IT was my pleasure to help cover goings-on at Pompey during my five years on The News sports desk, which ran from 2002 to 2007, writes Steve Bone.
Of course, I was lucky to be involved during such a golden era for the club.
But one of the most pleasurable things about being a PFC-following hack at that time was that Linvoy Primus was in the team for almost the whole period.
I don’t claim to know him well but I’m proud to be able to say I’ve met him many times, and interviewed him on several occasions.
In fact, he was the first player I asked for an interview the very first time I ventured to the training ground.
It was August 19, 2003, and having famously forced his way into the starting line-up a year earlier, Linvoy found himself facing a second battle for a place. Harry Redknapp had recruited several new defenders for the Premier League assault.
Typically, Linvoy was happy to chat – revealing a new desire, but one respectfully expressed, to get his starting spot back.
And, typically, he did get his place back, making 26 appearances that season (oh, and just the 100 in the three campaigns that followed).
Linvoy never turned down a request from me for an interview – others who’ve covered Pompey for longer will tell you the same.
And at events like The News Sports Awards and Super Sixes, every single request for an autograph or photo was met with a big smile and a speedy ‘Of course’.
He hasn’t been made an MBE for being a nice chap – the honour, I believe, is for the way he has used his status as a popular footballer to do so much superb charity and community work.
Even so, I’m one of thousands who can point to their own experience of the great man and say: Linvoy, no-one deserves that honour more.
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