Fans unite for Home Park tribute

Plymouth Argyle's manager John Sheridan
Plymouth Argyle's manager John Sheridan

Pompey and Plymouth fans are uniting to pay tribute to the Armed Forces when the sides meet in League Two on Saturday.

Andy Awford’s men will travel to Home Park for the Sky-televised clash at the weekend (12.05pm).

And supporters from both clubs have joined forces to remember those who lost their lives in the service of their country.

Argyle are marking the occasion by staging their annual Armed Services Day match, fittingly the Royal Navy city of Pompey providing the opposition.

Before the game, Pilgrims supporters sitting in the Devonport End (block three) and in the Lyndhurst Stand (block 12) and Portsmouth supporters sitting in the Barn Park End (block 22) will find a coloured sheet attached to their seat.

Fans will then be asked to hold them up in a tribute during the minute’s silence before kick-off – the cards forming the shape of poppies.

The poppy emblem also adorns the back of Argyle shirts in every game this season.

In addition, the internationally-renowned Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Plymouth, will be appearing during a host of commemorative events planned on the day.

Immediately before the match, following the arrival of the two sides behind Royal British Legion standard-bearers, Royal Navy chaplain Ralph Barber and his Argyle counterpart Arthur Goode will address the crowd.

The match ball will then be presented to the officials by Plymothian HMS Raleigh cadet Konnor Harrower, who will be escorted by Argyle legend Tommy Tynan and his son Thomas, a serving submariner.

Meanwhile, the Argyle Fans’ Trust and Clare Martin, of Pompey in the Community have arranged for young supporters of both teams to take part in a penalty shoot-out on the pitch at half-time.

In terms of football, the Blues face John Sheridan’s side with just one league win on their travels all season.

In contrast, the Pilgrims have suffered only one defeat in all competitions on home turf so far.

High-flying Wycombe are the only team to triumph at Home Park – with a 1-0 win back in September.

The hosts are currently sixth in League Two, with the best defensive record in the division.

Incidentally, Pompey’s Academy triumphed at Plymouth earlier this month, pulling off an emphatic 4-0 win in the first round of the FA Youth Cup.