Tributes pour in for Pompey stalwart

Eddy Wilson at FC Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium, Canada, during Pompey's pre-season tour of North America and Canada in 2010
Eddy Wilson at FC Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium, Canada, during Pompey's pre-season tour of North America and Canada in 2010

Tributes have been paid to Pompey stalwart Eddy Wilson, who died at the weekend.

The 64-year-old, from Cosham, was a familiar figure at Fratton Park – both as a supporter and a member of the match-day staff.

It is estimated he watched Pompey play at more than 250 grounds, whether at first-team, reserve or youth level.

Wilson was also an integral part of the club behind the scenes, with his match-day duties including being in charge of officials’ expenses and the distribution of teamsheets.

In addition, he wrote the Non-League Scene column in Pompey’s programme and helped with the PA announcing at all levels.

The former Southern Grammar School for Boys pupil had been in Southampton General Hospital since undergoing a stem cell transplant at the end of April.

He died on Saturday morning, having picked up an infection.

And friends and colleagues have described a man whose life was Pompey.

Former club secretary Paul Weld said: ‘I’d like to pay tribute to someone who worked with me for 30 years and proved invaluable on match days.

‘During that time he also became a good friend and was one of the most reliable and trustworthy people you could hope to meet.

‘Eddy dealt with his illness in the same way that he dealt with life – with strength and resolve.’

Blues boss Andy Awford added: ‘For those privileged to have met and spent time with Eddy, you cannot have encountered anybody more Pompeyfied.

‘He was this gentle, unassuming man who loved the football club and was always willing to spend time talking about the game.

‘The general public may not know him, but he was invaluable to the club, helping out on match days, carrying out the less spectacular jobs.

‘Eddy was part of the furniture here.’

Chris Gibbs, a long-time travelling companion of Wilson, said: ‘Eddy was a very private man and when he started getting ill couldn’t work out why people were running around after him. We had to explain we are a big family at the club and look after our own people.

‘He watched Pompey in America, Scotland, Norway, Iceland, Sweden and, until his illness recently, hadn’t missed a match since the 5-0 win at Millwall in March 2003.

‘I saw him Friday week and we were talking about next season and he was quite looking forward to Ebbsfleet, Thurrock and Burnham in pre-season. He’d been to them all – but never with Pompey.’

Club legend Alan Knight said: ‘You can talk about Pompey fans having blue blood running through their veins and some people are a little bit more visual than others.

‘Eddy was a silent hero who didn’t want the limelight – and did his tasks very well.’

Barry Harris added: ‘If you like Pompey, you liked Eddy.

‘He was so knowledgeable.

‘I remember him once recommending David Speedie to the club when he was playing at Darlington in the early stages of his career.’

Wilson leaves behind his sisters Barbara and Pam and their families.