Portsmouth FC Granted Fan Ownership

April 10th on a Wednesday afternoon will no doubt prove to be one of many historic days in the heritage of Portsmouth Football Club.

The day when a Judge granted the Portsmouth Supporter’s Trust the ownership of their club.

They will now join teams such as Exeter City and AFC Wimbledon, where they will be owned by the fans. Portsmouth will become the largest fan-owned club in England.

Agreements from administrators and opposition Portpin were made to allow the club to keep control of Fratton Park.

An historic and emotional day for Portsmouth fans has finally seen a brighter side after administrations, point’s deductions, job losses and much deliberation as to whether the fans would have a club.

For those that have suffered for several years, this is for them and for football. Portsmouth Football Club and their fans finally have won.

April 10th on a Wednesday afternoon will no doubt prove to be one of many historic days in the heritage of Portsmouth Football Club.

The day when a Judge granted the Portsmouth Supporter’s Trust the ownership of their club.

They will now join teams such as Exeter City and AFC Wimbledon, where they will be owned by the fans. Portsmouth will become the largest fan-owned club in England.

Agreements from administrators and opposition Portpin were made to allow the club to keep control of Fratton Park.

An historic and emotional day for Portsmouth fans has finally seen a brighter side after administrations, point’s deductions, job losses and much deliberation as to whether the fans would have a club.

For those that have suffered for several years, this is for them and for football. Portsmouth Football Club and their fans finally have won.

Hot Off the Press – Michael Owen to Retire from all Football

Today, footballer Michael Owen broke the news that he is to retire from all football at the end of the season. At the age of 33, it perhaps is understandable. Owen is not getting any better, and a lack of performances for his current club Stoke City has seen just 1 goal from 7.

On the other hand, as I write this, I have to genuinely say that I am gutted about his announcement today. For me, Michael Owen will always be my first ever football hero. He seemed such a fantastic person, and from the age of 18 was set to hit the big time.

Having read his autobiography, Owen constantly talks of his family in the highest regard, notably his father. In his statement given today, Owen refers to his family as the most important factor in his life.

I will never forget the happiness I felt after he scored a hat trick for England against Germany in a 5-1 win; my first ever poster on my wall.

I had quite a soft spot for his first club, Liverpool and Owen was an integral part of that team, scoring 158 goals in 297 appearances. For England, Owen hit 40 in 89 which put him high on the all time goal scoring charts.

In 2004, Owen left Liverpool to join Real Madrid; one year before Liverpool won the European Cup; an accolade Owen unfortunately didn’t win in his illustrious career. That day in 2004, aged 10, I felt somewhat empty as I do today as it is then end of an era.

Subsequent moves to Newcastle, Manchester United and now Stoke followed as injuries blighted Owen’s career.

Who knows what would have happened had Owen stayed at Anfield. I would like to hope more trophies as well as more record breaking goals for England. Nevertheless, winning European Footballer of the Year as well as many other accolades puts Owen as an all time great.

One will always have the memories of a humble and friendly, family man, who put smiles on so many faces. My boyhood hero: Michael Owen.

Hot Off the Press – Oscar Pistorius Granted Bail

Cue back to September 8th 2012 at the Olympic Stadium. I am bursting for the toilet, leaning forward to the edge of my stadium seat waiting for the powerful but poignant sound of a gunshot to be let off. The arena, of 80,000 willing spectators is now silent. Thousands of eyes focused on one man in green and gold, poised to do what only he can do.

 It is the T44 400m final. Having recorded a fantastic qualifying time already, that man Oscar Pistorius is the sure favourite to do it all again, as he did in Beijing.

46.68 seconds later, I have a new hero. It is that man from South Africa, and his determination and tenacity to blow everyone else out the water was astounding.

At this point it was all about Oscar. I was able to go to the toilet knowing that my expectations were fulfilled and my lasting memories of the Paralympics would be all about Oscar.

Everything for me was about Oscar. Prior to his Paralympic efforts, Oscar had become the first to take part in both the Paralympics and the Olympics. All the campaigns were about his story and his achievements. After so many years of a stigma towards disabilities, Oscar, almost singlehandedly, had transformed this, and made it cool.   

Go to around 5 months later, and that same location where he gave up his life to become a 6-time Paralympic champion, Oscar Pistorius is now charged with the shooting and murder of his girlfriend in a Pretoria Court.

Valentine’s Day 2013 is one that I will never forget. Not because of any kind of romance, but because my hero of the Summer is perhaps a murderer.

I will not go into the ins and outs of the trial as I do not feel it is right. After all his status or anything else, someone has lost a life, due to his actions that night.

Heroes seem hard to come by. Prior to his outing as a drugs cheat, Cyclist Lance Armstrong for me represented all the qualities a person, let alone a sportsperson needs. With 7 Tour De France titles to his name and his overcoming of Cancer, it was later none that everything he represented in Cycling was a lie.

In the case of Pistorius, whether he is found guilty or not, he has still shot and killed someone. As I write this, the case is at the point where a decision is being made to determine whether Oscar Pistorius is to be granted bail or not. Magistrate Nair has taken what seems a lifetime and the decision has been made to Grant Oscar Pistorius Bail.

For me however, I personally only have the memory at the moment that the man in the green and gold with prosthetic legs is not my hero Oscar Pistorius. He is the killer of a young woman in South Africa; the place where everyone loved him, like those around the world. Only time will tell after this first step in the court case what the outcome will be.