By Jim Bonner
Updated Tuesday, 17th May 2011
Three years ago today...May 17th, 2008 is a date that no Pompey fan will ever forget. Whether you were at Wembley, on Southsea common or halfway round the world, the sight of Sol Campbell lifting Portsmouth's first major silverware since 1950 will forever be etched into our minds.
The day marked a huge triumph for a club the size of Portsmouth but under the management of Harry Redknapp and banked by the so-called fortunes of Alexandre Gaydamak, the future looked very bright indeed.
That was three years ago. It seems more like thirty, doesn't it? Much has happened since then and most of it bad. Four owners have came and gone in that time and yet their legacies still remain at the club like a bad stench whilst the manager's office at Fratton Park has been occupied by five different men since that famous day at the national stadium.
We've seen AC Milan play a competitive match on home turf, been back to Wembley for more FA Cup moments and seen some great players pull on the famous royal blue shirt during what are now known as our modern "glory years" - as short lived as they were.
But whilst we're slumming it in the Championship for a second season in a league that looks like being much tougher than this campaign, we shouldn't forget how fortunate we were to celebrate like we did this day three years ago.
I know I may sound like a certain Tottenham manager here, but how many supporters of the teams in this division have seen their side win some major silverware or even come close?
Whilst this success came at a major cost (and whether it was worth it is still being debated, especially as there may be worse to come) it was what being a football supporter is all about. I wonder how many fans of clubs like Barnsley, Hull and Doncaster would trade their last three years for ours?
Pompey remain the only team outside the top four/big four to win the FA Cup since 1995 and spent well beyond their means to do so. That tells you all you need to know about the current state of English football and just how difficult it is for supporters of less fashionable clubs to experience what we did three years ago.
So we should milk it for all its worth, because we'll probably never see our team win the FA Cup again in our lifetime. Who knows where we'll be come May, 17th 2012 if the decline continues?
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