Ex-Portsmouth, Rangers and Leeds striker Mark Hateley reveals his greatest memory from his one-year Fratton spell
And he explained how his one and only season at Fratton Park helped shape his future – which saw spells at AC Milan, Monaco, Leeds and Rangers alongside an international career with England.
Arriving from Coventry in 1983, the former striker signed for the Blues as a 21-year-old looking to cement himself in the attacking department.
And he duly did that by scoring 25 goals in all competitions, which prompted the Italian giants to part with £1m for his services at the season’s end.
Since then Hateley played three years at the San Siro, before enjoying spells at Ibrox Elland Road and the Stade Louis II Stadium.
Yet despite the glorious list of big-named clubs he played for after wearing royal blue, Hateley hasn’t forgotten the role the Blues played in his footballing life.
Speaking to The News, the 32-capped former England international said: ‘I had a cracking period of my career at Pompey.
‘Although it was short, it was a very important part of my career and it was built at Pompey.
‘It was a season of development. Bobby Campbell bought me on the trust that I would come and be a centre-forward – which I always wanted to be because I had played football in different positions at Coventry.
‘He instilled that confidence into me from a very early stage on my arrival at the football club. The players around me made me feel welcome and they played to my strengths.
‘It was an important period of my career and we scored lots of goals that season. We were entertaining and had great players in key positions.
‘We were one of those teams who would either win heavily or lose heavily, but we’d always score goals.
‘It was a great time for me.’
Although Pompey finished 16th in the old Division Two during Hateley’s only season at the club, the striker scored 25 goals — and produced a number of memorable moments.
However, he’s elected the time he bagged two hat-tricks in five days as his greatest memory on the south coast.
In November 1983, the now 60-year-old netted thrice in respective victories over Cambridge United and Grimsby.
And the moments of class on the pitch surpasses being awarded The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season 1984.
He added: ‘I scored two hat-tricks in a week.
‘I think I scored a three, a two in midweek and three again the following Saturday.
‘It was a good week and it was all around my birthday, which was even better!’