Keener than Quinoa: Pompey vs Forest Green Rovers

We got our wires crossed about being allowed to film at Fratton Park for the April 1st Pompey home game. Instead, replicate the action by downing a few beers, doing a handstand, then shaking your phone as you look at these photos.


The afternoon began with supporters at The Froddington Arms, so by the time my comrade and I reached the stadium, we had a decent buzz going – which was useful when I had to charm security about the knife I’d forgotten I was carrying.

It was the typical Portsmouth weather of grey drizzle but people were in good spirits. ‘Pompey Beer’ by Greene King is 4%, so it’s nice they have something for the children to enjoy too.


Plenty of room. No dickheads. There was an impressively bearded gentleman with a stick so weighty he appeared ready to fight a Balrog. You’ll just have to imagine that.


By “PC gone mad at the footie,” I rather expected to get trampled by a mounted policeman who’d mistaken me for a woman.


Mike Oldfield’s Portsmouth accompanied the players entering the pitch. We had to neck our fourth pints because adults can’t be trusted with lager in the stands.

The atmosphere was electric. Which was a concern as it had been raining on and off all day.


The whistle was blown then one guy started kicking the ball towards the other lot’s goal and his pals ran along to help but the other lot were having none of it.

I turned to my comrade, “You only like football,” I said, “because, as a child, you had a strong male figure to stoke the fire of tribalism in your belly.” He snorted and asked if I thought he was indoctrinated and I said, “Yeah.” And then everyone cheered.


Remembering that I wasn’t there to have fun, I made a Facebook post. Since seeing me at a football game is ordinarily as likely as a tapdancing haemorrhoid, my numerous friends clearly thought it was an April Fool’s joke and were too busy laughing at another of my “Classic Parlett” jokes to remember to Like it and/or leave a supportive comment.


The green geezers were the Forest Green Rovers – both the world’s first carbon-neutral football club and its first vegan club. Portsmouth is similarly progressive in that the 6.57 Crew hasn’t battered me already for looking like I’m from Southampton.

I’m not a football guy but I remember Pompey winning the FA Cup in ’08, which coincided with local friends – who’d previously never shown an interest in football – showing an interest in football. These days the team is League One; which sounds good but is the third one.

Football guy or not, I’ve now pissed alongside other men at the Fratton Park urinals so I’m more of a man than my dad.

There were some leftover ready pulled pints up for grabs as they closed the bars for the second half so we got on number six. You don’t turn down free lager in a cost of living crisis. (Image: Comrade Foster-Pullman)


Portsmouth came out on fire, scoring just a few minutes into the second half. The stadium erupted in cheers and much stomping.

It was a criminal offence to enter the playing area – and the more I drank, the more that sounded like a challenge.


Chatting with a security guy, I said that movies are made with phones these days so requiring a permit for recording equipment feels redundant. He nodded in agreement and shrugged. Anyway, technically a GIF is not a video so enjoy this clip of a vegan giving good header.


Sometimes players get tired so they need to have a little lie down.


The Forest Green fans perked up a bit in the final fifteen minutes and started a chant – their soy lattes must’ve kicked in. I found the bigoted chants shocking in their absence, so made up my own in my head. I managed one cry of “Blue Army”, which was all Pompey needed to finish with a 1-0 win.

Look at those fine specimens. Although I did 18,249 steps myself today so I guess we’re all athletes in our own way.


Speaking of big numbers, Fratton Park has a capacity of 20,899 so it was pretty full. You never felt like people were on top of you either. I was untouched yet touched; touched by a feeling that was football – this was my team, my town, my tribe.


Everyone was out in such a quick and orderly fashion. The only hassle I heard of was some drunk trying to bring a knife in. It was fluid movement – which was nice because we needed another drink.


Out back, people queued for autographs. I must be getting soft in my old age, because seeing people genuinely enjoying themselves brings a tear to my eye.


I made this. It’s a picture of a foot and a ball, all close up and in motion. I am very drunk.


Good game, Pompey. Now where’s the next pub?

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