Football in Berkshire
History & Nostalgia

When Bracknell Town faced Portsmouth FC in 1976

The Robins had a high profile visitor to mark the opening of the clubs new floodlights

When Bracknell Town faced Portsmouth FC in 1976

Richard Milam has been going through his scrap book again and come across this gem from 1976, when Football League side Portsmouth came to Bracknell Town to mark the opening of the Larges Lane floodlights.

During the 75/76 season, Bracknell finished second in Division One during the inaugural London Spartan League season. According to fchd.info, it was a competition formed by the merger of the Spartan League and Metropolitan-London League.

For the completists, Bracknell finished second in the division behind Farnborough Town. Pompey finished the season bottom of Football League Division Two and were relegated to Division Three (now EFL League One).

12th January 1976

Richard writes: Bracknell Town had a game against Portsmouth to open their new floodlights. The game was mid-week, week commencing 12th January 1976.

Portsmouth brought a full quad to play against Bracknell, plus a few guest players.

John Docherty, then player-manager of Brentford, Jackie Graham from Brentford and Gary Peters the Reading player all came and played for us.

Ian St John

Portsmouth were managed by former Liverpool striker Ian St John and had several current and former internationals in their squad. George Graham, Chris Lawler, Eoin Hand and Phil Roberts.

Have a read of some of the biographies (we’ve posted pictures in order of the matchday programme below). You will recognise some of the names.

Bracknell’s captain was an interesting character, Eric Burgess, a former professional who played for Colchester United in the famous FA Cup upset against Leeds United!

Can’t remember what the size of the crowd was exactly. But it was bigger than normal. This was my first taste of senior football, playing the last 20 minutes and Bracknell won 1-0.

The red sheets are the programme wrap and there was a eight sides to the insert with the information. Interesting the league table had Bracknell second in the table to Farnborough. We came runners up in the league and cup that season.

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