 World Cup Finals in Sweden saw Northern Ireland progress to the quarters after beating Czechoslovakia in a play-off game. Pompey keeper Uprichard put in a heroic performance, as despite injuring his ankle and smashing up his hand he played on in immense pain. At one stage the Irish trainer treated his ankle by pouring two bottles of whiskey on it much to the disgust of Uprichard, who lamented: “What a waste of good whiskey.” David James and Yoshi Kawaguchi were also contenders for the goalkeeper position.
The speedy left-back played for Algeria in the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa, lining up alongside the former Pompey loanee Hassan Yebda. He featured in all three of his country’s games including a 0-0 bore-draw against England.
The Axe had the honour of captaining his home country at the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa. He played all three games in the group stages but was unable to help his team progress any further; though they ended on a high beating an imploding French side 2-1.
Reggae Boy Simpson played in all three of Jamaica’s games in France 1998 including his country’s first ever win at this stage of the competition against Japan in a narrow 2-1 triumph. He also lined up against Robert Prosinecki, who scored in a 3-1 reverse against Croatia.
Pompey’s Paul Hall also played in all three of Jamaica’s games in France 98. Indeed, if he hadn’t have boosted his profile in the Finals we may never have sold him to Coventry City on his return. In total, he played 41 games and scored 15 goals for Jamaica. He is currently U-23s manager at QPR.
Midfielder McLoughlin scored the vital goal that took the Republic of Ireland to the 1994 World Cup Finals in the United States, more importantly in the long run, it also meant he never need buy himself a drink in Dublin ever again. He became the first Pompey player to be included in a World Cup Finals squad since 1958.
Gentleman Jim played in two World Cup Finals campaigns for England in Brazil, 1950 and Switzerland, 1954; the former including the infamous 1-0 defeat in Belo Horizonte at the hands of a part-time USA side. In Switzerland England made it out of the group stages only to be cut down 4-2 by Uruguay. The considerably less legendary Mladen Rudonja and Ognjen Koroman were also contenders for a midfield berth.
The flamboyantly unpredictable Boateng was part of the Ghana side that battled its way out of the group stages in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, even scoring against the USA en route to the quarter finals. He didn’t return to Pompey after the finals, but was transferred to Genoa later that summer (and then immediately loaned out to AC Milan).
Reading-born Reggae Boy will be forever remembered in Pompey for his relegation-avoiding goal at Huddersfield. In Jamaica, with his vital goals securing qualification, he’s eternally toasted as the man who got them to their first ever World Cup Finals in 1998.
The Doog was on Pompey’s books when he represented Northern Ireland at the 1958 World Cup Finals in Sweden. The 19-year-old lead the line against Czechoslovakia in the opening group game. In later life he became a member of UKIP, even appearing on BBC’s Question Time.
The 2010 World Cup Finals were to be Kanu’s swansong as a Nigerian footballer, as he hung up his international boots after his country’s exit in South Africa. He also appeared at the final stages in 1998 and 2002 (sightings of him playing in the inaugural tournament in 1930 are unconfirmed).