Meeting Lawrie McMenemy…

I interviewed Lawrie McMenemy for my Bobby Stokes book. We met at the Potters Heron – I’m sure many Saints fans will  know the significance of that venue. In the meantime you can watch me waffle on about the experience of meeting Lawrie in this video.


You can pre-order the book on Amazon now. Official book release is Monday 2 May, but stay tuned for more information about a book signing at St.Mary’s on Sat 30 April.

Was Bobby offside?


That’s what a lot of people thought. That Bobby’s goal in the 1976 FA Cup Final should have been disallowed. It’s what former Manchester United skipper Martin Buchan thinks. Their manager at the time Tommy Docherty thinks the same. But the linesman had the best view. His name was Brian Marchant. And although he’s sadly since passed away, his son Neil gives some great insight in the book over the furore at Wembley after the final whistle. To put it simply, Brian had the best view in the house. And Bobby was onside!

A visit to the Daily Echo…

On Wednesday I was invited to the Southern Daily Echo to meet sport editor Simon Carter and photography archivist Jez Gale, who helped me source some photographs for the book. Thanks to Simon and Jez for being such great hosts and being so helpful. Here’s a quick video showing some other photos from the celebration of the FA Cup Final in 1976.


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.