The day Portsmouth celebrated a Southampton goal

It is ever safe to wear a Southampton shirt in Portsmouth? It was on one day in May 1976

Have you ever been to Paulsgrove? It’s where Bobby grew up just outside the city of Portsmouth. I used to play football against them. Doing so at their place wasn’t always the most pleasant experience; mainly because I was playing for a team from Southampton – they didn’t take kindly to scummers.

Paulsgrove is very much a Portsmouth-supporting stronghold. So it’s very difficult to imagine a day where a large chunk of the housing estate in Paulsgrove united to celebrate Southampton’s finest hour. But it happened back in 1976 when Bobby’s goal won Southampton the FA Cup.

If you don’t believe it have a look these photographs…..

Above: Paulsgrove turns out in numbers to greet Bobby Stokes the day after Southampton won the FA Cup in 1976. The banner in the background is hanging from Bobby’s parent’s house. It reads: Welcome home son. You did us all proud. Super Stokes.

The residents of Leominster Road turned out to welcome Bobby home the after the cup final. Having raised £100 they put on a street party on the green opposite his house. The road and house was decorated in flags and banners. Around 500 locals turned up as Bobby arrived in a chauffeur driven vintage car as the Portsmouth Youth Band played ‘When the Saints Go Marching In.’

They put on the street party because Bobby was ‘one of them.’ A local boy from Paulsgrove who had done good. They weren’t Saints fans, they were Bobby fans. Although these photographs strongly suggest they had a thing for the Saints too!

Left to right: Bobby’s cousin Maria, dressed in Bobby’s Southampton shirt from the FA Cup semi-final, Bobby Stokes, Bobby’s mum Marjorie, and his aunt Helen. NB Both photos courtesy of Maria Johnson.

Have you worn a Southampton shirt in Portsmouth? Or if you’re a Portsmouth fan, have you worn your team’s shirt in Southampton. If so, what happened?

If you know a Saints or Pompey fan then please do share this post with them.



16 thoughts on “The day Portsmouth celebrated a Southampton goal

  1. Hi Dave! Is that Dave ‘Willo’ Williams? Former Blues, Spartans and Burridge player? Listen Dave, how dare you call me a journalist – I’ve never been so insulted – not for a few days anyway.


  2. You see more Arsenal shirts than Southampton shirts in Portsmouth nowadays, but there are still quite a few Saints fans setting off from Portsmouth & Southsea station on match days.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My Dad is a lifelong pompey fan and so are my two older brothers who were born and raised in Southampton along with me and my little brother who are saints fans. Dad used to wear his pompey shirt watching the saints with the home fans.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right, but I think the rivalry between clubs that share the same city is a different beast to those that don’t. Certainly not saying it isn’t as intense – look at Glasgow! But the sight of a rivals shirt isn’t as common occurrence, so there is more space to let the hatred fester and grow.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. My dad is from Pompey but we moved away when he was posted abroad.
    We have since been 5 brothers who are fanatical Saints fans.
    How things would have changed had we stayed in pompey!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Quite a few with divided loyalties in the locksheath area.My two step sons are,as are my mate and his brother.Sometimes its more of a stronger influence from friends when growing up,rather than family traditions.
    On the same sort of note,are there any other divided pubs?We’ve got several pictures of saints and pompey players hanging on the wall,at the Strawberry tavern.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I lived in Elkstone Road just round the corner from where that photo was taken. I was a Saints fan because I went to school in Fareham but my parents moved to a council house in Paulsgrove. I used to get on the train at Porchester to go to Saints home games but didn’t wear colours in those days…I would have been killed!!

    I was 15 years old and went to the final at Wembley. What a day but I didn’t realise the significance of it at the time. The day after the final my Dad took me down to the local pub “The Beacon” because he said Bobby was coming in for a drink. Sure enough, he came in the lounge bar and I asked him to sign my Cup Final ticket, which he did and I still treasure it today. There can’t be many of those around I shouldn’t think!!

    May 1st 1976 is still one of the most memorable days of my life….now 55 years old and living in Wellington New Zealand.


    1. That Geoff, is the best story I’ve heard yet. A Saints fan. In Paulsgrove. Amazing! I’ve been up and down Elkstone Road countless times in the last year or so, treading the path you no doubt have too all those years ago!


      1. Mark – I took a visit back home for the first time in many years recently and took a drive around those streets. It’s been a long time but my memories there are vivid. It’s impossible to imagine today’s footballers living in such surroundings. The other thing I remember is that Bobby won a car for scoring the goal but didn’t drive ! Apparently he used to get the train to training and matches. I’m sure you know all this. I’ll definitely buy your book. It might also motivate me to get the signed ticket and goal photo framed, which I have been meaning to do for the last 20 years!

        Liked by 1 person

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