John Peel RIP Tributes + Kicking It Out In London With The Football Poets..

Hi All…

1.JOHN PEEL R.I.P (Poems from the site)
The sad news of John Peel’s passing inspired 5 poems by Clik,Parry,Peter,Alan and myself on the site.I just wanted to keep them here a wee-while longer.I don’t know which was his first love in Life..Liverpool or music..or Sheila (Pig) his kids, or new bands or just people… but he was one in a million..


Just also back from the third in a series of Football Poetry Workshops in London on the Importance of Black Role Models In Football…
.(..thanks to Peter Daniels,John & Marysia at Westminster City Council & Michael Cole at Chelsea FC..)……Peter’s ‘report’ on the first workshop follows at the very end of all the poems,(bottom of page) so that the connection with Paul Canoville (Chelsea’s first much derided black player ) and Arthur Wharton (first professional black player) all makes sense.
1JOHN PEEL RIP. – 5 Poems In Tribute……

BIG JOHN (Haiku)

The cry of the kop
Is now one magic voice short,
For Big John is gone.

© Alan McKean October 2004

For John Peel.
Thanks for those Incredible String Band days John



Lying in my bed,
With the set beside my head,
Fumbling for the dial when I heard my mother’s tread.
When ten o’clock came round,
I knew just where you would be found,
The record player turned off for that rock and reggae sound.
It seemed to be a rule,
For you to mention Liverpool,
Your dry laconic humour the epitome of cool.
And when the Reds had won,
You might inject a bit of fun,
A pride in your home city that was never overdone.
But music was your passion
Whether in and out of fashion,
And every night I tuned you in to get my daily ration.
And you sullied not each platter
With some aimless, mindless chatter,
Confirming that the music overshadowed any patter.
But I’m very much afraid
To say I very rarely stayed
Awake despite the new, exciting music that you played.
And next morning I’d awake
To my mother’s urgent shake,
With the radio beside me hiss-hiss-hissing like a snake.

Grandad, mam and dad,
Shaped out the childhood that I had,
Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee moved me when I was a lad,
And that ’77 summer
That revolved around Joe Strummer,
Twenty quid a week and the economists were glummer.
All those teenage dreams are dead,
And the thoughts torment my head,
And I’m much too old for rock ‘n’ roll, as Johnny Thunders said.
And you too now are gone,
And I sorely miss you John,
And I thank you for the memories I now look back upon.

Peter Goulding 29th October 2004


Farewell John
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Shake hands in heaven with
Shankly, Joe and Bob
And then hug Sid Vicious eh….
You’re all somethin’ else.

(Why is it Heaven has all the greats…………
and we get left with Margaret Thatcher?)

@Parry Maguire Oct 04
JOHN PEEL RIP / John Ravencroft, R.I.P.

You can almost hear him say it,
in his own languid, lovable tone :

“He was one of a kind,
was Peely”

Then hear him modestly chiding
At the riff of tears
Dancing down our cheeks
Yet paradoxically
With the recently maligned, Liverpool Way
For this genuine outpouring of grief
Is shared nationwide

He was like everyone’s favourite uncle
Only with more street cred
He was many people’s favourite football fan –
Even if you weren’t a Liverpool Red

I’ll end this tribute
With an argument
That it’s not just anagramatically
That we can propose
John Peel
As the Pele of his field

God Bless, John
Rock in Peace

© Clik the mouse, 26th October 2004

John Ravencroft, R.I.P.



what now with John Peel gone?
a minute’s silence
at Anfield and beyond
might seem too short
for one who played a different game
with Red in his heart
often with his beloved team off playing elsewhere
while he’d be stuck at work in some studio
doing his thing
but hankering for scores
what now and why?

for who here remembers
that young Scouser lilt
the sixties to now – filling the airwaves
with vocal and musical euphoria
on nights of Liverpool triumphs
and sorrowed tones on rare defeats
what now and why?

nursing me with Cohen, Third Ear Band, Dylan and Gibran
through growing years
of silly far-out dreams
tuning in and dropping by
on long nights when incense burned
in studio and bed-sits
of yesteryear –

you and I
so much younger then –
but me busy trying to find myself
hitching and washing dishes
in Istanbul and Morocco..
and you on weekends
driving long hours to strange supposed dj gigs
but slinging on T-Rex un-warned and unannounced –
what now and why?

what now in these digital must-have days
and ‘me-me’ nights
so far from sixties moments
when butteflies bells and flares
welcomed in that Perfumed Garden
and midnight dreams
from Pirate Radio to Medicine Head
from La Flute Indienne to Beefheart
from T-Rex and Donovan
The Fall to Home Truths

on autumn days in Holland Park
discussing the trees of London
or evenings shrouded in purple haze
that found Ginsburg, John,Yoko,Bolan and you
hanging out at Indica Bookshop
writing and reading poetry out loud
to cross-legged dreamers in their teens
getting fluffy and radical – angry and loved-up
before the words were common..
no guru you
but how you influenced loads..
what now and why?

and you frequenting the Arts Lab
forever caught at badly run early festivals
checking out new bands
no – not for you
the usual celeb nightlife haunts of the night
no John that wasn’t you..
so what now and why?

and your column in International Times
embracing the hopes of an age
so strong – so idealisitic – so like the times
but mocked for its folly
and like you..gone
so what now and why?

who else to shine a torch for the new
the different ?
always looking listening
your taste eclectic electric
from mellow to hectic

and meeting you down muddy lanes
on one too many Glastonburys
searching still
for some new band to tout and wave
for no financial gain –

and all those long-gone Sundays In Concert
live – on our rubbish old valve radio
in hippy cottages
on bygone drop-out rainy valley daze

the IT guy
that was you John..
buried in endless piles of demos
from streams of hopeless hopefuls..
who will like me
gasp at this news..
a fair few music lovers
I’ll be bound –
not to mention
your dear wife Sheila
your children
hundreds of eternally grateful bands
endless enrapt listeners
old hippies
Liverpool and all footie fans
the whole of Radio Four
Three Two One and Five
and that’s just for starters
shine on John –
but in our hearts forever..

but what now and why?

@Crispin Thomas Oct 04
EDGWARE RD Church St Library-Tues Oct 19th
North Westminster Community School.

First up my personal faves of the Edgware Rd Football Poetry Kick It Out/Making A Difference session..easily the toughest session .. 35 kids- small room..noise levels at football stadium proportions…interesting for a library! (.probably not helped by my introducing the casio- rap vibe! ..but it raised the energy levels and a few teachers eyes!) The first ones are by students who not only produced spontaneous raps, but also had the nerve to got up and read them with gusto in front of their mates..not easy with street-cred and goody-goody quips like “Wannabee” rife! Check out some of their unusual street-term rhymes, phrases and words.i’m now enlightened..on ‘macks’ and ‘mini-coops’!.


His name is Pele
He was strong
With his play
He proved them wrong
They threw bananas and other fruits
But they couldn’t riuin his mini-coop!

What he had – they couldn’t take
His heart – his soul just would not break

Everyone hated him because he was black
But he never believed in being a ‘mack’

Adham Mohammed -9M4 NWC School


Every Single Day – Paul Canoville

Paul Canoville
Could’ve been very ill
By horrible racist comments
He couldn’t even find a place to rent.
Being foulded all over the pitch
Just because of his black race –
The Chelsea manager would hardly let him play
But Paul stood his ground every single day
Throwing bananas at Paul Canoville
He could’ve been very ill

Kofi 7MS MWC



Wake up wake up – I hear your name
Racism is not allowed in our game
In come the players all white and bold
Giving it al’ that’s what i’ve been told
Hate is not hte answer – only love can conquer all
Tell me how to change things – and i will make the call..

Arman/MS Jackson Brown


one two is my name
and i don’t give no shame
my name’s Henry
and I play my game

some people say
that i lead the way
i’m a role model
for black people today

Mickey 7MS NWC School
SOL -Rap

Sol Campbell has got a great head
He’s the best defender – everybody said
He defends the players from the other team
The fans chant racism they’re so mean –

When he has the ball he clears it away
The fans go mad they’ve got loads to say
Although they are racist Sol don’t care
Portugal cheated in the Euros but we are fair!

Kelly –

Couldn’t play any better
Had to keep going
Even in bad weather
Laugh at the people who try tot put them down
Say back to them “No racism in this town”
Everyday we play again
And then we try and win win win!

Mohammed 9 MI NWC School

Edgar David-Acrostic

Everyone hates me because I’m black
Don’t you dare cuss me
Go quickly before you get beat
Anyway I’m the best
Ronaldo always thinks he’s better
Do you really wanna be a champion
Alwayspeople boo at me
Victory is my aim
I’m ther strongest in my team
David – David go for it!


HENRY – Acrostic

Henry plays for France and Arsenal
Everytime he plays he has the ball
Never loses it
Rooney can never defeat Henry not even
You can!

Hannah Walsh 7M5


CARLOS – Acrostic (Roberto)

Come and play
And we are just one
Respect football it is fun
Like music
Over and over again
Stars are playing

Aicha Gasmi

Henry -Acrostic

Henry tries his best
Even though people are booing
No-one likes Henry because he’s black
Running fast he scores

Jowana NWC


Jowana -Acrostic (On Playing Women’s Soccer)

Jowana’s the best
Owen tires to win it from me
Will you win the match?
An alien can’t even win it from me!
No-one likes me…but
A goal is shot by Jowana!

Jowana NWC


COLE- (Andy) Acrostic

Cole plays for England and Arsenal
On the pitch he’s a star
Loser the crowd yells
Even when he scores.

Baharak NWC


2. PADDINGTON Library Sat Oct 16 2004.

The King

Today you wear a golden crown on your head
BUT back in 1982 it was a banana skin,
Your family come from Jamaica
Red, yellow, green, blue, orange
Are the colours that represent you.
You got the “arm”
From your own loyal fans!?
But some Paul cheered you on!
You even got a goal now you’re a role model for the future
Now you’re our King!!

-Mayran Barrow Hill Primary School
The First Black Chelsea Player

The first black Chelsea player
And he was very good

A fast running striker
With a flair for scoring goals

But the fans, arms outstreched
The monkey chants and banana skin threats, but he didn’t care

And he became a hero
The True Blue Wonder

Out of Windrush
His family came from Jamaica

Shivering outside in the freezing cold
While they were looking for a room

Knocking on the doors and ringing the bells
But behind the big net curtains eyes of hate

The knew about no smoking and fog

-Riyadh Reiad
Barrow Hill Junior


Luther Blissett
Wow man
You couldn’t kiss it

He used to score goals for Watford
Then he played for England
And then he played abroad

Inter Milan signed him up
The San Siro became his stage
But shucks he never won a cup

One of the best footballers in England
When he retired
He joined an anarchist band

John Hughes Westminster Libraries!
If Arthur Was Alive…..

If Arthur was alive
He would’ve loved it
He’d have loved every bit

He didn’t get a chance
When the England players were chosen THEN
He didn’t get a glance

It’s the World Cup 2002
England opener against Sweden

The first time ever, we saw this sight,
There were six players black and five players white.

First there’s Rio
King of the trio

Then come Dyer
As fast as fire
We all love Cole
Who makes the goals

The striker Heskey
Comes to the recue

In the centre Sinclair
Every game he’s there.

But when we got the goal
It was down to Sol

Arthur would have been so proud
Would love to be sitting in the crowd.

-Rayhan Uddin, St. Augustines


And Now Some ‘Acrostics’ …

Paul Canoville – acrostic

Playing for Chelsea, being so brave,
At least you scored before your grave
Ugly fans as can be
Leaped from their seats and swore at me

Carrying a bag full of racist words
Always seeing ugly nerds
Never listening to the fans
Over the huge scrawny stands
Very confident on the pitch
Imaginative with football tricks
Leaving the racists right behind
Leading the way for mankind
Everyday now, we remember you – thank you Paul.

-Muhamed Ali, Hallfield Jur.


Hasselbank was my favourite player
A super footballer
Star what a
Striker too!
Each time he strikes the ball
Like a bullet it
Blasts out the back of the net
And Arsenal are five goals down
In floods of tears, Arsenal fans
Notice that their team are RUBBISH!
Knowing they’ve lost the premier league to CHELSEA!!!

-Bethany Hawke, Barrow Hill


PAUL – acrostic

Played for Chelsea on the 12th of April in 1982

A fast running striker with a flare for scoring spectacular goals

Used to get booed and people used to throw banana skins

Like noble trees in a rushing wind, he faced that choice to stand or bend

-Abdul Kasirifu, Queen’s Park Primary School


Paul Canoville, black and proud
Also hated by some of the crowd
Under pressure from the racist fans
Look at the evil raised hands

Chelsea champion, hero and super!
A brave and powerful blue and white trooper
Never given a chance to play for England
Oh what an incredible winger
Very speedy on the wind, he’s on a mission
In the game he was like a magician
Lanky and representative not a hater
Loyal, and not a traitor
End of my career, tomorrow I’m becoming a pensioner

-Petrit Kasobagi


Playing for winning the game
Always scoring for Chelsea
Using his power to show he is good
Leader of the big team

Could do anything to be a champion
A Chelsea cup hero for all the decent
Never gave up
Or back down to the racism.
Vile salutes through banana skin threats
Intelligent player.
Lonely sitting on the bench
Loved by other fans.
Every one will support the man in blue.

-Haya Aldlame, Hallfield School.


Played for Chelsea
Acknowledged by no one
Unmistakably good, yet never played
Lakes and seas of skill in his great boots

Could do anything, when on the ball
And scoring striker of nature
Never quited though
Oh be quiet you racist fans
Vile people
In the crowd
Lost in the screaming shouts of people
Lost in a lonely world
E-mazingly good

-Laith Cahill, Barrow Hill (10)


Arthur was born in Ghana
Really pressured so gave up and become an alcoholic
Talented athlete, set a new world record for 100yds in 10 seconds. His father was half Scottish and half Grenadian
Used to play as a goalie, but got taken out by Bill Fatty Foulke
Really hard for him to fit in.

-Arthur Kasirivu, Queen’s Park Primary School


PAUL – acrostic

People didn’t accept him
And at first didn’t give him a chance
Unexpected brilliance
Lead him to his fame

-Edie Connealy, Barrow Hill


Playing for Chelsea also brave
A hated player because he was black
Ugly fans as can be
Lethal with a ball

Canoville you’re
At least you silenced when you scored
Never been distracted by his colour
Or listened to them words but gave his all
Very talented
I believe
Lots of people wanted him to
Except me!!

-Danielle Hayman Boscio Hallfield School, Age 11


PELE – acrostic

Played like a superstar
Everyone remembers him
Leads from the front
Everyone’s dream team player, PELE

Ben Cornford, Barrowhill School

Paul Canoville- acrostic

Playing for the team
Always supporting others
United with spirit
Loving and caring

Courageous and true
Allowing others to score
Never letting people down
Other fans let him down
Very proud of what he’s done
Lively and energetic
Leading the team
Ever remembered Paul Canoville

-Ellesse Stewart, Age 11

Canoville- acrostic

Cant go on in this state
And really really hates this world
Never ever reject his colour
Or question his right to play for the club
Vile words in his head
It will never be forgotten
Look at the sieg heil salutes
Loving the old time in Jamaica
End of my career Chelsea pensioned me off.


-Cosmo Taylor, Edward Wilson school

Paul Canoville- acrostic

Playing for Chelsea, you didn’t mind
Although they were chanting with their racist minds
Ugly as can be
Losing your head in racist chants

Canoville, you took the racist glance
Attacked by words, you tried your best
Never listened to the racist rest
Oh racist people shut your mouths
Very confident everyday
Increasingly strong, by the way
Leading with clean thoughts
Everyone will remember you in these Chelsea shorts.

-Tarik Hassane, Halfield Junior School


Paul Canoville- acrostic

Played for Chelsea
Always a blue
Under Pressure against racist people
Left on the bench on the very first game

Chelsea Cup hero
A true blue wonder!
Now would you stand or bend
Other people threatening Paul
Vile salutes through banana skin
I and my color will stand up front
Lonely on the bench
Love to play.
Every time stand up for himself.

– Norbert Cozema, Essendine Primary age 10


PIMLICO Library Oct 9 2004.
Poems on the theme of the Role of Black Role Models In Football…

Arthur Wharton

First black man to play in Britain
Found it hard to try and fit in
Fastest man the world could know
Record sprinter but stuck in goal
Not good enough for England because he was black
But I think he’s the best and that’s a fact
He came from Ghana and here found fame
Buried, unmarked, no gravestone, no name.

Benji Marfo aged 10
St Gabriel’s School
The First Black Player for Chelsea

Your family came over on the Windrush
From the hot beautiful Jamaica
To the grim grey London
Knocking on doors trying to find somewhere to live
But all they found was
So unwelcome but they didn’t give up
But neither did you Paul

It’s the twelfth of April 1982
Your Chelsea debut
Warming up at Crystal Palace
Chelsea fans were screaming their malice
Making you feel unwelcome
But what could you do Paul?
Stand or Bend?
You stood firm Paul
You never gave up
You’re my hero Paul
You’re my role model

Nadine Charlemagne aged 10
Westminster Cathedral RC Primary
‘Didier Drogba’

He’s fast and furious
He’s the hitman for the blues
He’s a skillful player
Win or lose

He’s like a spider
Catch him if you can
Waiting to pounce
He’s a good packer man

He’s a giant in the air
He’s black and he’s proud
And when he scores
I scream out loud.

Jed Faulkner, 10, St Matthew’s Primary

Holland is his country
And Middlesborough is his club
Striker, strong and skillful
Stupendous super-sub
Long fast distance runner
Emirates flew him high
Blue was his team, but now he wears red
A single touch and then a goal
Nutmeg’s defenders on the way to the box
Knocks it over the keeper at the last tick of the clock

Connor Clark, 10, St Peter’s Eaton Square
William Gallas

World class player
I believe
Lots of pain
Lightning speed
International for fans
Always on defence
Much loved by Chelsea fans

Goalkeepers don’t have to move
Always strong and steady
London blues
Legend at Chelsea
Always stopping strikers
Stamford Bridge

James Rees, 10, St Matthew’s
Paul Canoville

Played for Chelsea
Always a blue
Unhappy, not wealthy
Loved by a few

Could always play football
And played on the wing
Never was bad
And known as a king
Very sad because of bullies
Ignorant and racist, STOP!
Leave me alone, you cowards
Even know, I made it to the top.

Siphiwe Musumga, 10, St Matthew’s School
Paul Canoville
Paul’s family came from Jamaica and had a hard time too,
Just as Paul had on his debut
They came off the Windrush and looked for a room,
But there were signs saying, ‘No blacks, no Irish, no dogs.’
They could have given up just like you could have, Paul
But you were so brave
To stick up for the blues.
You did it in spite of the chants and the boos.

Elsie Gray and Clare Manning, 10, Westminster Cathedral School
Paul Canoville

Penalties will end the game
All blue men with make us proud
Unhappy and great
Lunge and shoot

Can always play a wonderful game
Alone, but good
Nothing will stop him from being a blue
Open and ready
Volley a goal to win the game
I and my colour will stand up front
Lonely on the subs bench at Crystal Palace
Lacking love by some and praised by others
Everyone will know he is a true blue.

Bobbie Wells, 10, St Matthew’s CE Primary
‘Thierry Henry’

Tricky, talented
He’s the best black player for me
It brought him pain
European Best Footballer of the Year
Runs at defenders
Ready for actions
Yes, he plays for Arsenal
He’s fast and skilled
Never stop fighting
You see him getting booed, but he’s the man for me.

Rianna Fergus, 8, St Peter’s Eaton Square

Chelsea player
Abused for playing football
Now he’s at the top
Of the league
Victim of colour
Ignorance from another
Little bit famous
Liked by a few
Everyone remembers Chelsea’s first black player.

Besart Zymberi, 10, Millbank

‘Paul Canoville’

I saw the salutes
By my own blue-shirted fans,
I saw their anger
Through their pointed hands
I thought that they liked me
But now I know they don’t support me
because of the colour of my skin
Now I’m going to fight for black people’s rights
from this day in
Because I’m a player, not because of my colour,
give me a chance and give me a cheer.

Isabel O’Callaghan, 10, St Matthews

‘Thiery Henry’

Thiery Henry, he’s gone so far
Everybody knows he’s a star
For Arsenal, he scores lots of hatrics (?)
In the game he does all the tricks.
It’s not nice being an alien;
All black footballers know it’s a pain.
All the horrible racists in the crowd
STOP NOW, ‘cause everybody knows
What goes around, comes around.
Thiery Henry doesn’t deserve to be abused,
He’s here to cheer, play football, and keep the crowds amused,
Voted European footballer of the year.

Jay, Pimlico
About the Workshops…

Chelsea FC Education through Football/Kick it out Campaign
‘Making a Difference’

As part of the Chelsea FC Education though Football programme, children from 17 Westminster Primary schools have been looking at the lives of two black footballers during ‘Kick it Out’ week. Westminster Archives Education Officer, Peter Daniel ran sessions in all of the schools on two players, Arthur Wharton and Paul Canoville. Arthur was the first black footballer in Britain, but first became famous when he set a new world record for the 100 yard dash at Stamford Bridge in 1886. This was nearly 20 years before football came to the ground in 1905. The children were then taken forward nearly a hundred years to the 12th April 1982 to hear the story of Chelsea’s first black player, Paul Canoville and his debut at Crystal Palace. Both players faced quite shocking prejudice and discrimination but in the way they triumphed over adversity they helped to ‘make a difference’ for every black player that followed them.

To celebrate Arthur and Paul’s lives, children were given the chance to come to Pimlico Library on Saturday 9th October and Paddington Children’s Library on the 16th October and given the opportunity to work with the Football Poets. Crispin Thomas, Ted Smith-Orr and Elliott ‘EllJay’ Joseph. They helped to inspire the kids to write poetry and they then had a chance to sit down with artist Marysia Lachowicz to incorporate these words into ‘pop-art’ style posters featuring the images of the two players concerned. On 4th November one child from each school will be attending a poetry slam at the Cockpit Theatre, London NW8 so that we can find Chelsea’s champion poem from ‘Kick it Out’ week.


Source: http://footballpoets.org/news/2004/10/28/john-peel-rip-tributes-kicking-it-out-in-london-with-the-football-poets/