John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood

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John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood
Westwood at The Valley, Charlton, London in 2006
Westwood at The Valley, Charlton, London in 2006
Born John Anthony Westwood
1963 (age 50–51)
Liss, Hampshire
Occupation Antiquarian bookseller
Known for Portsmouth FC

John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood (born 1963) is one of the most recognisable football supporters in England, when not working as an antiquarian bookseller.[1]

He has 60 Portsmouth tattoos, the club crest shaved onto his head and 'PFC' engraved on his teeth.[2][3] He can be clearly heard ringing his bell, to represent the "Pompey Chimes", almost continuously throughout Portsmouth matches. He wears a large stove pipe hat, curly blue wig, and uses a bugle as well as his handbell.[1]

Background[edit]

Born in Liss, Hampshire Westwood started attending Pompey matches in 1976.[4] As his commitment grew to the club, so too did his range of Portsmouth FC themed accessories. In 1989 he changed his name, by deed poll, from John Anthony Westwood to John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood and he is probably the most recognisable Portsmouth supporter.[5]

Supporting Portsmouth[edit]

After he was thrown out of Gillingham FC's Priestfield Stadium in September 2002, one Portsmouth fans website criticised Westwood, describing him as being a "drunk yob".[6] However, two days later they issued an apology stating they had "gone too far."[7]

Westwood was banned from South Coast arch-rivals Southampton's St Mary's Stadium for urinating on seats in the away end and being thrown out of a derby match in 2003 for persistently refusing to sit down when ordered to by stewards.[8] However, he was in the crowd on 13 February 2010, when Portsmouth defeated Southampton 4–1 in the fifth round of the FA Cup.[9] along with the 2–2 draw in the Championship on 7 April 2012.

In September 2007 he played in the Premier League Allstars on Sky Sports, playing as a celebrity fan for Portsmouth.

Westwood was not permitted to take any instruments to the 2008 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, a match won by Portsmouth.[10]

In popular culture[edit]

In 2003 Westwood was featured in the BBC television Social anthropology project Video Nation.[11] A photo reportage entitled Fan de foot. So British! by Paris based photographer Andrew McLeish about men, passion and football, focussing on Westwood, won the French magazine Paris Match's 2004 "Prix du Public" competition for photography students.[12]

Petersfield Bookshop

He also features on the cover of Chuck Culpepper's 2007 book, Up Pompey, an American's take on English football fans.[13]

In 2008 a portrait of Westwood by artist Karl Rudziak won the Portsmouth Open Art Competition. In February 2009 it was accepted for the BP Portrait Awards exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, where it was on display from June until September.[14] On 28 September 2009 the exhibition began a national tour, starting at the Southampton City Art Gallery.[2][3] Not surprisingly, the Southampton FC supporters did not give the display a warm welcome.[8]

Rudziak commented that during the sittings for the portrait, he began to understand that Westwood's tattoos and costume were not simply an attention seeking display but a way of externalising his deep passion for Portsmouth FC and reflecting his inner self.[14]

Professional career[edit]

Since his father Frank's death in January 2006[15] Westwood has been a partner in the family business in Petersfield, Hampshire.[16]

"It's a bit Jekyll and Hyde. When I go to a local book fair, I cover up my tattoos and put on a suit. But more often than not, I end up talking to the book dealers about Pompey and it turns out they've got more tattoos than I have."

—Westwood talking about his job, tattoos and supporting Portsmouth[17]

In 2007 Westwood wrote a book, The True Pompey Fan's Miscellany.[18]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Milan backs Westwood against away bans". The News (Johnston Press). 18 September 2003. Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "City art gallery shows painting of John Westwood". Southern Daily Echo. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "John Westwood portrait scores". BBC Hampshire. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  4. ^ Man of the Match ~ John Anthony PFC Westwood. School of Cultural Studies, University of Chichester. 29 November 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  5. ^ "The Fans – Fans agree to disagree". thisisthesaints.co.uk. 2005. Retrieved 9 December 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ "We don't need fans like Westwood". Fratton Faithful. 8 September 2002. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  7. ^ "This website went too far". Fratton Faithful. 10 September 2002. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  8. ^ a b Stephenson, Corey (2 October 2009). "Fans want Porstsmouth fan painting removed from Southampton Art Gallery". Southern Daily Echo. Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  9. ^ "FA Cup and Football League action as it happened". BBC Sport. 13 February 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  10. ^ Hardman, Robert (17 May 2008). "His name is John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood...and today his team compete in the most unfashionable FA Cup final ever". Mail Online. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  11. ^ "POMPEY By John Westwood". Video Nation. BBC. 12 April 2003. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  12. ^ Bertilsson, Sara. "Andrew Mcleish". EDIT. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  13. ^ Culpepper, Chuck (1 August 2007). Up Pompey: A Clueless American Sportswriter Bumbles Through English Football (1st ed.). Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-85283-3. 
  14. ^ a b "John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  15. ^ "Obituaries – Frank Westwood Owner of the Petersfield Bookshop". The Independent. 25 January 2006. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  16. ^ "The Petersfield Bookshop". The Petersfield Bookshop. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  17. ^ Vulliamy, Ed; Oliver, Brian (3 August 2003). "Up Pompey". The Observer. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  18. ^ Westwood, John (30 March 2007). The True Pompey Fan's Miscellany. Pennant Books Ltd. ISBN 0-9550394-8-7. 

External links[edit]