By 90Min
May 31, 2018

Born: 14 September 1973, Forest Gate, England

Age: 44

Age in 2005: 31

Premier League Clubs: Charlton Athletic (1992-94), Reading (1997-2000), Portsmouth (2000-2009) 

Position: Centre back


Linvoy Primus always wanted to be a footballer. Even before he joined a club, he was smacking balls around his parents' bedroom like it was nobody's business, acting as both the attack and the defence in the imaginary arena he had created for himself. Looking back, this might be useful in explaining Primus' confusion when he whacked the ball into his own net on his debut for Portsmouth FC against Sheffield United, perhaps momentarily believing he was a class striker rather than just an average centre back. 

But things weren't always so grim for Linny. After marrying a woman called Trish and doing some GCSEs, the young defender signed for Charlton Athletic after rejecting an offer from West Ham, stating that he believed he had more chance of regular playing time with the Greenwich-based club. 

Two years and four appearances later, Greedy Prim left London in pursuit of even more game time and was duly snapped up by Third Division side Barnet who admired both him and the freeness of the transfer.

Image by Benedict Smith

(Above: Terry knew that if Prim caught a glimpse of even the green fence perimeter, he'd be gone like a shot)


Recognising Primus' appreciation for the finer things in life, the Barnet assistant coach, Terry, told the manager: "Get Linvoy now. If he goes down and sees Cardiff's stadium, he will won't be able to resist signing for them."

However, after shaking off claims of being 'the worst player to ever play for Barnet' and netting seven goals in 127 appearances, it was becoming increasingly clear that so much success could not simply be down to chance. Jesus and the Christian faith, Primo claimed, were the true causes behind his triumph as a professional footballer in the second lowest professional division in the country, as he decided to convert to Christianity and pay his respects for his fair-to-middling career. 

Yet it must have worked, because before long he made the gigantic leap from plying his trade just above the Conference League to getting relegated with Reading in the Second Division. His average of one point every six games for the club was deemed good enough for the defender, who stated, "I played well from the word go". Although in fairness he didn't specify when the word "go' had been declared, if ever.

Phil Cole/GettyImages

(Above: Linny Prim not quite believing that he's just been dispossessed.) 


Unfortunately not everyone agreed, and he was allowed to leave for Portsmouth on a free at the end of the 1999/2000 season to replace the outgoing Neil and Joe McNabs. Then, following a series of knee injuries, an own goal, a red card and a flirt with relegation Primus decided he had no choice but to get it all on paper before he forgot about it and began writing his autobiography Transformed, that mainly detailed his humble upbringing, humble family-life and humble complaining about not being paid enough money.

Then something magical happened. With Primus's injuries playing up and Pompey in the doldrums, he got some fellow church goers, including Darren Moore, to speak directly to his knee and pray it better. Linvoy announced: "At that moment I knew I was a Christian, I knew that my knee was healed and I said, 'God, I'll do whatever you want me to do." 

God, it turned out, decided that what he really wanted was for Primus to re-sign for Charlton Athletic, which he duly did, before calling a halt on his illustrious career to pursue things other things God wanted him to do, like walking the full length of the Great Wall of China and promoting signed copies of his book in Waterstones.

LOCOG/GettyImages

(Above: Opitmus Primus holds up traffic in Portsmouth town centre)


Where is he now?

Primus last appeared in the media when he conducted a bizarre interview for The Independent, using solely emails to communicate, presumably on the advice of some divine entity. 

What did he say?

"Portsmouth is an island. People forget that."


Go and follow @premclassics on Instagram for daily posts of more classic Premier League players 

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