Swapping Shirts With Shakespeare -The Book-News Up-Date + Kicking it Out with The Football Poets


1 Swapping Shirts With Shakespeare – The Book News Up-Date!
2.Kicking It Out with The Football Poets In London-Review+Poems
1.Swapping Shirts With Shakespeare – The Book News Up-Date!

In answer to Andy’s questions (which follow)and other recent messages received about just what is happening with the SSWS-Football Poets Collection (our first ever book to be published)
Q:Anyone got any news about SSWS?

A;Don’t scream! We are still in the process of finalising publication and confirmation of the publisher.We are currently talking to and working with 2 at the moment. Expect an announcement shortly Editor

Q:is the book still going ahead

A:Yes. 2005 publication.Having never looked for a publisher or published before, it’s true to say we completely under-estimated the time and effort and work required. Editor

Q: if so where are the team at with it?

A: All poems and quotes of support and 99% of artwork in place – currently finalising permission to include some great accompanying pics- Editor

Q: there have been no new posts on the SSWS site for ages,

A:you’re right ..sorry.. but I guess sometimes comments and continuous apologies from a humble collection of poets/football lovers of words and the game (which is what we are really in essence).. like absence and poor-time-keeping…only makes the anticipation and intrigue stronger (apparently…we hope !) Editor.

Q:which people are involved?

A:there are mainly three people actually involved in getting the book published,myself (in Stroud),Clik Ireland) and Michael (In Belgium) with assistance from a dozen other committed football poets.There are 10-11 poets whose work will be featured..Poets will appear in sections which Clik and I compiled to increase interest and variety. .We had to make one or two enforced changes.The final list of poets and poems will be announced shortly ..please watch this

Q:Is there a date for the book?

A;Currently Early-Mid 2005.(but definitely 2005)subject to publisher and Football Poets Marketing schedule – Editor

Editor’s Overall Comment

Bringing out this book sometimes feels like that infamous saga when the now defunct Stone Roses took years over their mega-funded, long awaited and multi-delayed follow up album.Un-like the Roses we are un-funded ,short-‘staffed’ and still close to confirming a decent publisher.

Whilst all the poems are in place, and we would have loved to bring out the book in October for Christmas, (which in hindsight was totally “prematurely announced”, we have decided to concentrate all our efforts into bringing out the book to tie in with our 5th anniversary in 2005 (the site was launched for Euro 2000)…. and also to celebrate 5000 poems (coming soon!).

I can also confirm that the artwork is currently being slight re-vamped to reflect this (for front and back by Mat), and that we will be including photographic images plus quotes of support from Tom Finney,Graham Kelly, Kick It Out, Steve Wickham(The Waterboys) Chelsea FC,Westminster City Council ,The Big Issue,Radio 4, 4-2,When Saturday Comes etc.;

In addition of course, there is much to be done to the site itself.Plans still exist ,after endless work on categories and headings by Clik, to eventually get all the poems to automatically lock into headings and sections..forever..and much more…all subject to a little support so please hang in there..

On a personal level, I was sidelined for 18 months and really did not have the time or inclination, to respond to some quite negative messages which started to filter into the guest book of an associated site.My wife was critically ill for that whole period, rendering me largely unavailable, and is only now just starting to recover.

I am back on the planet though now ..and since gigging again and undertaking recent football poetry workshops with kids at Chelsea FC I feel very inspired. Future involvement and links with the PFA, Kick It Out,Chelsea,Charlton and Westminster Council look really promising for The Football Poets in increasing awareness to the media as a much needed publicity boost to any up-coming publciation, and I hold the feeling along with Stuart and Clik others here (hopefully ) that it is better to do it properly however long it takes.

.I admit we erred badly,in announcing it would come out on such and such a date,and for this I apologise profusely on behalf of the FPs .I just also wanted to add…once we get the poetry foot-ball machine rolling… I am confident it will be the first of many, in which we hope to debut many of the great new poets appearing on the site. (Did that sound like a certain struggling premiership manager after a 6th successive defeat?!)

For the record it’s all done mainly in the wee hours ,on a wing, a prayer,for fun,for nothing and when we can.I think that is what makes it such a great site.it could be fantastic.Millions of sections etc etc…but it is what it is..We don’t sell anything here.We should.

A book section for books by poets who appear on this site and the book SSWS is essential prior to publication.Like a good team everything has to be in place though .We all try to hold down hectic work-loads ,like yourselves I’m sure,in order to survive .Enough said.Hope this explains the situation more.

Stay tuned keep the faith.!

Crispin -Editor
The Football Poets

2.Kicking It Out with The Football Poets In London

2A:REVIEW – About the Workshops…
Chelsea FC Education through Football/Kick it out Campaign
‘Making a Difference’ Review by PETER DANIELS

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.


(Edgware Rd,Paddington & Pimlico)

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

Source: http://footballpoets.org/news/2004/11/23/swapping-shirts-with-shakespeare-the-book-news-up-date-kicking-it-out-with-the-football-poets/