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Peter Harris medal among trio bought by Pompey History Society
Friday, 5th Jun 2020 19:00 by pompey-fans.com staff

Three antique football medals - including one from championship-winning winger Peter Harris - have been added to the ever-growing archive the Pompey History Society hopes will eventually be displayed in a club museum.

The society acquired the medals from a local collector ‘at cost’ and brings to well over £30,000 the society has spent on preserving the club’s archive since it was formed in 2015.

The Harris medal is made from silver gilt and was awarded when Pompey finished runners up to Arsenal in the 1946-47 Football Combination reserve league. The title was settled in a play-off at Highbury after the two teams had won their respective sections.

Arsenal won 3-0 and Harris made 30 appearances in league and cup for the reserves that season. The following year he broke into the first team as a regular and would star in Pompey’s title-winning years of 1949 and 1950.

The second medal, made from nine carat gold, was awarded to forward James Armstrong, who scored 15 goals in 34 games in the Pompey team which won the Southern League in 1920. He signed originally in 1913 and left the club in 1920 for Sheffield Wednesday.

The final medal's story, also in nine carat gold, needed a bit of unravelling. Pompey signed winger James Hogg from South Shields in the summer of 1913, but he was awarded a Southern Alliance League ‘winners’ medal for 1912-13 ‘Championship Match’.

Not only was Hogg not at the club that season, but Pompey had also finished a distant sixth.

A bit of detective work by society members Chris Gibbs and Paul Boynton uncovered Hogg played in this one-off game in October 1913, which was between the previous season’s champions Croydon Common and a league representative team, including Hogg, who won the match 2-1.

Pompey History Society Chair Colin Farmery said: “Acquiring this sort of item is exactly why the society was formed and I’m delighted our Acquisitions Officer Mick Hall was able to negotiate a very reasonable price for three rare pieces.

“Since the society was formed five years ago by a group of enthusiasts, we have bought a number of items, including the club’s original cash book, these medals and also solid silver replicas of the division one and division three championship trophies, which now sit in the club boardroom.

“These purchases - the two trophies accounted for around £25,000 alone - have been funded by cash donations from fans, including more than £30,000 we received from PST community shareholders when the club was sold to Michael Eisner and another £5,000 we received from the Portsmouth FC Supporters Club (Central Branch).

“That money has now almost all been used up, so the society is now looking at further ways it can raise funds, to ensure our good work can continue. We have a medium-term project to commission a replica of the Division Three South shield the club won in 1924, but we need to raise another £15,000 to do that.

“As a society we are always interested in acquiring collections or items. Most of what we receive is donations by fans who simply want to see their heirlooms preserved and made available for the public to see, but if a piece is of particular interest, we do consider purchasing.

"We work in close partnership with Portsmouth FC and have supported the club on a number of heritage projects and our shared goal is to eventually establish a permanent museum at Fratton Park to tell the club’s story in an engaging and interesting way."

Currently the society is also managing a Heritage Fund project to tell the story of the 1949 and 1950 championship winning seasons.

More details on the Pompey History Society and its activities can be found by emailing history@pompeyfc.co.uk or following its Twitter feed @pompeyhistory and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PompeyHistory/ page.

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