The rivalry between Southampton football club and Portsmouth FC is as fierce and intense as other well-known English football rivalries such as the age-long Liverpool -Manchester rivalry or the North London derby.
However, unlike these other rivalries that are due to say, both clubs been in the same city, as is the case of Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC in the north London rivalry, and the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool; or a battle of supremacy as seen between Man United and Liverpool.
The bad blood between the Saints – as Southampton is also called and Pompey – the alias for Portsmouth isn’t because they share the same city or fighting to accrue more league successes than the other.
It goes way back in history. In fact, there have been several theories put forward as to when and how this bitter rivalry started. Not to be underestimated, the biggest fans are also placing bets on their teams’ victories every chance they get. If you need a break from football betting, try playing some casino games with MultiLotto bonus code 2018.
To actually, understand how it all began, it’s important to take a look at where both teams are located.
Portsmouth and Southampton are both southern coastal cities 17 miles apart with ports though entirely different; hence, you may hear a match between both teams referred to as the South coast derby or Hampshire derby.
The question begging for an answer is: If they aren’t in the same city, don’t, most times play in the same division, why then, is there such a palpable sense of tension when both teams meet?
Well, according to one theory, the root of the rivalry isn’t in the first place tied to football. Centuries ago, after the Titanic tragedy in 1912, the Southampton sailors refused to offer help to the stranded crew of the sister ship of the ill-fated Titanic.
But, the Portsmouth crew helped, which of course, was resented by the Southampton workers.
This story, however, is unlikely, since as recently as the 70’s; supporters of both clubs would travel to watch each other’s matches. It’s plausible to think that the football hooliganism that swept across the country in the 60’s and 70’s has much to do with this rivalry than anything else.
Both clubs have aliases, Portsmouth also called the Pompey in regards to the city and Southampton also known as the saints in tribute to St. Mary’s Church that founded the football club.
However, supporters from opposing teams have derisive names they call each other. For instance, the Pompey fans will always refer to the Southampton supporters as Scum or Scummers while the Saint’s supporters will retaliate by called them Skates.
Funnily, these banters have a long history behind them. It’s believed that the scum is an acronym for Southampton City Union Men, and is alleged to have developed when dock workers from Southampton broke a strike action by their colleagues from Portsmouth.
In the past, skate fish is used by Royal naval officers, who have been at sea for a long time, to relieve sexual frustrations. The Saints fans, adopted that as a derisive name for Portsmouth supporters.
So, there you have the low down on one of English football’s fiercest rivalry.