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As we trooped in hypnotised procession
to the turnstiles,
the coaches from the North flashed by.
We heard them before we saw them:
a walrus-throated, guttural
‘Leeds, Leeds, Leeds……’
from the passing wagon train.
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We read the flags covering the windows,
and jagged LUFC’s scissored
onto Union Jacks.
Out of curiosity, we followed
till we came across them again,
parked in a defensive formation
at the back of the ground.
Like a column of ants,
they piled into the Smethwick End,
still chanting, ‘Leeds, Leeds, Leeds…..’
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Leeds needed to win that night
to avoid relegation
from the old First Division.
But the hush of the held-breath-moment
before the ball bulges the back of the net
like a gobstopper in a kid’s mouth,
was to celebrate Albion’s two goals…
and Leeds, Leeds, Leeds were down, down, down….
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As we made our way back to the car,
we heard the chant following us home,
closing in with every syllable;
more venomous and butcher-blunt than before.
In comic understatement,
Dad suggested jogging.
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we turned on the radio
as reports of fans rampaging
down the High Street filtered through.
An on-the-spot-reporter spoke of his disgust,
whilst, in the background, all we could hear
was ‘Leeds, Leeds, Leeds…….’