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I Just Can’t Leave That Team Alone!

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Until thirteen, disliked Footee!
Perhaps because I played so bad.
Other sports too, the Egg ‘n’ Spoon,
Or weird game played with ball and bat…

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Came Pubertee, what did I see?
A bunch of blokes chasing a ball…
‘Most overnight, I saw the Light,
And was converted like Saint Paul!

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Became a Fan, not yet a Man,
But still no longer wholly Boy…
Embraced the Game, one Choice remained,
Among all Teams, which to support?

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Racked hard my brains, but made no gains,
Trying to sort wheat from the chaff.
So many Strips, so many hues,
Who to root for? I had no clue!

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Good pal had I, named Thomson Si,
Who hailed from somewhere up North-West…
From Merseyside, to be precise,
He said: “The TOFFEES are the Best!”

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 COYB! or Grand Old Team,
He’d sing or chant with so much zest.
Gave me some booze, to get me sloshed,
By then my brain was fully washed!

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 And one more thing – me Gran, darling,
Grew up in Bootle, Merseyside.
Three Bros had she, all Toffs-Crazee,
So I plumped for the Mersey’s Pride!

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 Dai D in goal, Big Bob up front,
And in the dugout Bingham Bill.
Shirts Royal Blue, Shorts Persil White,
What could I do? Love at first sight!

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 Time its course ran…Boy morphed to Man,
But EVERTON have never gone!
Seen Ups ‘n’ Downs, Swings, Roundabouts,
I just can’t leave that Team alone!

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 Wilson or Heath, then Mrs T,
John Major, Blair or Gordon Brown.
Flyin’ up high, or steep nose-dives,
Ain’t never left that Team alone!

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 We’ve been up Top, won League and Cup,
And, natch’, have flirted with The Drop.
Through thick ‘n’ thin, I’ve stuck with them,
Have always loved The Toffeemen!

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 Now here I am, Six Decade Man,
Standing almost at Death’s threshold.
Once more bellow “NSNO”!
Won’t never leave that Team alone…

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 29/5/23
Denys E. W. Jones

8

Notes

First, congrats to Gacina Bozidar for being first to post an Everton Great Escape poem…: “Nice one, Gaci, nice one, Son, niceone Gaci, let’s have another one…!” Second, I would like to join my fellow poet Joe Morris in welcoming the Hatters back to the Big Time, where they belong (what took you so long, fellas?), and I am sure the Hatters will be looking forward to welcoming us to Kenilworth Road and travelling up to Goodison… The Premier League without Everton? “Man, you cannot be serious!” (Copyright John McEnroe.) As I wrote last September, we are simply TGTGD! For the record, Sunday 28th May 2023, Everton 1 Bournemouth 0 (goal by Abdoulay Doucouré, thanks Duke!)
Now to the poem… this one is a re-working of a jaunty, up-tempo little number by B B King (another King!) entitled I Just Can’t Leave Your Love Alone, a song first played to me by my Big Brother, Richard Alistair Jones, who died suddenly on 17th June 2022 of a heart attack, and to whom I dedicate this poem.
Notes on Poem: Stanza 2, if your knowledge of the Good Book is hazy, for Saint Paul’s Conversion, check out Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 9… Stanza 5 I met Simon Thomson when we were both aged 12 or 13, pupils at Lord Williams’ (Lord Bill’s) comprehensive school, Thame, Oxfordshire… confession time: Denys E. W Jones is not a Scouser! Nobody “first took me to Goodison when I was only three…” Simon Thomson was a Scouser, as was Colin Vickers, another Evertonian who moved dahn sarf. Denys and Malcom Hill were / are Glory Hunters. Aged around 15 Denys attended his first live football match, at… the Manor Ground Oxford to see OUFC beat third division topping Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0. Yes, but by then I had been a Bluenose for at least 18 months… Stanza 6, for the unitiaited, COYB = Come On You Blues! Stanza 7 The Mersey’s Pride, Everton Football Club founded 1878, obviously, not the Other Lot from across the Park, founded 1892… Stanza 8 Dai D = Dai Davies, Everton and Wales, Big Bob = Robert Latchford, Bingham Bill = Billy Bingham, my first Everton Gaffer, first in a long line stretching to Sean Dyche, present occupant of the Goodison Hotseat… Stanza 11 “(…) won League and Cup”, contrary to popular belief, especially among the Red Half of the City, Everton have actually won some Silverware in their time, last time, yes, we know, don’t need reminding, in 1995… But 69 years of Top Flight football ain’t bad now is it? Stanza 12, nearly finished folks, six Decade Man, yes, hit Sixty in August 2022, will light 61 candles in August this year. Again, for the uninitiated, NSNO = Nil Satis Nisi Optimum, our proud Latin motto: Nothing But the Best Is Good Enough.
Lastly, future historians of the Beautiful Game may perhaps debate who precisely should get the credit for Everton’s latest Houdini act… The players? The Manager, Mr Dyche? The 12th Person, the Crowd? Maybe… but for the record, I can reveal the decisive factor was a stroke of genius by a long-standing mate of mine, “The Thousandth Man” (he knows who he is), who shortly before kick-off yesterday went down to his local Bookie and placed a sizeable sum on Everton to … LOSE, thus ensuring our Survival for another Season, thanks Gaucho!
That’s all folks, my longest footnote ever!
Looking forward to crossing pens, keyboards with you all in Season 2023-24…

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/i-just-cant-leave-that-team-alone/