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PHS014 David Benfield MP3

PHS014 David Benfield MP3

Audio details

Collection Title Pompey Champions of England
Date of Recording 6th February 2020
Name of Interviewer Samantha Middleton
Location of Interview Portsmouth
Participant Name David Benfield
Participant Date of Birth 1st January 0001
Participant Sex Male
Participant Occupation
Participant Background
Type of Recorder Zoom H4n Pro
Track No 1
Track Duration [00:22:24]
Recording Format MP3
Transcript Summary [00:00:00] Born David Benfield, attended first match at Fratton Park in 1947 with father, who worked in the Dockyard and mother was at home with a younger brother and sister. Remembers in 1948 going with father and dropped him off at Clive Road, Fratton. First memories of the FA Cup against Stockport County and thrashed them 7-0 and went through to the semi-final. Attended 4th and 5th round, remembers the 6th round with the biggest crowd of 51,300 against Derby County and won. Couldn’t attend the semi-final at Arsenals ground as Dad thought perhaps I was too young but listened to game on the radio. Mentions that match we lost, although up for the double. Manager had dropped a player, Duggie Reid for some reason.
[00:02:47] Mentions seeing every home match, 21 home matches, won 18 matches and drew other 3, never lost a game, was terrific. Remembers the crowds and atmosphere, lots of sailors there, and even the Royal Marines Band. Used to come on at half time and throw the mace up in the air and one time he dropped it and the crowd cheered and went mad. Remembers feeling like sardines and so enclosed, kids down the front and St Johns Ambulance were always nearby and went it got warm, and if someone fainted they would take them down through the crowd. Never there for any trouble, no violence ever perhaps animosity but no violence. Describes it as a safe place to be except perhaps for the crushing sometimes. Remembers as children not really thinking about it, had just come out of a war and the harmony was there and you forgot about it. Mentions no floodlights so kick-off was earlier due to the sun going down at different times of the year and found out kick-off time in the paper. Programme were available but as children we never bought them but Father did.
[00:05:42] Remembers getting the bus to the game to his Aunts. A special bus would collect from different areas, starting from Cosham and was always full, the same as left the ground picking up from nearby St. Marys Hospital. Remembers all the smoking on the bus but that was the times. Remembers being 12 years old, attended match alone and had stayed behind after the game collecting cigarette packets that had different pictures that sometimes had picture cards inside with footballers on.
[00:07:50] Mentions not attending reserve matches but remembers them being every other weekend.
[00:08:09] Mentions 1948/1949 as a child only remembering winter and summer, either hot or cold, there was rationing until around 1954, still and needed coupons for everything, and remembers having use them for sweets. Able to get pies at the stadium but used to take a piece of chocolate. Remembers the war affecting the football and people waited for Saturdays to come and a different world, awkward as children and didn’t have the same issues as the adults and spent lots of time in shelters at the end of the garden, and the people next door to us had a concrete one (the Wicks family) and would spend the night in there as it was more comfortable.
[00:11:10] Remembers personally always because they had a solid team (recalls team and positions). Favourite player was Peter Harris, scored a lot of goals and was fast. Mentions football was very different, firstly the ball was heavy and a formation that never changed, but times change and that system wouldn’t suit them now. Very few sending offs, Scoular was a tough player and would have been sent off a lot in today’s game with his style of play. The game of the era. Too young to attend away games and not many people couldn’t afford it. Parents certainly couldn’t.
[00:14:34] Remembers Portsmouth was like a seaside town and lots of sailors around the city. Able to go and watch the players train occasionally. Mentions watching the match from the North side, far corner by the Milton End. As a child you could just about see and would come right to the front. Remembers the day the emporia in the ground of about 45,000 people, first time they had won the League and people cheering like mad, lots of people had rattles in those days. Remembers Field Marshall Montgomery in the South Stand. As President and not long after the war, everyone revered him as he was locally Alton way, and had helped win the war for us.
[00:18:03] Remembers the club when winning the League seen as one of the top teams but up with Arsenal and Manchester. No rivalry with Southampton as they were in lower league. Always wanted to beat Arsenal, mentions the Jubilee match, 50-year anniversary and won 4-1. Mentions a magazine called Picture Post and a picture of Peter Harris dribbling past the whole team until he scored the goal. No memory of the procession during that time but remembers the more recent one on Southsea Common in 2008. Mentions he is still a regular to all the matches and attends with his disabled son, who recently won Supporter of the Year as he attended all matches, friendlies, reserves, home and away. Started taking son in the 70s and only missed years during time in service in the Merchant
[00:22:24] End of interview
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Copyright Holder Pompey History Society