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Peter Sillett Where Are You?

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 I remember that Saturday like yesterday
the steaming summer of ’58
August in London and sweltering

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 “stand clear of the doors”
“all change for Fulham Broadway”
“official programme sixpence a go”
“wear your colour”
“roasted peanuts ‘tanner’ a bag!”

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 stopping to gaze at star badges
of Sillett Blunstone and Greaves in plastic and blue

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 big game nerves expectant and high
the Wolves were in town
as bearing down on Stamford Bridge
those weaving teeming crowds
all noisy and short-sleeved in the Fulham Road

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 in the distance floodlight pylons
tower and loom on blue blue sky
while sun sparkles on concrete old and open
ninepence for kids one and six for adults
but wait what’s this? sold out and heaving!!
you said let’s try bunking in
and we did between the legs in turnstile mayhem

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 and soon nervous and hot clutching melting lollies
and passed down the front
we sat on that dog-track
62,000 behind us baying swaying

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 and do you remember the score?
six-two a blue and gold blur
of goals and cheers

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 young Jimmy rampant as that crested lion
Billy Wright chasing shadows

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 you with two ribbons to a wooden rattle stapled
and me in my rough striped scarf
that mum had sat up half the night
embroidering strange names upon
but i wore it in the heat anyway

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 and later in the street
on neighours’ walls with chalk for goalposts
between the ice cream van and the pavement
we lived it through again and again and again
and never knew that to this day we always would

© Crispin Thomas 2001
10 years old ..Chelsea 6 Wolves 2- 30.08.58 – Scorers: Greaves 5 Block 1.. ATT::62116. In true Chelsea fashion we’d already lost the first game of the season 2-5 away to Man U, then thumped Spurs 4-2 on the Wednesday. Elated with the Wolves result, I swore to my mum that I was round a friend’s house, but my older mates got me in for the away Spurs game four days, later where we were slaughtered 4-0! Scored 12 and conceded 13 in our first 4 games.

Apologies for this re-print. Editor’s perk I hear you scream! Blame E-Bay though and nostalgia for this poem’s re-appearance. It was while unsuccessfully bidding for a late-fifties / early sixties blue plastic star badge of Peter Sillett on e-bay recently (how sad is that?), that this resurfaced.
It’s also in memory of a stalwart defender and penalty scorer (brother of John of Coventry fame) Peter Sillett. I only recently discovered that Peter had sadly passed on, whilst meeting up with Roy Bentley at Chelsea again. I still have the programme to this day, which has an article on Peter in it..
I remember being passed down the front, sitting proudly on that grass verge dog-track,with this amazing completely unobstructed view, in blue heaven, leaning against the old wall. My mate somehow got himself lifted back over the wall desperate for the loo, and returned fifteen minutes later, on the hands of the crowd again, with an almost totally melted Lyons Maid orange ice lolly for me, such dedication! At a recent workshop I was reminded by the Charlton poet Ted Smith Orr of why there was always a bit of a gap near the terrace wall, pitchside, however packed it was ! I always innocently used to think, perhaps the view was not good from there, but I realise now it must have been a combination of the daunting distance of the far-off toilets and the smell and the increasing wetness of the surrounding vicinity! Well would you go all the way out to the loo after waiting two hours to get a good position?! Halcyon days of an old ground and classic cavalier good old unpredictable Chelsea at their notoriously wonderful best. Unpredictable or what? A week later I saw them beat Newcastle at home 6-5 too! Now that was being consistent..consistently unpredictable..and you just don’t get consistency like that these days.. To be honest walking the same road to see Chelsea receive the trophy a week back reminded me of it too!

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/peter-sillett-where-are-you/