Football

Conor Wilkinson.

What happened to the lad Portsmouth released in 2016 for not singing initiation song

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Imagine joining a new club and playing 20 minutes before being released a couple of days later - doesn't sound like something that happens very often, right?

Well, that's exactly what 23-year-old Conor Wilkinson went through on loan at Portsmouth two years ago.

Wilkinson, whose parent club was Bolton Wanderers at the time, moved to Fratton Park in March 2016 until the end of the season.

He had only been at Pompey for a day but on the team bus heading to Plymouth for the League Two play-off semi-final, he was told he had to sing an initiation song.

Initiations are common practice at English football clubs, whereby players have to sing in front of their teammates and, put simply, embarrass themselves.

But Wilkinson didn't feel comfortable singing in front of a group of men he didn't know, so he refused.

And what happened? A few days later, then-Portsmouth manager Paul Cook sent him packing back to Bolton. Brutal.

"I wouldn't sing," Wilkinson told KentOnline recently, per FourFourTwo. "I had been there for a day, I felt awkward in front of the lads.

Portsmouth v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League Two

"I said to him (Cook) that I would have happily paid the fine or done something instead of sing. It was pretty awkward to have sang in front of 20 lads.

"I wouldn’t have minded had I been there for a few days or so, but after one day he wanted me to sing and I wasn't very comfortable with it. I didn't want to sing and he sent me back.

"I have nothing against the club; they have a good fan base and the fans sing their hearts out. It just obviously wasn't the right place at the right time for me."

So what's happened to Wilkinson since his Portsmouth nightmare? In the summer of 2016, he joined Chesterfield on a six-month loan before returning to Bolton.

Bolton Wanderers v Vitesse Arnhem - Pre Season friendly

Gillingham then signed the young striker on a two-year deal last summer and on Saturday just gone, he finally got his revenge on Portsmouth.

In the 46th minute at Fratton Park, with Gillingham losing 1-0 to Pompey, Wilkinson was brought on to change the game; two minutes later, he scored the equaliser.

Gillingham went on to win 3-1, which meant they leapfrogged their opponents in the League One table, and it was all because of Portsmouth reject Wilkinson. Karma at its very best.

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Topics:
Portsmouth
Premier League
England Football
Gillingham
Football

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