A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to commemorate Jimmy Dickinson, one of Portsmouth Football Club’s greatest ever players, with a statue at Fratton Park.
The tribute to Jimmy, who twice lifted the First Division trophy for the club, will be installed to coincide with the club’s 125th anniversary season in 2023/24.
£150,000 is needed to make the project a reality – with the first £25,000 already donated by the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, who are leading the project.
Pompey Supporters’ Trust board member Ashley Brown said: “Pompey fans treasure the rich history of our club and this is an opportunity for us to celebrate one of our true heroes”.
Jimmy Dickinson is the club’s record appearance maker, playing 845 times as a left-half for the Blues between 1946 and 1965.
He was instrumental to the side during the greatest era in the club’s history, which saw Pompey crowned champions of England in back to back years in the 1948/49 and 1949/50 seasons.
Jimmy also earned 48 caps for the England national team, and represented his country at the 1950 and 1954 World Cups.
He was awarded an MBE by the Queen for services to football in 1964.
After his playing career, Jimmy became Pompey manager, leading the side between 1977 and 1979. He also had spells as the club’s Public Relations Officer and Secretary.
Jimmy Dickinson passed away in 1982 aged 57. He is buried in Alton Cemetery.
Michael Eisner, Chairman of Portsmouth FC, said: “Portsmouth FC is delighted to be able to wholeheartedly endorse the Pompey Supporters’ Trust campaign to erect a statue in honour of Jimmy Dickinson. Since I have been Chairman of the club, I have come to know of his greatness as a player, for both Pompey and England, and his enormous contribution to the club in other roles too. This PST project is the perfect way to kickstart the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations. I look forward to the club working with the PST over the coming months to make this statue something of which we will all be proud”.
Mike Whittle, board member for Pompey History Society, said: “Jimmy is such an important part of our great club’s history: a one-club man who was at the heart of Pompey’s most successful era. We’re proud to be involved in this project alongside the Pompey Supporters’ Trust and our chosen artist, who is going to produce an excellent lasting memory at Fratton Park.”
Award winning sculptor Douglas Jennings has been commissioned to create the sculpture, which will be cast in bronze in life-and-a-quarter size.
Jennings has previously been commissioned by Fulham FC to create the statues of Johnny Haynes and George Cohen MBE, which are located outside Craven Cottage.
Jo Collins, the inaugural chairperson of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, said: “We met with a number of prominent,high-quality sculptors before selecting Douglas – we know he’s going to produce a superb statue that our fans will be proud of. We’ve also worked closely with the club to ensure this fits in with the current Fratton Park redevelopment works and is given the prominence it deserves”.
The statue is due to be situated outside of Fratton Park in the stadium’s North West corner, though it would be able to be moved and maintained in the event of any future stadium redevelopment.
Donald Vass, the Pompey Supporters’ Trust Treasurer, said: “We’re all really proud to be a part of this. It’s a fantastic fan-led project to help commemorate a true Pompey legend on the club’s 125th birthday”.
“The image of Jimmy is already immortalised as a picture in the Fratton End seats, but we were really keen to enhance his presence at the ground and create a permanent landmark at the stadium that will live on for future generations of fans”.
“Pompey supporters have got previous form for coming together and making things happen when they’ve got a project they believe in – we know the fanbase is going to swing behind this and bring it to life”.
Donations can be made at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/jimmydickinsonstatue.