“Down the Line!” was at each game,
Though actually I doubt that
It was his true God-given name.
It’s just – he used to shout that.
I never spoke to him at all
For he was so much older.
There’d come, whene’er we had the ball,
This cry behind my shoulder:
“Throw it/Kick it down the line!”
His tactics were consistent.
To him, the flanks were quite divine,
And he was so insistent.
He must have hated Johnny Giles.
Square ball, pal? No thanks.
Far better, he would say, by miles
To hoof it down the flanks.
A full back who might hesitate,
Uncertain where to throw it,
“Down the Line!” would get irate
And loudly let him know it.
God help the back four when they passed
The ball among each other!
There’d come a long and uncouth blast
That would have shocked my mother.
He always used to wreck my head,
Not easy to dismiss him,
But recently I heard he’s dead,
And now he’s gone I miss him.
“Down the Line!” in silence lays,
So sometimes now upon a
Summer’s eve, I’ll shout that phrase,
With feeling, in his honour.