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Pompey's Top Fan Refused Entry To St Mary's
Wednesday, 11th Sep 2019 14:17

Portsmouth FC's top supporter was last night denied entry to St Mary's to watch England, were Saints justified in taking this action or should he have been allowed in.

John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood to give him his full name has been speaking to the press about how he was not allowed into St Mary's Stadium to watch England take on Kosovo.

Westwood who is of course well known to Saints supporters for his match day persona whilst watching Pompey in which he has over the years seemingly increased season after season the bizarre level of his attire to now look something resembling a modern day jester whilst ringing a bell and sometimes blowing a bugle, toned down his look for the trip to St Mary's and judging by his selfie picture taken on the train had only a Pompey shirt on underneath a black leather trench coat with a Pompey badge on his breast, topping off the look with a cowboy hat with a large Cross Of St George badge on it.

However on his arrival at the stadium he was refused entry by stewards who he claims would not let him in even of he turned the coat inside out and covered up the shirt.

In the article in Portsmouth's daily paper The News

Westwood told The News:

‘I was queuing up to enter the ground when a steward told me: “Sorry, I can’t let you in with a Pompey shirt”.

‘I called over another steward and offered to turn my shirt inside out and she pointed to my coat, so I offered to do the same with that, it’s only got a badge on it.

‘Then I was told I was too well known and they couldn’t guarantee my safety. I replied that I wasn’t worried about my safety, they didn’t have to don’t worry about me.

‘Next they said they couldn’t guarantee the safety of people around me!

‘I was even asked why I wear a Pompey shirt to England matches? Well, I also had an England hat on. I was showing my allegiance to my country and my allegiance to my club, what’s wrong with that?

‘I have been dressing in that style of attire to watch England games for 40 years.

‘This is was an England home game, nothing to do with local rivalries. I have been across the country to other grounds where rivals mix together.

‘I didn't want any problems, I just wanted to watch England play.’

Now I would say that there are two sides to every story.

The first side is that it is wrong that someone was turned away for sporting his club allegiance, having attended the game there were plenty of people with Saints stuff on and other teams were on show, but usually most England fans restrict their club allegiances to flags, most feel that it is not a club occasion but a country one and leave their club colours at home unless it is on a flag.

But that doesn't make it right to refuse Westwood entry to St Mary's just on that basis, indeed there were other Pompey fans in the stadium and there are pictures up on social media of them openly showing their colours with captions such as "in the home of the scum" etc.

The second side though is that there is more than this story than meets the eye.

The first question is why would Westwood want to come to our stadium and spout his Pompey colours anyway, he seems to take pride in that he can look after himself, but he should look to his own conscience and ask if the position was reversed and a Saints fan was trying to queue to get into Fratton to see an England game wearing a Saints shirt would he have even been given the chance to be turned away or would he have suffered abuse even violence by Pompey fans ?

I think even JPFCW knows the answer to that and it also perhaps gives some sort of logic behind his actions in the first place, if he had just wanted to watch England, he knew where he was going, why did he not just go with England colours on and leave the Pompey gear at home.

The answer is he wanted confrontation, he might be able to look after himself, but the stewards were not so much concerned about him but the people around him this was a crowd with a very high proportion of children and families including women, why would he want to put them in danger, he knew what the risks where, but he had no thought of the risks to others.

Why would he want to stoke up things only two weeks before a rare meeting between the two clubs, was he hoping for something like this so he could go to the media or perhaps something even more sinister, if he had been attacked by Saints fans then that would have sent the hate levels in Pompey up through the roof.

Whilst I agree that fans should be able to walk through the streets and in the grounds at football matches wearing colours safely and truthfully when Saints go to Pompey this will be the first time our fans have been unable to do that since December 2011 on our last visit to Fratton, John Westwood has created a public personality for himself and although in the main it is a harmless one focused on supporting his team, social media has plenty of clips of him leading his fellow Pompey fans in anti "scummer" chants.

In short he has made a rod for his own back and he is an educated man and knew exactly what he is doing when he went to St Mary's yesterday.

I have never met JPFCW, Pompey fans I know tell me that although he is seen by some as an idiot, those that know him well say he is a very generous and caring man to his fellow supporters, but when he goes to watch Pompey he adopts his "stage act" and last night he did just that.

I I was cynical I would say that his aim was to stir up the feelings of both sets of fans ahead of the derby in two weeks, indeed apart from informing his local paper he has apparently also been speaking to the likes of Talksport about being turned away.

But I am giving him the benefit of the doubt here that when it comes to Saints he loses a sense of rationality, he can only see us through blue tinted spectacles and that leads him to do things that perhaps in hindsight he would not do.

I am sure he disagrees with me wholeheartedly and that is his right, I truly hope that Saints supporters going to Fratton in a fortnight are given the same courtesy he received in Southampton last night, that they can walk the streets safely without being attacked as John was able to do last night despite being turned away fro our stadium.

Sadly though I think that whether unintentionally or not he is stoking up levels of hatred on both sides of the divide and that could have drastic consequences.


Photo: Action Images



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Clayton7 added 14:45 - Sep 11
Is that the skate who pissed on a seat in st Mary’s?
3

1970 added 14:54 - Sep 11
This guy is a complete tool that is only interested in drumming up publicity for himself,a mate of mine whacked him at an England game at old trafford a number of years ago because he thought it was a good idea to persistently ring a bell inside the stadium and he was warned by 5 or 6 people but just didn't get it, my mate is a shitepool fan and hates him as well,
hope we beat them well coyr
3

dirk_doone added 15:44 - Sep 11
Yes, Clayton, he's the one who's incontinent.

If he wore a nappy or incontinence pants to control his problem maybe he'll be allowed in but not dressed in his Pompey clown outfit.
2

aceofthebase added 16:36 - Sep 11
I think that winding up all this rivalry between our clubs is a dangerous thing. I hope that there is not any nasty vandalism by any supporter trying to outdo the other.
I'm all for outright support of our own team but we should not be attacking in any shape or form the opposition, tho the odd colourful song or ditty can be funny.
Make lots of noise, sing your hearts out and win, that's all I want.
2

arfurdent added 16:56 - Sep 11
stewards missed their chance withthe railway line next door
-1

bstokesaint added 19:30 - Sep 11
The bloke’s a complete tool. What kind of moron would you have to be to even invite the controversy? Just wear an England shirt and dress for the occasion like the majority of other fans. These are supposed to be the nights when club allegiances are put aside for the great of the nation.
2

sholingred added 20:19 - Sep 11
He should be banned as I remember he got chucked out for urinating on his seat at st marys when pompey played up here if I or anyone else had done that, I would be arrested and banned for life but for some reason he gets celebrity status hes a clown and should be refused entry
3

TimSaint added 23:09 - Sep 11
He should be banned from the urinating incident.

Well done to the stewards.

The bloke is a prize prick and has clearly forgotten that dressed in similar attire 17 years ago, he was done over at half time.

This is England FFS. Don't antagonise the hosting fans. Wear an England shirt - after all, Pompey haven't had an England player in their team for what, 8 to 10 years ?

Even in an England shirt, I'm sure enough people will satisfy his attention seeking needs and recognise him - as the person who thinks it funny and amusing to Serial Piss in public.
2

Troutman added 13:08 - Sep 12
Please do not call him our super fan, most Pompey fans think he is a total embarassment to the club and wish he was banned from FP. Who in their right mind tries to enter SMS wearing a Pompey shirt ? Obviously only those a few sandwiches short of a full picnic.
4

BoondockSaint added 14:28 - Sep 12
I really thought he was banned for life.Why the stewards even considered allowing him in is beyond me. If he had urinated in an office building, you can be sure he would be arrested and banned from the building-with security on alert to never let him in. There would be no discussion about letting him in because he was there to see a different company from last time.

It's a joke to suggest that his behaviour is that of of an "educated" or "very generous and caring" man.

But, he still got what he wanted: Playing the victim to the press.
2

GeordieSaint added 17:04 - Sep 12
A good while back I went with a couple of mates to Sunderland to watch England U21 vs Brazil U21.
One of my mates took his coat off with his Newcastle shirt underneath, within a second or two a steward said "son, I would cover that shite up or you will get chinned before I have the chance to fing boot you out." Good advice I thought.
2

SanMarco added 19:00 - Sep 12
Much ado about nothing this - I am interested in this England game at Fratton Park though...
0


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