Saying No To Racism at Reading + The Site News


These Poems were created during a recent series of Football Poets Worskhop session with Crispin and students in a packed day of 4 one-houir long workshops on “Saying No To Racism” at Reading FC Study Support Centre. Big thanks to all the students for focusing and contributing so well on the day. Keep on! Thanks too to Reading FC and to Karen for forwarding and compling all the completed poems..Crispin


Help one another
Act like a brother
Tell a friend
Racism will end

Craig Paterson


Stop racism against each other
Ask your friends to help one another
You’re never alone
No need to fight on your own
On this world we must learn to love

Don’t discriminate
There is no reason to hate
Do not get irate.

Christian Frank
Amon Dempsey


Here I shout
Kick it out
We’re gonna tell you
What it’s all about
There’s no need for bullies
They’re so mean
Why be judged
On your parents genes?

Faye Gobbi


Football is the greatest game
The world has ever seen
But there’s one thing you need to know
That something makes it mean

Racism wrecks our beautiful game
We don’t want to hear any more
Some people shout out discriminating songs
These chants make this great game a bore.

Daniel Jackson
Matthew Burden


Ranking people by their difference. It can happen to all
Against others for no reason. They think meeking is cool.
Cruel for everyone
Insane, why is it done?
So sad for those who are left alone
Mocking others because they can. Maybe because of their phone.

Dan Harrison


Racism is stupid
Racism is bad
It makes people unhappy
And it makes me feel so sad.

Racism is immature
It is so childish
And such a bore
Lets kick it out together
And even out the score.

Melissa Rock
Susanna Cann


Racism is
Cruelty often creates
Impact and
Sadness to all

Acts of
In the human
Society of


Racism is unkind
Racism is bad
If you do it to someone else
It makes the victim sad.

Some people find it funny
Some people just don’t care
So why is it important
To go and point and stare.

Just tell me why there’s discrimination
Towards the colour of our skin
I think it’s about time
To throw racism in the bin

Paul, Josh, Josef


Forget the colour
Black or white
We are one
We don’t need to fight

Racism is rubbish
Whatever it’s about
It’s hurting innocent people
So let’s pick it out!

Jordan Quanbrough


Racism, racism
Why do you do it?
Ahite, Asian, Black
It makes no difference what you lack!

Racism, racism
Why do you do it?
Ginger hair, no new flare
Don’t worry about it
Don’t shout about it
We’re here to help you not care about it.

Mebka Akhbari


Racism is wrong
So stamp it out right now
If you are being racist
Then that’s a foul

Show racism the red card
To get it sorted
The world will be a better place
But don’t be tempted to shout

You could be black, purple or blue
You could be yellow, red or white
You’re the same either way
So don’t start a fight

Shannon Sumner


Racism is unkind
Racism is bad
Do it to someone else
Makes the victim sad

Some people find it funny
Some people just don’t care
So why is it important
To go and point and stare

Just tell me why there’s discrimination
Towards the colour of my skin
I think it’s about time
To throw racism in the bin

Round it up and lock it up
And throw away the key
Crush it down and burn it down
It’s easy to you and me
Stop the hate right here, right now
Madness leads to end

Samantha MacGregor


What does it mean if you’re black or white?
Why are we fighting a silly little fight?
What does it matter
The colour of your skin?

Doug Boddington

Let’s Get Rid of Racism


Let’s get rid of racism
Once and for all
And enjoy the game
We call football

Faye Gobbi
Tahirah Andrews
Shaquriah Jeyz Sing



Racism is rude
It shouldn’t be done
No one should be racist
Not to anyone
It shouldn’t be here
It shouldn’t be here
It doesn’t deserve to stay

Nahema Ali

Poems created during a recent Worskhop session with Crispin on “Saying No To Racism” at Reading FC Study Support Centre. Big thanks to all the great students on the day for focusing, contributing so well for and taking it lal on board on the day and hopefully for the future too! Thanks too to reading FC and to Karen for forwarding and compling all the completed poems..Crispin



“A few months back we asked you ALL what you thought about this ‘unfunded-unchanged for 8 years’ site (!) and it’s future.
Well – we’re still here, un-funded, un-changed and still without our a webmaster Dave and limited to editorial input only. Some of YOUR reactions are printed below. if yuo owuld like to cmmment please send suggestions and feedback either by
Email E-mail us Editors -Football Poets :

on the NEW COMMENTS section at :
Football Poets on MySpace
or in the e-mail us link or in ‘Submit a poem’ section’

Thanks Crispin

MORE recent reactions received included this one from Paul Tubb ….

Hi Guys,
As a site I think the FootballPoets.org is adequate and does what it says on the tin so to speak…

I do think the British Library bookmarking it is a positive sign and I think it needs more attention from the literary hierarchy, e.g. The Poetry Library, The Poetry Society.

When I’m not composing poetry/song/general-gibberish, I am in fact an IT Contractor and was going to volunteer my services to the site when it was first requested… The problem is, firstly, My contract has ended and I am having difficulty getting new work so this is my number one concern at the moment and I have no time to concentrate on anything else at the moment, and secondly, I’m not sure if I have the appropriate software here at home.

Finally for the sake of the site, would it be worth contacting Roger McGough, John Hegley, Paul Cookson, Michael Rosen and many other established poets who have written many football poems… Especially Michael Rosen who can promote the site for schools in his role as Children’s Laureate….

Hope this helps.


We have just asked Ian McMillan, wheo performed here in Stroud recently, to be a patron and are also approaching John Hegley, John Cooper Clarke and Attila too..Michael Rosen is a great idea…
thanks Paul from Crispin )


1 “This isn’t a ‘restricted to this site’ problem, it’s Poetry itself.
There is no big sale or desire for poetry across the board in any subject you like, and whenever ‘someone of weight’ wants a so-called football poem they commission it off some ‘big name’ mainstream poet (a la McGough) who rifles something off which passes for football poetry. Where are the openings for genuine football poets? The in house poets at football clubs are NOT football poets, they are mainstream poets who have had doors opened for them. Easy eh??

Who publishes football poetry? it is self published by the (brave few) football poets themselves (and you can count them on one hand) one of whom wrote a fabulous book of football poetry, and then was ‘rewarded’ with 3 years of hoaxing and heartbreak. One poet was subject to written abuse on this site from one of the occasional contributors. Jealousy must always rear its ugly little head.

So where does that leave Football Poetry? it you have a forum with rules etc you will need moderators, would people pay for upkeep? on what rules and regulations would it be run? and what about all the problems with past guestbooks? how would you control content?
For Football Poetry to be truly successful it needs successful Football Poets, not the ifs buts and maybes of swapping shirts with Shakespeare, or the constant tribalism of teams or mainstream poets in the guise of football poets….but who has the magic wand to change it? I dont know. Promoting it in the schools and football study centres is admirable but it hasnt changed things so far. The literary establishment remains stubbornly oblivious.

Perhaps Football Poetry is best left as it is here, it has a willing and regular audience, it is accessible ,and it is free. ”

Pogue Mahone

2. “About the site, overall it is really good, but 10 thousand poems is perhaps too much. Ok so the Russians had a saying during WW2 that ‘quantity had a quality of its own’, but really how many of this site’s 10000 are any good? Some are good, some are brilliant but most are not. The problem is the really good poetry gets drowned out.

Stuart Butler no longer contributes so ‘Butlers Bench’ needs to change. Sorry Crispin but just using it to promote your myspace blog and workshops is not editorial input.

Clik hardly posts up these days and when he does it is minimal – again an overhaul is needed.

If all this site is to be is a “it’s mine and i will do what i like and i wont share” then fine keep it as it is. But you need to promote more fully your best poets, they are the true voices that need to be heard, there are no places out there in mainstream poet land for football poets, blunt but true, wasnt this site set up to change that???

Thus if it is to move forward and reflect a truly representative portion of the football poetry world it needs to move out the “its my ball and i’m not sharing” mode.

Thoughts????? Jeff Usher

3. “This is the only site on the web, that I am aware off, that is exclusive to football poetry and I will say that it is managed and edited very fairly by all those involved with the site.
I have in the past, had a problem or two with the powers that be, but I was the one who had to grow up and accept the editors decisions to which particular poems of mine would suit this site.

I have posted my poetry on various Celtic websites & forums to a lot of mixed reviews, been rejected by the Club magazine and been given abuse on one particular Celtic forum but it does not stop me from writing and the Football Poets website allows me (most times) to express myself as a Celtic supporter and nothing else.

So I agree with Pogue Mahone with the quote; “Perhaps Football Poetry is best left as it is here, it has a willing and regular audience, it is accessible, and it is free.”

Writing football poetry for me is just a hobby, a hobby that I enjoy. It won’t make me rich or famous but content.”
D McDonagh

This from Peter….

“The part about being an editor that I find the hardest is whether or not to include a poem that is not very good. Okay,
‘Chelsea Chelsea are the best,
They are better than all the the rest’
will probably be deleted , but at the same time I consider the site as vital in encouraging new poets to come on and give it a go. I’m sure the last thing we want is to be seen as elitist – having a clique (pardon the pun) means we set the agenda, whereas the democratic nature of the site is what I love about it. That is why it is often hard when a poor poem comes along to decide if it is a genuine effort or someone taking the mickey.

I suppose in the ideal world, you could have two forums –
side by side. One for everybody and one a registered forum to which only invited poets were given writing access.

As regards the sections, whatever you put in them is fine by me. I have no problems with the content. I know Crispin has been given a bit of stick – as we all have over the years – but if you put your head above the parapet, you’re going to get shot at. My only occasional gripe with the site is that perhaps Crispin
does react too quickly when a criticism rears its head. I know his remit
is to be “squeaky clean” (archived by The British Library,
and recommended by RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) Kick Into Reading, BBC, Five Live, National Literacy Trust, schools etc)
but just because one person objects to something, it doesn’t mean we have to act on it (particularly if the complainer does not include a valid email address)

The sections page is also useful for inspiring new poetry. You only have to publish a list of Christmas / Armistice / FA Cup poems and a load more flood in, which is a good thing.

Personally, I don’t think 10,000 is too much. If people like a poet, they can isolate his/her stuff and concentrate on that. There is an excellent word search engine too for anyone looking for poems on “Kilmarnock” or “Mendonca.” New poems may not last long on the home page, but you read the list of new poems and pick out the poets you like. PeterGoulding (Editor)

Well what can i say? We try and we will improve, promise Sir/Miss!

ON BEING SLAGGED OFF I do get some crticism on this site.
“What kind of massive ego trip are you on Crispi baby?”
was a particular favourite. It’s annoying when you can’t reply to non-existent email adresses . It’s counter-balanced though by pleased schools and kids who do write a bit more as a result. Peter’s right I’m over sensitive. But I’m up-front so I have to take it.

OK I do poetry workshops and I advertise my Football Poetry book.
Over the years we’ve asked for any football poets out-there to come on board to do workshops , or to be an editor with a section. There is still one free remember if you would like the opportunity and all the “perks” with it! So far in eight years of asking , the only up-take and involvement has been from Ted Smith Orr and Rosemary Dun plus locally : Adam H, Danny & Katie McCue, Stuart Butler ,Dennis Gould and Jeff Cloves. Nationally only Ted , Rosemary, Stuart and I have worked together and done ‘stuff ‘ at
places like Chelsea, Charlton, Northampton Town, libratries,schools , festivals and in prisons in Wales twice. (Wild!) More ‘get-up and read out loud poets ‘ needed (don’t you hate the phrase ‘performance-poets’).

Advertising a book is something all writers do on the web to help them survive. It’s bit like hating a small band who hold up their £5 CD at gigs! I sell a few copies here and there. Believe me it doesn’t put me alongside John Terry and Ronaldo! The problem here is : I have a section which Dave created that I cannot change until someone comes in with a new interactively designed site. There were 3 editor sections initially set up in 2000 (!) and it’s stayed that way, like an old antiquated football ground . When Parry had to sadly stop being an editor due to studying commitments , (remember Parry’s Post?) it took me a few stressful and embarassing months just to locate Dave to get it’s title changed back to Butler’s Bench. Even though Stuart had far too many Head Teaching commitments to be able to go on editing.

Fine and true, but for for those who complain –
“Come and lend a hand if you think you’re good enough.. La La La!”

Stu allows me to use his section for themes and contributes when he can , alongside his hectic teaching role. Clik and Peter are in Ireland. Peter and Clik have families and busy jobs to look after. Technically, I can’t create complicated digital stuff yet. I’m learning. I set up the comparitively simple My Space site as a temporary thing for myself , and then turned it into a joint MySpace/ Crispin/Football Poets site, hence the name . Do check it out and comment there! It’s at :
Football Poets on MySpace

just scroll down to bottom of page right hand side.

Basically Peter, Clik and myself, do this for fun and for nothing. I’m up for grabs more because I promote myself : Bad Times,
But I get to write more and to highlight things : Good Times.
I like making people laugh. I take the mickey out of myself to try to inspire others. I’m nostalgic and anarchic but I try like many of you to write from the heart . This site isn’t about me. it’s your site.

On the question of so called ‘top or better poets’ I understand the emotion but what’s that about exactly ? There are many great FOOTBALL POETS per se on this site, but who could compile a fair Top 10,40 or 100?

There are also only a handful of great PERFORMANCE
Poets (whatever that means) who contribute to the site . Notably Attila The Stockbroker and Albert Nyathi (Zimbabwe’s Premier Performance Poet and National Poetry Award Winner) who many of you may have seen at gigs or Womad. Paul Tubb (Ireland)
and Neal Zetter (London) both work in schools and libraries and festivals. Ted has organised festivals ,books and gigs in Croydon, Rosemary runs great Big Mouth Poetry gigs in Bristol. Stu, Dennis Gould, Adam Horovitz, Peter Wyton, Peter Tickner and Jeff Cloves (all Stroud) are all wonderful LIVE poets .There are also quite a few other who I know do loads of stuff out there , but we just haven’t connected yet.

We always wanted individual poem-subject-theme sections :
“clubs, games, grounds, players, philosopy, nostalgia, Euros, World Cup, FA & Carling Cup, , Scottish Welsh and Irish Cup, European Leagues and Cups, Nationwide, The Championship, Non League, Homeless World Cup, Scottish, Welsh and Irish League, African Nations Cup, Racism , Womens’ Football, History and perhaps a section on ‘What the Romans did for us apart from roads, sanitation, taxes, baths and RomanCandel fireworks of course. I’d still love it. Individual sections too for each person to re-style or as they say today ‘re-pimp their profile’, f they want.
This would allow your own personal integrated site in your own colours, message board etc.. Every one would then have their own place, pic, bio, gigs, cds, books, in which they could publicise all their stuff., if they wanted . It may come.

On top of it all , like you all, I have to juggle the editing , correcting, spam and virus prevention with keeping my own self-employed music business (CTM) together. Lastly (no sympathy please), my wife Jennie has also been very ill for the past five years, which has slowed down the pursuits of progress I guess and made it diffiicult at times just to keep the site going,. So big thanks to Clik and Pete especially and to Kevin, Ted, Rosemary, Stu , Adam, Mat and Damo for their support . But we keep on. Ever hopeful of promotion and avoiding relegation or even worse extinction. At least you can still stand up to wirite and perform at our site (ground!) Bottom line – I’m basically an old (Football) hippy poet who’s liteally been to 20 live games only in the last 8 years (honest). I spend al iot of itmes with three mates in thnakfully smoke-free pubs come rain or shine, with little hope of getting ticketsfor Finals and i go to games hundred of miles away when I can afford it, but that’s another poem .

As my good ol’ cockney mate Kevin ‘Chelsea’ Raymond would say…….Peace (and love) Crispin

Source: http://footballpoets.org/news/2008/03/04/saying-no-to-racism-at-reading-the-site-news/