Ode to the Leeds United of 2015 – by Rob Atkinson

Leeds United 2015

Leeds United 2015

Having received a review copy of Jon Howe’s new book “The Only Place For Us: An A-Z History of Elland Road” today, the first thing that struck me was a poem by Jason Stevens entitled Leeds United 1987. I won’t reproduce it here, in case that’d be unwisely illegal – but I’m sure you can Google it. In fact, I know you can. It’s well worth a read, not least for the way it captures the Leeds fan experience of almost thirty years ago. I was inspired to produce an updated, doggerel version, which I’ve published below. It’s sort of “the continuing story – up to date”.

Any other budding poets (or limericists) do feel free to comment with your own literary efforts.

A review of Jon Howe’s excellent-looking book will appear here, and possibly elsewhere, as soon as I’ve had the chance to read it.

Leeds United 2015 – by Rob Atkinson

(with apologies to Messrs Stevens & Howe)

Tallest floodlights now long gone
Plastic seats to sit upon
No more standing, no more crush
Three course meals and corporate plush


Robot turnstiles, insert card
Behave yourselves or else you’re barred
Pricey programmes, balti pies
Players’ wages on the rise


Segregation, us and them
GFH and Bates FM
Massimo, Italian gent
Football League insist he’s bent


Massive East Stand sparsely filled
Was it worth the cost to build
West stand, Elland Road and Kop
The dreary trudge back to the top


Fanzine culture, made its mark
Fanned an anti-fascist spark
Noel Blake and Vince Hilaire
Strength and power, skill and flair


Social media, Twitter Whites
Blogs and Facebook bragging rights
Damned United, streaming live
Merchandise subscription drive


Still the passion, still the pain
Sunshine, thunder, wind or rain
Come what may we’re always there
Dirty Leeds – our cross to bear

18 responses to “Ode to the Leeds United of 2015 – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Love it and very, very true.


  2. whiterhino

    Not everyday is littered with sun,
    With patience set to flee and run,
    Clouds and bitter winds abound,
    Resolve, gile, pride….. our ground?
    All makes us stronger and wish to fight,
    I wake each dawn still a proud white.
    On the hallowed turf they barely cope,
    And then “cioa Bella”…. Dare to hope?


  3. Neil Redfearns being tough
    The Italian players are getting the huff
    All they do is moan and groan
    Too be honest we prefer home grown

    Byram, Mowatt & Lewis Cook
    are the players to which we look
    to get fans singing long & loud
    and once again make us proud


  4. Most poetry paints a picture and that does the trick for me rob ,,,

    (Although I think the east stand is worth the cost , we’ll need the space !!( One day)


  5. Ropey Wyla

    Of these colours, we doth bleed,
    no matter what, we will succeed,
    we’re bigger than the football league,
    above their shameful lies and greed,
    our return is guaranteed,
    there is no Premiership without Leeds.


  6. oldcomrade

    Bloody hell, every one waxing lyrical on here today, having said that i must admit i had a bit of a song in my heart and the hint of a tear in my eye when i got to the car park after the game Saturday and a millwall fans car had spewed its life giving radiator fluid on the deck.


  7. Stratford upon Avon for your holiday this year Rob?


  8. Been there once won,t go again i found the place a snobs paradise a real tory hell hole.So its Amsterdam for me this summer cant wait.


  9. A brilliant rhyme Rob, but you forgot to mention the South Stand and South East Corner. So what about –
    The South Stand is the new place to sing
    The Kop has gone quiet and is no longer King.
    South East Corner Stand, there’s nobody there
    Away fans in the West Stand, that’s totally unfair.
    Hey, this rhyming business is easy, if only I could make a living out of it !


  10. From the Gelderd End I saw Currie’s blinder,
    and Elland Road still serves as a reminder
    of glorious triumphs and heartbeaking failure
    felt big-time even here in Australia.

    Let down for years by self-serving owners,
    it’s easy to become one of the moaners.
    But now and then the future looks bright
    and our hopes once more burn bright.

    The promise of better days keeps us dreaming
    of seeing the streets of Beeston teeming
    with hordes of Leeds fans young and old
    – even from far-away lands I’m told!

    Making their pilgrimage to roar on the boys;
    to sing and shout and make lots of noise!
    Out on the pitch the Whites write the story:
    Ups and downs, but ending with glory!

    MOT lads and lasses.


  11. Rob, you should submit your poem to the Football Poets website, its good!


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