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Portsmouth’s record signing once left the club to watch the Ashes in Australia

Rory Allen left Pompey stumped by his bizarre decision back in 2002

Here’s a lighthearted story to tickle that Friday feeling.

Imagine your record signing suddenly hands in his resignation for seemingly no apparent reason, eight months before his contract is meant to terminate.


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And then you discover that the logic behind the decision is so he can literally go and watch England play cricket in Australia.

Well that’s exactly what happened to Portsmouth back in 2002.

Allen cost Portsmouth £1m from Spurs

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Allen cost Portsmouth £1m from Spurs

Pompey broke their club record transfer fee to sign Rory Allen for £1m from Tottenham in 2009, with the striker duly becoming the south coast side’s first ever million-pound player.

That’s a quite a bit of money in those days.

But Allen’s Portsmouth career never fulfilled its potential – and it ended in the most bizarre circumstances.

In November 2002, Allen randomly tended his resignation to the shock of the club despite having eight months left on his contract.

England were thrashed 4-1 by Australia

Reuters
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England were thrashed 4-1 by Australia

His reason? To go and watch England in the Ashes Down Under.

Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie said: “We don’t know where he’s gone, he hasn’t been seen.

“We assume he’s gone to Australia.”

15 years on, we still reckon it might be the strangest retirement announcement in history.


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