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
Love it and very, very true.
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?
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
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)
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.
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.
Now that’s poetry!!
Stratford upon Avon for your holiday this year Rob?
Doubtful – the standard’s never been all that high there….
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.
Enjoy. South of France for me 🙂
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 !
If only, eh 😉 Nice try – but I’m loyal to the Kop since 1977…
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.
Rob, you should submit your poem to the Football Poets website, its good!
Thanks Deebo, very kind of you. I’ve actually just done that, but I’m not holding my breath…