Book Review: Pompey Chimes, Pompey Times – A Collection of Portsmouth FC Memories & Memorabilia Sean ‘Northstandcritic’ Simpson, Derek Hammond & Gary Silke

Conker Editions is an independent publishing company, established in 2017 with the aim of producing high-quality, beautifully designed books. Conker specialises in books on football, memories and memorabilia and here at FBR we have been lucky enough to review many of them including, Can We Not Knock It?, 101 Manchester City Matchworn Shirts, Flat Caps & Tangerine Scarves, Glove Story, Glove Story 2, Football’s Black Pioneers, The A-Z of Weird & Wonderful Football Shirts and The Got, Not Got Football Gift Book.

This latest offering is a homage to Portsmouth FC, a Club who in winning the First Division title in 1948/49 and 1949/50 were crowned champions of England, but by 1978/79 had fallen all the way down to the Fourth Division. Pompey’s history is as choppy as The Solent that laps around its famous harbour, so for every triumph, most recently, the FA Cup win in 2007/08 as a Premier League club, there has been financial ruin and relegation down to League Two just five years later.

Where Conker’s previous books (and this addition also) win, are that the stories have an authentic feel, which for this Portsmouth book comes from having a dedicated and life-ling fan, Sean ‘Northstandcritic’ Simpson, as the readers guide to all things Pompey. As with some other titles from the Conker’s stable, there are within the pages, images of a great collection of memorabilia, whether that be kits, programmes, pennants, flags, rosettes, or football cards.

However, it also provides so much more, as Simpson captures the unique identity of those from the ‘island’ of Portsmouth, with its naval and dockyard links and history, the famous Play Up Pompey chime and larger than life fan, John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood. It is also a tribute to many that have been at the heart of the club through the ups and downs and featured with the section ‘Pompey People’ and most of all to Simpson’s father who passed away nine months before Portsmouth’s FA Cup victory in 2007.

Nothing within the Club’s History is shied away from as tales of the rise and fall on and off the pitch are covered, with the League title and FA Cup triumphs, and the season in Europe, sitting alongside Pompey’s poor Play-off record and financial crisis’s in the mid-1970s and early 2010s. But Simpson also captures what it has been like as a fan following the Fratton Park side, giving readers his personal choices, in the sections titled, ‘Top ten players’, ‘Match of the decades’ and ‘Away day tales’, which contains an absolutely genius story of a trip to Liverpool, and which is worth the price of this book alone.

Yes this is a book aimed at Pompey fans, but followers of other teams will understand the experiences Simpson provides as a fan, and of the trials and tribulations that clubs endure through their history whether Premier League or Northern Premier League.

(Publisher: Conker Editions Ltd. May 2022. Paperback: 176 pages)


Buy the book here: Pompey Chimes

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POMPEY CHIMES, POMPEY TIMES gathers together a treasure trove of memories and memorabilia that will strike a chord with every Pompey supporter aged nine to 90. Here’s your chance to relive all the ups and downs in the club’s rollercoaster ride. So grab a ticket for a nostalgia-packed, colourful and emotional journey that captures the very essence of fandom on this unique, football-crazed island…

Author Sean Simpson delves deep into the priceless clutter in his Unofficial Pompey Museum – the ultimate spare-room shrine – and the very best of his popular columns for the Sportsmail. He joins forces with Got, Not Got nostalgia gurus Hammond & Silke to bring you an irresistible portal to Pompey past.

POMPEY CHIMES, POMPEY TIMES doesn’t stop at painting vivid pictures of unforgettable games and all-time favourite players. It recreates the atmosphere of golden-age Fratton Park and legendary awaydays. Glories in stories of one-off Pompey characters. Showcases the very stuff of McCann/Marinello/Merson Mania: we’re talking the coolest kits and long-lost football cards, childhood games, programmes and petrol freebies. And much more…

Foreword by former Pompey chairman Iain McInnes.


(Publisher: Conker Editions Ltd. May 2022. Paperback: 176 pages)