Six years ago, Portsmouth were FA Cup champions. Today, they signed a 44-year-old fan who won a Papa John's contest.
Play up, Pompey.
Rob Phillips entered the Sign For Your Club competition, which was organized by the Football League and offered the winner the chance to sign with his favorite club, but it wasn't a "player for a day" signing. Phillips got a real contract and real signing.
"It’s amazing to have signed for the club that I have supported since I was a boy," Phillips said. "The lads have treated me well and it’s an honour that I’m now an official member of the squad.
"I chose squad number 44 as it was my 44th birthday on Saturday – I couldn’t have wished for a better birthday present!"
Phillips' squad number is real, he will be named in the matchday programme for the rest of the season as an official member of the team and he'll get to feel woefully out of shape and old when he trains with the club for a day. He also gets tickets to every match for the rest of the season, a personalized kit and, of course, free pizza for a year.
Nothing says professional footballer like a pizza a day. Just ask Benni McCarthy.
Portsmouth have been a financial mess for years, repeatedly going into administration and dropping from the top flight to League 2, but fans are just happy to still have their team after it was threatened with liquidation. Plus, Papa John's gave them £20,000 as part of the contest too, so Pompey can make it rain now.