‘I don’t think he felt valued’ - Former Portsmouth boss reveals how 45-goal striker slipped out of Blackpool’s grasp to seal Fratton Park move

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Colby Bishop has enjoyed an impressive campaign with Portsmouth- but was very nearly a Blackpool player before his move to Fratton Park.

The former Accrington Stanley striker scored 21 times in League One in the most recent season to help Pompey on their way to the title, as well as taking his personal tally for the club up to 45 in 100 appearances.

Prior to his move to the south coast, Bishop had come incredibly close to joining the Seasiders ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, with former Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley revealing the 27-year-old was in the changing room at Bloomfield Road when he made a u-turn.

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“With Colby, we went into that window without a number nine and were waiting to create funds through Marcus Harness leaving (Ipswich), that then gave the finance to sign him,” he told the News.

“Before we arrived, the club had probably made some mistakes in the transfer market with some fees for the previous forwards. John (Marquis) and Ellis (Harrison) hadn’t really worked out.

“However, it looked like Colby was going to Blackpool. He was sitting in their changing room waiting for a medical, the manager had gone home and there wasn’t anybody really to welcome him.

“I don’t think he felt valued, yet he knew we were really, really keen. Colby changed his mind and then we got the call from his agent asking whether we’d still be interested. Absolutely.

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“I understood why Colby wanted to go to Blackpool at the time, they were in the Championship and it was a real ambition of his to play at that level.

“His medical there wasn't straightforward, he’d had some injury issues which slowed Blackpool’s deal. They had sent him for some scans and something showed up, so they wanted him to see a specialist - and we got in-between it.

“My best friend is a doctor and we always use him in that capacity, he’s a genius and we have a lot of trust in him. There was no big concern from us. When we did Colby’s medical, we were pleased with what we saw - a really robust athlete.

"I got Simon Bassey to drive to pick him up from London, we didn’t want him kidnapped along the way, so he was chaperoned into Portsmouth! He got in really late at night.

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“We had a friendly against Bognor that evening, so I had one eye on the game and one eye on my phone. I had to leave the dug-out to take a call at one point during the first half. He’s proven to be a fantastic signing for the club.”

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