Tuesday, April 28, 2015


These were the scenes last evening as Bournemouth virtually secured their promotion to football`s Premier League for the first time in their 125 year history.  For much of that time, the local rivalry for Southampton fans has been with our neighbours, Portsmouth, along the other end of the M27 but it now seems possible that we have new rivals in Bournemouth, 30 miles or so along the A31.

Now whereas the resurgence of Portsmouth would most certainly not be something to celebrate, somehow the elevation of Bournemouth to the peerage of English football provides almost a warm glow and I for one am pleased for them, the club, the players, staff and most of all the supporters who must be pinching themselves at the club`s meteoric rise from near extinction just six short years ago.

It was back in the late noughties that Southampton were in dire straits with the real prospect of going out of business.   At that time, we were more or less forced to sell one of our better players so that the transfer fee could keep the Saints afloat for a little longer.   That player was Andrew Surman, raised in Southampton from eight months old, a product of the Saints Academy along with the likes of Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale, and someone who almost burst with pride playing for his home town club.

When Wolverhampton Wanderers came along with a £1.2million bid for Surman, the Saints were in no position to turn it down and so he left for Wolves, who were then in the Premier League.   It was a serious wrench for Surman who was on record at the time of saying he left Southampton `with a heavy heart` and describing the Saints` situation as `unbelievable.`

From Wolves, he moved on to Norwich and from there he went on loan to Bournemouth, where his signing was made permanent last year and he has formed an important part of their promotion winning team.   So whilst there is joy unbounded among the Cherries fans, I am especially pleased to see Andy Surman making a welcome return to the Premier League and it will be good to see him back at St. Mary`s next season, even if he is playing for our new-found local rivals.

1 comment:

Ray Turner said...

I agree. It will be fantastic to see Bournemouth competing in the Premiership next season.