Lost Pompey artefacts return to Fratton Park

The HMS Warrior chairs appeared on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow
The HMS Warrior chairs appeared on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow
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The HMS Warrior chairs and table which formerly resided in Pompey’s boardroom are finally to be reunited with the club – for one day only.

Since being thrown in a skip during a 2007 refurbishment under Sacha Gaydamak’s reign as owner, the 14 oak chairs and table have been notable absentees from Fratton Park.

At the time local builder Terry Clark, along with club historian Richard Owen, intervened to rescue the items, which had been part of the boardroom for more than 70 years.

These days a collector owns the chairs and table, which were once valued at around £500,00 on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.

However, the Pompey fan has agreed to loan them back to the club on Sunday as part of the latest History Day, and they will be displayed in the Victory Lounge.

Following Milan Mandaric’s return of the HMS Victory painting in August, it reunites more lost friends to Fratton Park.

And supporters will have the opportunity to see them at Sunday’s event, which takes place on 11am-2pm.

Colin Farmery, who heads up history and archiving projects at the club, said: ‘The chairs and table are a reminder of our more distant history and Royal Navy links.

‘They are also a reminder of more recent times when the club’s heritage was perhaps not treated with the respect it deserved, but we are delighted to have them for the day.

‘The table and chairs belong to this individual and in the fullness of time it would be great if we could be reunited with such artefacts permanently.

‘But, in the short-term, we have asked for them on this basis and he has been very helpful. He is sympathetic to the football club and wants to help.

‘They have been kept in a safe place at his house.

‘In the meantime, fans can also see these items if they buy one of the tours of the stadium.’

The history day will have a range of displays and exhibits, including rare club trophies, memorabilia, video and archive material.

There will also be a display by the Pompey Pals group and a programme and memorabilia fair.

Entrance is free, but a limited number of tours are available, priced £10 for adults with an accompanied child free.

n A host of Pompey favourites will be at a fundraising event for the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation on Sunday.

Taking place at the Meon pub from 2pm, Andy Awford, Alan Knight, Paul Walsh and Dave Waterman will be taking fans’ questions. Tickets are priced at £3.