Pompey fans are being asked to take part in “There’s only one Bobby Campbell” chants in the 83rd minute of the forthcoming AFC Wimbledon match in tribute.
On Friday 6th November 2015, former player and manager Bobby Campbell sadly passed away at the age of 78. Signed from Liverpool in 1961 (having already gained captaincy as an England Youth International), the Liverpudlian ‘Half Back’ arrived at Fratton Park and played for us 64 times, before injury cut short his career at the club in 1966 but after a brief spell at fellow Hampshire club Aldershot, Campbell returned in the late 60s as an Assistant Trainer to Gordon Neave. In the 70s he went on to coach at Arsenal and managed Fulham.
It was managing us from 1982-84 where Bobby Campbell is best remembered by Pompey fans though, where in his first season we won the old Division 3 championship (now League 1) in 1982-83. There was also the exciting football we played under his leadership and the iconic signings he made in his 2 years in charge – names such as Alan Biley, Neil Webb, Kevin Dillon & Mark Hateley became imprinted into Pompey folklore as well the acquisition of top flight experienced pros like Ernie Howe and Dave Thomas.
After Pompey, he coached at both Al-Arabi SC and Qadsia SC and sandwiched between his time in Kuwait was a successful managerial spell at Chelsea, when they stormed to the old Division 2 title before he established the Londoners back in the top flight.
Here is an interview with him in the Portsmouth News last December regarding his time at Fratton Park.
I didn’t hear about the sad loss of Bobby Campbell until Saturday afternoon so after sharing this to my family of Pompey fans (in case they hadn’t already heard), my older brother Nick, came up with a lovely idea that on 83 minutes at the Macclesfeld FA Cup tie yesterday, Pompey fans should sing loud and proud continuously for a minute the “There’s only one Bobby Campbell” chant. 83 of course in tribute to his title success as mentioned.
Scroll to 10:07 of this classic YouTube video – as sung after the Southend 1983 promotion clinching match on the pitch at Fratton Park.
The problem was Nick’s concept was around 2pm on Saturday, so despite cascading this on social media and all those I knew were attending the match against the Silkmen (including John Westwood), it was realistically too late in the day for this to happen then.
However, Sunday’s (15th November) League 2 home match with AFC Wimbledon (KO 2:30pm) is the perfect opportunity for this to take place and will have the added impact as the game is televised on Sky.
Please share this idea with every Pompey fan you know and give the great man the fitting tribute he deserves.
RIP Bobby Campbell